Activity Introduction

Bee on pink eucalypt hero frameQuick summary: Bees pollinate at least a third of everything we eat and play a vital role in sustaining our ecosystems, therefore they need to be valued and protected. This tuning-in lesson introduces the topic of bees through a ‘Stand on the Line’ activity, wherein students consider a number of statements and justify their opinion. To capture students’ interest and find out what they already know they watch a compelling short film of bees and other pollinators, then complete a ‘See, Think, Wonder’ visible thinking tool designed to instil and reinforce a sense of curiosity in students. Students develop a range of inquiry questions to expand their understanding of new concepts and existing misconceptions about bees, pollination, food and farming. Students conclude this lesson with an observation challenge where they identify and locate a bee friendly plant in their school yard.

This activity has been developed in partnership with   ACT_FOR_BEES_Inline_Ident_CMYK

Essential questions:

  • What do I know about bees?
  • Why are bees important?
  • How are bees connected to the ecosystem?
  • What role do bees play in food production?

21st century skills: 

1Beeing Curious c21skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 English

  • Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699)
  • Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes (ACELY1796)

Year 5 Science

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)

Year 6 English 

  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
  • Use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions such as voice volume, tone, pitch and pace, according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience (ACELY1816)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)

General capabilities: Ethical Understanding, Personal and Social Capability

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.4, OI.5.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives. Select specific vocabulary and use accurate spelling and punctuation. 

Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Analyse how the form of living things enables them to function in their environments.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect. Use accurate spelling and punctuation for clarity and make and explain editorial choices based on criteria.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things. 

Topic: Sustainability.

Unit of work: Love Food? Love Bees!

Time required: 45 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Web enabled computer, Bee Safe! Factsheet, projector, screen and speakers. String or masking tape, ‘AGREE’, ‘DISAGREE’ and ‘NOT SURE’ signs. Sticky-notes, butcher’s paper and textas/pens (optional). Clipboards, paper and pens for recording data for the observation activity. Hive of Reflection print-out.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: bee, sustainability, ecosystem, food, pollination, co-dependence, symbiosis, food, consumption, biodiversity.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Bee on red eucalypt hero frameTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students discover the pivotal role bees play in food production and the health of our ecosystems. They build their knowledge of how bees interact with their environment, and develop inquiry questions to expand their understanding of new concepts and existing misconceptions about bees, pollination, food and farming.

Teacher content information: Bees first appeared on Earth at least 80 million years ago. The ancestors of modern bee species lived alongside the dinosaurs - a time when giant pines, cedars, tree ferns and cycads were the main plants and the air swarmed with primitive insects including oversized dragonflies and giant butterflies. During this time, the first flowering plants (angiosperms) appeared and a more effective way of pollination was needed, other than simply relying on the wind. The challenge was how to increase the chances of pollination and reproduction to ensure the success of future generations. The solution was to a

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: "When the flower blossoms, the bee will come" - Srikumar Rao

1. Watch this short clip:

The Beauty of Pollination (

2. Thinking about the images you saw in the clip, fill in the 'See, Think, Wonder' table below.

What did you SEE in the clip? What does the clip make you THINK? What does the clip make you WONDER?



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