Making a 3D Bee to Assess the Parts of an Insect

Hello Friends,
We just finished our apple/bee unit. We made a fun field trip to the apple orchard and were given the opportunity to see real bee hives, taste apple cider, and learn how bees help apples grow. We piggyback our insect standard onto this unit. We use the bee to learn that insects have 3 body parts, have 2 antennae, and have six legs. We love doing this unit in the fall because the insects are alive in our part of the country. Even though bees pollinate apples in the spring, doing this unit in the fall when we are studying apples and the parts of the tree works well for us.

As an assessment for understanding of the anatomy of an insect, the kids create a 3D model of a bee. I use bamboo skewers and attach 3 Styrofoam balls to it. The kids use yellow Tempera paint add color to the body. We use yellow, even though a real honeybee is brown with black stripes.

There is a bit of teacher prep to do while they are drying. I cut small circles for the eyes out of black felt. Cut black craft stems into smaller pieces. Use parchment paper for the wings. In a divided tray, I add all these items plus straight ball point pins and small sequins.

Your kids can do this! You just need to lay some groundwork like the pins are NOT for poking and to have patience while doing each step. I also tell them to hold another body part when working on one i.e. when pushing pins into the head, make sure that you are holding the thorax. This eliminates fingers accidentally getting stuck by the pins.

In the photos below, the kids used black felt for the stripes on the abdomen. But this year, I gave them black markers to draw on the stripes. Much easier!

Here are our anchor charts for both the bees and the apples.

These little 3D bees look striking hanging from the ceiling in front of our apple orchard posters!

Until next time, my friends!