ECOLITERACY

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We are thrilled to be creating a section just for teachers. We will be expanding it over the next 6 months, so please check back periodically as we will be adding resources and lessons. We hope to soon have a portal where teachers can upload their wonderful and creative lesson plans for all to share.

Our Goal

Planet Bee Foundation is dedicated to creating environmental stewards of all ages, who will go on to have a positive impact on our interconnected world.

We understand that ethics and values are formed early in life, and therefore promote holistic approaches to education which include understanding the complexities of the natural world and the effect humans have on the Earth. We dream of an ecoliterate society with a higher concern for the greater good. When empathy and emotional intelligence are fostered and connections are drawn, it is more likely that positive actions will be taken. We hope our fellow educators around the world will work with us to create a more sustainable future, beginning in the classroom.

Why is it crucial to teach children to love and appreciate nature?

It is crucial for teachers to cultivate an emotional or value-based link between child and knowledge because this is how lifelong impacts can be made. You don’t just want a student to remember that the bees are in danger, you want them to feel concern for them, concern which will spur them to action. This emotional connection to knowledge is called affective learning. The environmental attitudes of adults are often based on this affective learning; on formative childhood experiences of emotional responses to nature or its destruction as well as role model parents or teachers. When you encourage students to love and want to protect honey bees, you can cultivate an environmental ethic in the next generation.

Why is interdisciplinary learning key to making knowledge go deep?

Interdisciplinary learning gives students a more integrative and well-rounded view of the world. It allows them to make connections instead of drawing boundaries. When an issue is approached from multiple angles, a deeper understanding is gained and effective solutions come to light. Issues of the environment are interdisciplinary in nature, as social, economic, ecological, cultural, and ethical components combine. It is only through understanding the interplay of such factors that we can create a truly sustainable world. By teaching about bees through the lenses of biology, ecology, economics, history, and conservation, you can give students a holistic understanding of the bees’ lives, validating their existence and inspiring actions of stewardship.

Why is it important to engage students in active, experiential learning?

Experiential learning means allowing your students to have their own experiences which they then reflect on and draw conclusions from, making them active rather than passive in the learning process. Studies show that the more experiences children have in nature, the more inventive and creative they will become, and the more concerned and active about the environment they will be. Additionally, studies show that physically acting out concepts has been shown to increase understanding of the concept. Lessons that involve hands-on, sensory interactions address all learning styles. When you allow students to learn through experience, the knowledge they gain will go deeper, integrating into their previous experiences and changing the way they look at the world forever.

Why is it essential to teach outdoors?

Academic Success

Studies show that children who participate in outdoor education programs receive better grades and test scores, exhibit better classroom behavior and fewer disciplinary problems, are more motivated and enthusiastic about learning, are able to concentrate for longer periods of time, and are less likely to drop out of school.

Physical Health

Outdoor education is particularly effective at helping children who don’t have access to the natural world perform better in school. Spending time being active outdoors also improves general physical fitness, decreases risks of obesity, and improves your immune system.  

Emotional development

Outdoor environmental education also advances children’s emotional development! One study found that students with higher levels of environmental concern were more socially mature, responsible, conscientious and value oriented than those who showed little concern. As educators, everything we present to children influences their thinking. When second grade math lessons focus on adding money, monetary importance is instilled in the minds of the students. If they are prompted instead to go outside and add the vast number of flowers a bee visits in a week, students are reminded that other animals are out in the world working just as hard as we are to sustain themselves. Ecological approaches to content, as opposed to anthropocentric approaches, allow students to learn in a way that will make them more responsible citizens of the world, treating other people, species, and non-living things with respect and equity.  

How does this help the greater good?

By educating today’s youth about environmental issues, you’re not only making a change in the present - you’re significantly impacting the future as well. Your students will grow up to become policymakers and investors, business owners and consumers. Every decision they make in their adult lives has the potential to make our planet more or less sustainable. A child who learns to love bees and wants to stop Colony Collapse Disorder could grow up to be the entomologist who solves the problem of parasitic Varroa mites. A student who feels a connection to the hive and develops compassion towards other species could go on to become a politician who passes legislation to protect threatened insect and animal species. By building an environmental ethic in your students, you are making an investment in a greener planet in the decades and centuries to come - a planet where hives are still thriving, and humans can continue to depend on bees for one third of our food supply.

Why teach about bees?

When you teach students about bees, you are engaging them in the complex and fascinating world of a different species. By immersing them in this knowledge, you can cultivate a sense of empathy for different species, and replace fear with respect and affection, breaking the trend of people caring more about the wellbeing of domesticated species than wild ones. When you introduce the issue of honey bee colonies collapsing at an unprecedented rate, you are encouraging your students to consider a real-world problem, and to get involved by taking individual action. Teaching your students about bees will empower as well as inform them, and bestow them with a new appreciation for the natural world around them.

Link here for our teacher resources which includes content for lessons about honeybees, CCD, and environmental stewardship as well as accompanying downloadable educational handouts/color sheets/word searches.