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New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

Lesson Plans (4)

Flower Power (Grades 3-5)

Students observe physical characteristics of flowers and explore principles of pollination. Grades 3-5

Flower Power (Grades 6-8)

Students observe the anatomical structures of flowers and explain a flower's role in plant growth and reproduction as well as their connection to our food supply. Grades 6-8

Honey Bees: A Pollination Simulation

Students identify the parts of a honey bee, the stages of its life cycle, and its role in pollination. Grades 3-5

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Dominant and Recessive Traits

Students explore how dominant and recessive traits are expressed and discover how knowledge of heredity is important to agriculture. Grades 3-5

Companion Resources (44)


This is a game in which students take turns rolling a die and drawing parts of a bee. Any number can play, and the only materials needed are a piece of paper, a pencil, a six-sided die, and the included printable activity sheet.
Pests, IPM, Poison Prevention, and You
This downloadable activity book is designed for kindergarten through fourth grade students. The activity book features four sections titled Living Organisms All Around Us, What Is a Pest, Integrated Pest Management, and Poison Prevention. Each section includes an introduction to the content, an activity for students, and helpful tips for kids and adults. The activity book can be used by educators and parents to introduce kids to these topics or to supplement existing lessons.
Prolific Pollinators
How does your food get pollinated? Pollinators are essential to agriculture and the environment. Students will learn about the various categories of pollinators and their contribution to producing agriculture commodities. Includes three activities, a math exercise, and ideas for service learning and citizen science.


Amazing Plant Powers: How Plants Fly, Fight, Hide, Hunt, & Change the World
How do plants survive when they can't run away from danger? Plants can live in diverse places such as under water, in deserts, cold climates, high elevations or even on other plants. They must contend with storms, fire, poor soils, and hungry animals and insects. Fortunately plants can grow from spores, seeds, or vegetatively and often get a helping hand from people. Plants are cultivated to provide fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, and fibers such as cotton as well as for wood, paper, and many other products. The book concludes by noting a few of the habitats plants help create such as forests, prairies, and marshes as the comical plant characters conclude that they do indeed have amazing powers. Several related activities are listed such as a plant power scavenger hunt, a writing prompt: My Plant Power, and a kitchen scrap garden.
Bea's Bees
Beatrix discovers a wild bumblebee nest on her way home from school and finds herself drawn to their busy world. When her bees mysteriously disappear, Bea hatches a plan to bring them back. Can Bea inspire her school and community to save the bees? Bees provide us with valuable resources, and some types of bees are in danger of disappearing forever. But ordinary people (and kids!) can help save them. Filled with fascinating facts about bumblebees and ideas to help preserve their environment, Bea's Bees encourages kids to help protect bees and other pollinators.
Bees and Wasps
Bees and Wasps is a 32-page book filled with color photographs and illustrations. Learn about their lifecycle and the varieties of bees and wasps that pollinate flowers and make honey. You will also learn about the organization of beehives, the roles of each bee, and how they all work together to make honey and pollinate flowers.
Flight of the Honey Bee
This colorfully illustrated book follows a honey bee as she leaves the hive to search for pollen and nectar. The bee uses her senses of sight and smell to find flowers and to remember the way back. She pollinates flowers while collecting pollen and nectar to bring back to the hive. Interesting facts about bees are given alongside the story of the honey bee called Scout.   
Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate
It's true! Flowers use the colors of their flowers to communicate with animals. But why animals? Because they help plants make seeds by moving pollen from one flower to another. Learn the secrets of flower talk from a narrator with an inside scoop. Flower Talk features a cantankerous talking cactus as a narrator, revealing to readers the significance of different colors of flowers in terms of which pollinators (bees, bats, birds, etc.) different colors "talk" to.
Give Bees a Chance
Not sure whether to high-five bees or run away from them? Well, maybe you shouldn't high-five them, but you definitely don't have to run away from them. Give Bees a Chance is for anyone who doesn't quite appreciate how extra special and important bees are to the world, and even to humankind. Besides making yummy honey, they help plants grow fruits and vegetables. And most bees wouldn't hurt a fly (unless it was in self-defense.) With bees officially on the endangered animals list, it's more important now than ever to get on board with our flying, honey-making friends.
Henry Meets a Honey Bee
Come join Henry as he takes a walk, enjoying nature, and stumbles upon the adventure of a lifetime. Henry meets Honey, the queen bee of a local hive, and learns all about honey bees from a unique point of view. Watch how knowledge transforms fear to admiration for one of nature's favorite pollinators.
Beginning at birth, the honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell and is driven to protect and take care of her hive. She cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen. But is she strong enough to fly? Not yet! She builds wax combs to store honey, and transfers pollen from other bees into the storage. She defends the hive from invaders. Apis accomplishes all of this before beginning her life outdoors as an adventurer, seeking nectar to bring back to her hive.
How Do Apples Grow?
This book is a part of the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, and it clearly illustrates how fruit comes from flowers. Colorful illustrations show the male and female parts of the apple flowers up close, and the role that bees play in pollinating apple flowers is explained in simple language. The book follows apple trees through all four seasons, from the closed buds of winter to the ripe apples of fall.  
How to Grow an Apple Pie
It's easy to make an apple pie, but what does it take to make the apples? Sophie is about to find out! First, the apple trees need to be about six years old—just like Sophie. Next, they need to be pruned, and the bees have to pollinate their blossoms! After that, the tiny apples grow through the summer until they're ready to pick in the fall. Finally, it's time for Sophie to make the perfect pie!
How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside
The beautiful simplicity of a garden is depicted through digital woodcut illustrations and engaging nonfiction text presented as a series of sweet questions and gentle replies. Less of a traditional how-to and more of a how-to-appreciate, this soothingly sparse text paints an inviting and accessible picture of what a garden offers. And with an all-child cast, the absence of an adult presence empowers readers to view the garden and its creatures through their own eyes, driven by curiosity and wonder.
Pollen: Darwin's 130 Year Prediction
How long does it take for science to find an answer to a problem? On January 25, 1862, naturalist Charles Darwin received a box of orchids. One flower, the Madagascar star orchid, fascinated him. It had an 11.5" nectary, the place where flowers make nectar, the sweet liquid that insects and birds eat. How, he wondered, did insects pollinate the orchid? It took 130 years to find the answer.
Rooftop Garden
Set to a foot-tappin' original tune, this rhythmic, rhyming story shows a group of city friends work diligently together to grow herbs and vegetables in a rooftop garden, concluding with a summer harvest and feast that celebrates the gardeners' commitment.
The Bee Tree
When Mary Ellen gets bored with her reading, Grandpa knows a hunt for a bee tree is just what she needs. Half the town joins in chasing a bee to find the hive from which they will collect honey. The story is fun to read aloud and will easily hold the attention of students.
The Beeman
Told from the viewpoint of a child whose Grandpa is a beekeeper, this rhyming text offers an accessible and engaging introduction to the behavior of bees. You will learn where bees live, how honey is made, what a beekeeper does, and more. 
The Bug Girl
Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder—and wouldn't leave!—at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies...but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia's mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophia were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response—letters, photos, and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs—and it worked! Sophia has since appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and NPR, and she continues to share her love of bugs with others.
The Honeybee Man
This is the story of Fred, who raises honeybees on his roof in Brooklyn, New York. Fred watches his bees closely, sharing his observations of how they tend the hive, feed babies, and make wax rooms. He even imagines flying with the bees to find flowers. The engagingly illustrated story is full of facts about bees. 
The Honeybee and the Robber
This moving/picture book follows an adventurous honeybee as she goes about her busy day, sipping nectar from flowers, avoiding hungry birds, and playing with butterflies. But when a robber bear comes looking for honey, all the bees must rush out to defend their home. 
The Life and Times of the Honeybee
Information about honeybees has never been more interesting. The text and illustrations perfectly complement one another in a concise presentation of facts about the insects both within and outside the hive. Their physical characteristics, division of labor, and role in pollination are fully described. Additional fascinating facts about a bee's year-round activities, the job of the beekeeper, the many products that contain beeswax, and ways honey has been used throughout history are included. Even the "tail-wagging dance" that directs bees to flower locations is simple to follow. There is no index, but a table of contents leads to specific topics. A book that is right on target for young readers.
The Prized Pumpkin
Tori and Jade are best friends until a friendly competition to grow the most prized pumpkin nearly tears their friendship apart! Come along as they create plans, work with an agronomist and beekeeper, learn from their mistakes and successes all in an effort to grow weird, warty, and ginormous pumpkins. The summer of the prized pumpkin competition will be one Tori and Jade will never forget!
The Soil in Jackie's Garden
Jackie and her garden friends embrace the joys of planting a garden, nurturing and harvesting their own food, and recycling scraps to compost, ensuring that the magical cycle of growth and sustainability continues anew. Science facts about soil, plants, pollinators, decomposers, and more are included on every spread.
The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
A love poem from a father to his two sons, and a tribute to the bees that pollinate the foods we love to eat. "Sometimes bees can be a bit rude. They fly in your face and prance on your food." And yet...without bees, we might not have strawberries for shortcakes or avocados for tacos! Children are introduced to different kinds of bees, "how not to get stung," and how the things we fear are often things we don't fully understand.