Pollinator Investigation

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Students will learn about and investigate the pollinators at different locations of IslandWood. Using observation and data collection skills, students will draw conclusions about the relationship between location and number of pollinators/types of pollinators.


  • Students will be able to:
    • Identify pollinators of the PNW
    • Identify changed and measured variables
    • Identify relationships between variables
    • Support a conclusion based on gathered evidence


  • Formative:
    • What is a pollen? What do pollinators do? Why are they important? What does it mean to investigate? Why do people investigate? What is a changed variable? What is a measured variable?
  • Summative:
    • For a summative assessment of investigation students will be able to state a description of the data points found during the field investigation. Students should be able to state where they found the most pollinators, where they found the least amount, what they would do differently, and or why they believe they found the results.

Age group: 4th-6th grade

Venue/s: Pollinator garden, garden, or forest

Materials: Journals, clock, pencil

Time: 1.5 hours


The Lesson Plan:


This lesson could be preceded by a planting lesson for specific pollinator plants where the instructor asks the students to determine what plants would attract certain pollinators. Then asking the students, “How can we figure out if this true?” Or it could be followed by a pollinator lesson in which the student would determine what pollinators are, what types of plants they are attracted to, and why they are important.


This part of the lesson should follow a mini/intro lesson about pollinators in order to gain buy-in and build understanding/baseline of the students. Once students know what pollinators are they can conduct an investigation looking at three different locations in the forest, in the garden, or even three different arches in the pollinator garden.

The students can be broken into three groups where each group will examine a different section for two minutes counting all the pollinators they can see (humming birds, bees, beetles, butterflies). This part of the lesson can be manipulated to serve the question’s needs. For example: if the students are examining the difference between garden, forest, and pond, they can look for number of all pollinators seen. If the students are looking within the pollinator arches, they can see which arch is attracting more of the designated pollinator.

After the collection of data points the student will begin to look at the connections between the points and should talk in small groups about why they believe they found the data presented. The instructor can ask questions like, “Why do you believe there were more bees seen in the bee arch than hummingbirds?” After group discussion, the student will begin to write their conclusion (see Investigation Conclusion wiki page for detailed description of this section).


Transfer of Learning:

Do you think it is important to have pollinators? Why or why not? What are some benefits and challenges of having a pollinator garden? What could you do to attract native pollinators to your home community?




Created/Adapted by  Don Miller 2015

Other Pages of Interest: