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3rd, 4th, 5th




180 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Why Are Bees Essential for Food?

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 20, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn how bees' role in food production is affected by human actions and how experts are trying to support bee populations.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students explore how bees make our food through a video and a flower dissection.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students learn how scientists and farmers work to help bee populations through diverse media.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students make a claim about how to support bees and are inspired by a bee expert to create an artifact to share what they have learned.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • In this lesson, students use different types of media to understand a concept.

  • Claim, Evidence, Reasoning writing prepares students for argumentative writing in upper grades.

  • This lesson can be used in a science unit about biodiversity or a lesson on writing structures.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This lesson can be taught in three or more days, depending on time constraints. We recommend spending one day each on the Inquire, Investigate, and Inspire sections, and possibly a fourth day for students to share their artifacts with the class.

  • Before class, gather several types of flowers for dissection in the Inquire section.


  • A number of simplifications have been made in the video The Science Behind Bees & Food: How Do Bees Make Our Food? In particular, the anatomy of a flower is simplified so students can focus on a few key vocabulary terms, rather than 10+ terms. The pistil and stamen can be further broken down into different structures.

  • The whole class may work as a group to complete the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning activity in the Inspire section if using evidence in writing is a new skill.

  • If students need another visual to understand the idea that flowers turn into food, watch Strawberry Flower to Fruit, a time-lapse video of a strawberry growing.

  • Students can extend their learning on pollinators by exploring and identifying local pollinators and plants in their community and Growing a Pollinator Garden.
Scientist Notes

Particularly when it comes to pollination, bees are vital to plants. Students can gain knowledge about the value of bees in food production as well as how climate change has put the bee population in jeopardy. Under a changing climate, students will also acquire a profound understanding of how to raise public awareness and advocate for bee protection. The lesson has passed our science review, and it is advised for classroom use.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
      • W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
      • W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.
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