At Holy Trinity Elementary we follow the 3 bee’s; be respectful, be responsible, be safe. For our class project the grade ones will “Bee Helpful”. The grade ones will research ways they can help bees and other pollinators. The students will work on finding the best ways to create habitats for these pollinators to live and survive. They first took an interest in bees when we visited our local farm in October. They were introduced to the 40,000 bees they have living on the farm. Our class will begin by doing research on bees and how they help our planet. They will come up with plans to create their own bee homes to put throughout Torbay. Using materials purchased with the LSF action project funding, all three grade one classes will build their own bee homes and plant their own flowers. Several new bee homes and hundreds of new plants and flowers will be spread across our community. Through learning about the importance of bees, our young students will be more informed about taking care of our environment and what bees need to live and survive.
Our grade one class worked on a project we called “Bee Helpful”. We began our learning by discussing what the students already knew about bees and what they would like to learn about them. We read several books, watched videos and completed a vast array of cross-curricular activities about bees. Our grade one learners become somewhat experts about bees and their important role to the earth. They created beautiful artwork using a variety of mediums, they became authors and illustrators of their own informational bee books and story books, worked collaboratively with the teacher librarian and reading specialist on a number of hands-on activities and engaged in various STEM challenges. We also got involved in some local learning through Agriculture in the Classroom NL, where we won a beehive to decorate and place at a local farm in our name.
Once our bee research was underway, the students planted a variety of seeds in preparation for our grade one garden. They planted a variety of flowers that were easy to grow indoors and transfer outside in our Newfoundland weather; including sunflowers, sweet peas, marigolds and nasturtiums. The students took ownership over our classroom garden, carefully watering the flowers daily and keeping close observation of their growth. In total, our grade one class planted about 300 seeds. We extended our learning and supplies to the four other grade one classes who planted about 500 more seeds in their classrooms for a total of 800 flowers for the bees and pollinators in our community of Torbay. All 102 grade one students took home a sunflower plant to care for and replant in their gardens around Torbay. The remaining hundreds of flowers are growing in classroom gardens until our Newfoundland weather is warm enough for them to be transferred to our grade one garden in front of our school. With the help of some grade 3 and 4 students, the grade ones will transform the front of the school into a sea of colourful flowers for the bees and pollinators that they care so much about.
Reflection & Celebration
Our part in the sustainability of the Newfoundland bee population may be very small but the effort was quite big. These 6 and 7 year old students took a deep interest in their learning this spring, setting them on a path to help the future of our world. This project met many curriculum outcomes while keeping the students engaged and working on the 6 C’s of deep learning; collaboration, creativity, citizenship, critical thinking, communication and character.