Build a pollinator and learn about the importance of bugs to the ecosystem.

Lesson: Insects | What’s Bugging You?

Level: 4th Grade

Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden


  • SC.4.L.16.1: Heredity and Reproduction
  • SC.4.L.16.2: Heredity and Reproduction
  • SC.4.L.17.4: Interdependence
  • SC.4.N.1.1: The Practice of Science
  • SC.4.N.1.4: The Practice of Science
  • SC.4.N.1.6: The Practice of Science
  • SC.4.N.1.7: The Practice of Science


Learning Goals:

  • Students will be able define the terms pollination, pollinator, pests, and beneficial.
  • Students will be able to explain the process of pollination.
  • Students will be able to describe both the negative and positive effects insects have on humans and the ecosystem.


Resources for guided learning: Living Lab What’s Bugging You? Lab Book 1


  • Lab Books
  • Writing Utensils
  • iPads
  • Microscopes
  • Variety of Craft Supplies
  • Colored Cornstarch
  • Paper Plates Flowers
  • Tiny Pom Poms


Activity 1: Students are given lab books and asked to “warm up their brain” with a Word Splash activity on the field trip topic.

Activity 2: Students use microscopes to study a variety of insects, discuss their similarities and differences,  and record their findings in their lab books.

Activity 3: Students participate in the pollination station activity: form groups of 5 with each student starting at a paper plate with different colored pom poms on it (pomp oms colored with corn starch). Students must go to each plate and bring back 5 of each of the other types of pom poms to their plate. Students observe the different colors on their hands and plates. Teacher leads discussion about pollination.

Activity 4: Student groups participate in a scavenger hunt for insects around the Garden: recording their discoveries and observations in their lab book and taking photographs with the iPads.

Activity 5: Students regroup and use their recorded observations to identify patterns in location and type of insects observed. Students then discuss to create hypothesis based on this data.

Activity 6: Students use craft supplies to design and create their own pollinator. Students display their pollinator to the group and share the reasoning behind each decision they made in its creation.


You can download and print the lesson plan. Simply click on the link.

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