I came up with this one-week unit study on bees in less than 45 minutes--hence the "on the fly" portion of the title. :-) Loosely using a "In The Hands of a Child" lapbook unit I had downloaded for free from homeschoolestore some time in the past year, I was able to cobble together a fairly cohesive study that hit on several academic areas. Daily time spent on this was no more than thirty to forty-five minutes, except when my children got carried away and demanded more.
Day One: Discussed the what makes an insect and insect, then moved on to the anatomy of a bee, using the brief descriptions found in the HOAC literature. Filled out the “Bee Anatomy” sheet, colored it, and got our lapbooks going. Introduced the different types of bees within a hive (Queen, Workers, Drones), and made small lift-the-flap booklets for the lapbooks, detailing their job descriptions inside.
Day Two: Read “The Magic School Bus Inside A Bee Hive,” then talked about the life cycle of a bee, including what makes a Queen into a Queen. Assembled the HOAC life cycle wheel and attached it to our lapbooks. Came up with a totally new use for the cute "The Hive" mini-book included in the HOAC unit--each child wrote out their own first-person story of being a worker bee in a hive.
Day Three: Read the HOAC section on how bees communicate, then danced like maniacs to “Flight of the Bumblebee.” Tried, in a charade-type style, to point one another towards specific objects in the room. Finally filled out the small “Communication” flap-book and glued it into our folders.
Day Four: Read about the process of pollination. Watched a video of bees pollinating flowers on United Streaming, and discussed how this is part of God’s plan for making things work in the natural world. Described pollination in our little petal brad-books for the lapbook, then built paper hexagons and talked about the cells of the honey comb. Enjoyed bread and honey for a snack, and talked about beekeepers and their job.
Day Five: Talked about predators, and discussed the ramifications of having a hive pillaged. Created our own little petal brad-books on “Predators” because everyone just really liked putting the brads in place. :-) Talked about the imagery of honey in the Bible, and various phrases that use the image of honey that we hear even today (ie, “Sweeter than honey”). Looked in an international cookbooks and found zillions of recipes that use honey, and looked up different types of bees found in those countries on the internet. Celebrated the end of the unit by watching a video of our Magic School Bus Bee book and eating honey buns.
Covers of lapbooks:
Inside of lapbooks:
Jo's lapbook, complete with her own "handbook of bees," a collection of tidbits she assembled on her own.