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Sphex ichneumoneus  Great Golden Digger Wasp    Adult wasps visit flowers to feed on nectar but capture grasshoppers and kaydids to feed to their young.
Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus). Adult wasps visit flowers to feed on nectar but capture grasshoppers and kaydids to feed to their young. Photo by: P. Ersts.

Education

The following resources include a sampling of curricula on pollinators and pollinator conservation suitable for K-12 students. Please let us know about other useful programs and curricula and we’ll add them to this list.

Regional

NYC Butterfly Project

A local elementary school curricula about all pollinators, with an emphasis on butterflies.

National

Pollinator Live

A free distance-learning program about pollinators geared to grades 4 to 8. The following are two specific programs, one for students and the other for educators:

Lesson plans for almost every grade level K–12 

Teacher training web seminars

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign

NAPPC is a partnership among 120 diverse organizations, agencies, and individuals committed to protecting pollinators. For curricula about pollinators and their needs, see here

Pollinator Partnership

Pollinator curriculum for grades 3 to 6. A 127-page pdf includes background on pollinators as well as the scientific method. Has 6 modules, all including lesson plans/activities; pre and post assessments to measure changes in knowledge, attitude, and behavior; and supplemental information. The modules build on each other, so they must be done in order. The website also contains many other resources and helpful links.

Smithsonian Institution

Three pollination lesson plans including introduction and activity sheets for each. The first is on flower reproduction, pollinators, and how pollen moves from stamen to stigma. The second covers the link between food production and pollination. The third is on the connection between pollinators and the plants they pollinate, including the adaptations these plants have developed to enable pollination.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

A number of links to other websites and resources. Most are for younger children, but there are links to other outreach programs related to pollinators.

Monarchs in the Classroom 

Lesson plans divided into three sections: K to 2, 3 to 6, and middle and high school. Most of the lesson plans are only about monarchs, but some cover insects in general. Each lesson plan includes the objective, background, and procedure, as well as worksheets or data sheets.

National Gardening Association Hooked on Hummingbirds Website

A useful website on the importance of hummingbirds to pollination. Includes a guide to building a garden to attract them and what flowers to plant. A link called Curriculum Connection leads to a page with a number of links to different activities for students, from outdoor observation of hummingbird behavior to flower structure and bird adaptations. Most appropriate for grades 7 and below, although no age is specified.

National Gardening Association Pollination Partners Website

Includes background on pollination, which plants are best suited for pollinators, and instructions on how to create a pollinator garden for children. In the Biodiversity Detectives section, students in small groups are assigned or choose a 1-square-meter area to observe the abundance and types of pollinators, other animals, and plants.