Friday, June 1, 2012

A friendly BEE and Dirt Pudding with Jolly Rancher Flowers

Roger has developed an aversion to bees.  I guess I can't really blame him--it is a bit intimidating when they dive-bomb your face buzzing menacingly.  But whenever Roger is startled by a bee, I make sure to remind him that we need bees in order to have fruit and honey.  To emphasize the idea of the usefulness of bees, I thought it would be a worthwhile for the Camp Scarlet crew to learn a little more about what bees do.

We checked out some great books from the library.  The Beautiful Bee Book by Sue Unstead is a fantastic resource packed with facts about bees, with beautiful illustrations and easy to understand text.  As an added bonus, its sturdy lift-the-flap and turn-the-wheel pages kept the kids engaged.  I enthusiastically recommend this book.

Buzz, Bee, Buzz! by Dana Meachen Rau is a fact-filled book just perfect for emergent readers.

I just love Magic School Bus books, don't you?  Joanna Cole always manages to pack tons of facts into fun stories, making learning about any subject delightful.  The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive is no exception.  Ms. Frizzle's lucky students go on a field trip to meet a beekeeper at his hive, but when he's late arriving, the class shrinks down to bee size to take a look inside the hive.
Incidentally, I tried to figure out how to take the Camp Scarlet kids on a similar field trip, but I just couldn't swing it.

Last, but not least, we read The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman.  This greedy bee wants to lay around sipping nectar all day instead of sharing and helping the other bees.  One day, he sips too much, and it is only through the kindness of some fellow insects that he is able to find his way back to the hive, determined to share from then on.

After reading, we were inspired to do some bee-dancing.  The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive and The Beautiful Bee Book both have good illustrations and clear descriptions of how bees dance and what the dances mean.

Next, we made bees.  I used this template from First School, cutting the body, head, and stinger from scrapbook paper, and the wings from vellum.  I was looking for a honeycomb or hexagon pattern for the body of the bee, but this works, right?

The kids decorated backgrounds for their bees.  Roger used a sponge to paint a flowery field for his bee, and Pal used markers to create a flowered background.

I used a pencil to draw veins on the wings of Roger's bee, and because the vellum is semi-transparent, it came out looking beautifully life-like.
Cute!

Of course, once we had bees, we needed some flowers for them.  I saw this idea to make flower suckers out of jolly ranchers and lifesavers a few months ago on Catholic Icing, and thought they would be perfect.  I found out too late that we didn't have any wooden skewers, but I think the Popsicle sticks work, too.

We planted our flowers in dirt pudding with gummy worms--yum!  The family loved it.  Thanks to M for inspiring the idea.

So now hopefully Roger will be a little more tolerant of the bees buzzing about--they're helping us grow yummy vegetables in our garden.

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