(5/14 – 5/18) We rowed The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco and I learned a whole lot about bees! They are some industrious insects and pretty amazing! This was a fun and sweet book about an adventure a little girl has with her Grandpa and a whole slew of people they pass along their way to the bee tree. In the end she discovers that the adventures within the pages of a book can be just as rewarding as a high speed chase to a bee tree and as sweet as honey.
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 the exciting chase, but it’s not until everyone returns home that Mary Ellen makes a discovery of her own: Sometimes, even the sweetest of things must be worked for. ~excerpt from The Bee Tree, by Patricia Polacco
We learned about:
- the different types of bees and their jobs—watched Nova Tales From the Hive and visited a working bee farm.
- how honey is made and what makes up a bee colony
- that a colony only goes after one type of flower—I found this to be amazing!
- life cycle of a bee, body parts of a bee, examined a bee using our microscope
- how to make a map
- the state of Michigan
Jack completed a preschool pack about bees throughout our time rowing. The first part of our week with bees we set out to visit a bee farm. I was very excited to see how the bees are kept and how the honey was hived, etc. I think more than the boys! With the monsoon like weather we’ve had since the end of April our trip was far from what it could have been, but we still got to learn much and have some hands-on fun, even if it wasn’t the full experience. I would like to travel back for another field trip in the future for sure!
The kids all bottled honey, made wax figurines and small candles. We enjoyed honey for a long while after we were back home and have added it to our diet on a daily basis for a plethora of reasons. Those were all of the pictures I got at the bee farm. It started pouring shortly after and we didn’t get to take advantage of the rest of what they offered because it was outdoors. Bummer for sure, but the kids had fun getting soaking wet playing in the rain, lol! They played in it for about an hour and then we headed home—they were all drenched, but it was worth it to see them have a blast just being kids.
We examined a bee under our microscope. We were able to identify all of a bee’s anatomy and even see in detail the compound eyes—it was really cool! Joe drew a map of Grandpa and Mary Ellen’s journey from start to finish as they followed the bee’s trail to the tree. He really had fun making his map. He put a lot of thought, time and energy into planning and drawing it and I was just so proud of him.
Here are the rest of his lapjournal pages from our row.
We enjoyed our time with this book and learning about bees. We will definitely have to make sure to revisit this one down the road during nice weather and take another trip to the bee farm. We are enjoying slower days as we periodically break from the three R’s and row at a slower pace. Currently we are rowing Night of the Moonjellies and having fun getting our toes wet in the sand and sun!
Ideas, inpspiration and printables for this row can be found at:
- Five in a Row Volume 3 manual
- Homeschool Share’s The Bee Tree printables
- Apologia Botany and Flying Creatures books
- Netflix or YouTube for viewing Nova Tales From the Hive
- 2 Teaching Mommies Bee Preschool Pack
- Parts of a bee anatomy printable
- Michigan notebooking pages—Joe has been using these notebooking pages for the 50 states for a few months now and they are my favorite (and free!)
- Preschool Corner and 5K Too!
- Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up