Pollination -- Buzz Activity 4H

Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan
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.



The activity by 4-H sets up a model using a funnel, juice, cornmeal, and pipecleaners to represent the flower’s structures and the corresponding structures of the pollinators. The material has some useful extension ideas for recording observational data outside, and useful information for the teacher.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Grade 2
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

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 appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students would need to identify the different parts of a flower that are involved in the pollination process prior to developing the model. They would not need to know all of the vocabulary to meet the Performance Expectation. The class could develop the model and then use the model to discuss and describe the process of pollination, how the plant depends on the animal, and which structures of both organisms are shown in the model.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The lesson provides instructions for how to build the model step by step. But the class would benefit by working together to identify structures that would need to be included in the model first, and predict the materials that would be used in the model. They should build the model only after they have observed the pollination event either with media or first hand.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This lesson fully addresses the Disciplinary Core Idea. The lesson also lists other animals besides honey bees that are important for pollination, such as birds, moths and bats, but focuses on honeybees. Although not included in the Performance Expectation, the lesson includes information about mutualism, and the model shows that honeybees also depend on the flowers for food.

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
Although the lesson shows the structures of the bee and the flower and how they work, the function of this relationship beyond spreading pollen is not fully explained. The students would need to have a hands -on experience with pollination as a means to reproduce to understand this function.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The alignment to all three dimensions are addressed, yet the teacher would have to add explicitness of Disciplinary Core Idea and Crosscutting Concept to the lesson, and support for student responsibility for the development of the model, to be high quality.

  • Instructional Supports: The teacher must add teacher questioning to ensure that students are doing the majority of the figuring out of the Performance Expectation. As written, the teacher would be able to talk the students through the model development, which may detract from the learning. Questions such as “How do you think the fruit is like the nectar in the flower?”, “Can you explain how the pollen is moved to another flower?”, “What is one structure that is represented in our model?” would support the Performance Expectation.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: In order to monitor progress, students need opportunities to explain the process of pollination and describe how the structures are important in fulfilling this process. Teachers could use student science notebooks to write and draw their thinking according to writing prompts. This could be done over the span of a few days or weeks.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -