Today I had put aside the afternoon to teach my class about bees, their importance, identify several types and a look at bee anatomy. I had also planned in time for us to go outside and take part in the great British Bee Survey for Friends of the Earth as a class. I had previously scouted the field to see what types we were likely to see. I covered the identification of the white tail, honey bee, early bumble bee and wasp. Richard Louv talks about how identifying specific species is good for children in his book last child in the woods. Strangely looking at the different types did seem to be therapeutic for the children. Taking part in a survey will gain the children another point towards their RSPB wildlife action awards.
Armed with clipboards and identification sheets we set out onto the school field ready to tally our sights. We took out a bin bag and the litter picker grabbing stick to help clear the field. We had read about how rubbish kills small mammals and they were keen to stop that happening. The children quickly tuned into looking at the tails as they realised we were mainly finding white tails and early bumble bees. On the whole they were pretty good at spotting an tallying fairly accurately (with the exception of one boy who thought everything was a wasp).
Returning to the classroom we looked at identifying the parts of the bee. They are rapidly developing super insect knowledge and more of them are using it when we’re out. They are gradually using more of the scientific language of habitat, prey, predators, herbivores, carnivores, thorax, abdomen, which is reassuring that some teaching is going in.
We also found a super looking beetle. Flew off before I got a decent photo.
And a nice looking wildflower.