Today, I cannot wait to share about a recent bee unit study we did in our homeschool. Studying science with my kids is not my forte. But I love studying nature with my kids. I also love being able to focus on one topic and really dive deep–this is why I love unit studies.
With my first grader, I am loving re-discovering all the fun things I did with my now older kids. And I am also loving all the fun, new resources that have cropped up since I last had a first grader!
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to receive some amazing resources from a nature company I already knew and loved: Nature Watch. If you are planning any type of science or nature study, check with Nature Watch first!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I can’t wait to show you what we did for our simple bee unit study–and yes, it was super simple. Because there’s one thing I know about homeschooling all the ages by now–it has to be simple to stick to it. So if you can find a great company like Nature Watch to provide some great resources to make your study more doable, you go with it!
How I Planned a Simple Bee Unit Study
Gathering the Goods for Our Bee Unit Study
Since it’s already a challenge for me to get science completed with my kids, I knew I couldn’t overload with resources for our unit study.
First, we headed to the library and found all the fiction and non-fiction books we could about bees.
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These were a few of our favorite bee storybooks:
I looked in my old school files and found I had printed pages way back in 2012 to do a bee lapbook and they were still there! So those joined the library books too.
Next, I scoured Nature-Watch for great kits on bees. They have so much to choose from, but here’s what we settled on:
- Honeycomb Candle Making Kits so each kid could make a couple rolled candles.
- Make this Book into a Beehive book // this turned out to be SUCH a great book! It’s filled with activities and ideas and the entire book cover can be repurposed into a beehive! So cool!
- A Honey Sampling Kit that was so cool! There were four different types of honey and the kids had to fill out question forms to try to guess the flavor. Vera got all four correct on the first try!
Taste, See, Hear, Touch and Smell
When I plan a unit study, no matter the topic, I always want to make sure we’re covering all the senses. The honey definitely covered the taste buds!
Smell: Flowers we dissected–a project in the activity book listed above.
Hearing: We listened to the Flight of the Bumble Bee several times, which was so fun!
Sight: We were constantly on the hunt for busy bees outside and we even found a few that had died and were on the ground.
Touch: This was great when we made the honeycomb candles. It’s such a fun texture and they also smelled so pretty! Touch also came into play when our hands got sticky from honey!
Other Studies You Could Do With the Help of Nature Watch
Nature Watch has a HUGE website with so many resources, you could get lost there for days! I also love to get their magazine in the mail. It’s a great resource for gift ideas.
Here are some other things you could study with kids from Nature Watch:
- Animal Tracks
- Oceans & Sea Life
- Reptiles & Amphibians
- And so many more!
They have everything you’d want for your science and nature (and some history too!) study. Everything from nature guides to craft kits to replicas and more! I wish I could spend some time perusing their warehouse aisles!
Do you Love Nature? We Do Too!
- 100 Ways to Study Nature In Winter
- My Winter Nature Course with projects, poetry, journaling and more!
- How to Beat the Winter Blues this Winter
- Cozy-Schooling: How to Keep It Cozy in your Homeschool this Winter
Would you love a little help with teaching Nature Study?
Getting to your nature and science classes can be frustrating sometimes. We want to have meaningful, rich lessons with our kids, but there’s only so much of us to go around! That’s why I’ve used some other resources out there to make my job a little easier, such as Nature Watch!
Another idea would be to add in a new online class that just launched: No Sweat Nature Studies. These classes are twice a month, live, and from the comfort of your own home. Your child just has to bring a notebook or nature journal to the table. That’s it!
Each month, the instructor Cindy prepares a lesson for your kids and teaches right to them. There are two new classes a week and often bonus classes too. Each class is a different topic such as squirrels, seed dispersal, spiders, and more!
The classes each come with a simple guidebook with some extension activities and vocabulary words, but these aren’t necessary if you don’t wish to include them. The classes on their own are perfect!
Combining No Sweat Nature Studies + Nature Watch for the BEST Nature Unit Studies–and easiest for YOU!
I was thinking though, what if you could use the No Sweat Nature Study class and expand on it a bit with extra books from the library and a kit or two from Nature Watch?! That would be TOO FUN! And so easy for YOU, mama!
There’s an awesome insect guide, spider poster, Black Widow replica and kits that would be great to add to Cindy’s lesson on spiders!
For November, there’s a class coming up on Seed Dispersal. You could head over to Nature watch and grab their guides, posters, replicas–their forest in a box looks amazing too!
These resources make me so excited about studying nature with my kids this winter. It gets harder to get outside when the weather is fridged! These resources make it way easier!