How many pollinators do you see outside? Activity: Pollinator Simulation

Contributor
University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Experiment/Lab Activity , Model , Project
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This activity will help students understand the role of a pollinator by having them construct a model of an insect and a model of a flower to investigate how flowers are pollinated.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Elementary School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

K-2-ETS1-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students build and test a model of an insect and of a flower to mimic how insects pollinate flowers.

2-LS2-2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students build and test a model of an insect and of a flower to mimic how insects pollinate flowers.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Take students outside in the spring to observe flowers being pollinated. The teacher can ask students questions like: “ How do you think flowers are being pollinated? What would happen if insects did not help with pollination?”

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students develop a model of a flower and of an insect to simulate pollination. In a science journal, students could draw a sketch both models and label the parts.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students are naturally asking questions, making observations, and gathering information within the investigation as they make sense of the pollination process.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students explore how important insects are in plant pollination. Completing the activities suggested in the Taking It Further section would help students to understand the importance of pollination.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Educators will need to point out how the structure of an insect's body allows it to function as a plant pollinator. Discussion of the vocabulary listed in the lesson will enhance student learning about pollination.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Students develop a model of a flower and of an insect to show that plants depend on animals and insects for pollination. The Crosscutting Concept is weak because students will need more conversations around the idea that an insect’s' body functions as a natural pollinator.

  • Instructional Supports: The source provides step by step instructions for creating the models. Extra information is available for the educator about the pollination process. The lesson includes suggestions for how to connect instruction to the students' home, neighborhood, community and/or culture as appropriate. To make the monitoring of student progress stronger, students could write or draw about using the models to demonstrate pollination.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Educators can address misconceptions and strengthen learning through the student simulations and conversations. Extensions of learning apply pollination concepts to their neighborhoods. Students simulate the pollination process by flying their insects in and out of their flower cup and the cups of other youth. Students share what happened to the pipe cleaner (pistil) and the powder (pollen). Students process and generalize what they’ve learned, apply the learning to their neighborhood. and determine what they can do to attract more pollinators.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: none