Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Sometimes big is better…
so suggests Matthew Willey, an American artist who paints honeybees bigger than bricks on a school wall.
What’s the BIG Buzz About? – Willey explains what the BIG buzz is about…
It’s about commanding attention around the importance of honeybees.
His attention – and he hopes ours will be too – teachers and students in every nation – is focused on the declining populations of pollinating bees in the US and on the need for healthy hives worldwide.
The Magic Number – 50,000 – According to a recent article about this unique muralist, Willey’s goal is to paint 50,000 honeybees in murals in public places across the globe.
Scientists and Willey’s website report that 50,000 honeybees is the number of bees needed for a healthy hive.
Help kids begin to make the connection between healthy beehives and our own health.
NOTE: K-5 teachers may need to modify information available online about human health benefits from beehives to be age-appropriate for students.
Show your group a giant colorful bee poster that begins to explain what the BIG buzz is about.
If any students cry out, “Oh no, I’m scared of bees,” gently remind them that the bees you have to share aren’t scary at all.
Big paper bees can’t sting!
A poster that shouts out, “We love honeybees!” may invite kids to sing.
Sing a Song of the Honeybee – Help children remember what the BIG buzz is about – the importance of honeybees – by singing a song about the bee.
If time is short, invite the class to follow the two lines of lyrics below with any melody you improvise.
Keeping honeybees healthy keeps us healthy too, you see,
We love honeybees!
In the recent article about Willey’s larger-than-life-size work, he says, “I can make them (the honeybees) big enough so people can see them more clearly.”
Lesson Plans that Buzz about Honeybees – If you can, check out the wonderful variety of online lesson plans and activities about honeybees for children that can work in classrooms or camps any time of year. Use these resources as guides to create your own lesson or camp plans.
Teaching kids about the importance of honeybees and healthy hives can be fun as well as functional!
Try this word play…
Write a Shape Poem about a Honeybee Buzzing About – Make a master to copy of a simple line drawing of a honeybee, like you see here.
Or post the basic shape of a honeybee on a board for students to copy onto white paper.
Challenge kids to write about a honeybee buzzing about with the words of their poems around the outside shape of the bee.
Ask if they agree that writing around the honeybee shape makes the poem buzz right along with the bee!
Allow kids to color the inside of their bee shape poems yellow, like real honeybees.
Invite student volunteers to show and read their honeybee shape poems aloud to the group.
Make Your Own Honeybee Mural – Share a short version of Matt Willey’s story with your class.
Show them a photo, if you can, of the artist painting one of his enormous honeybee murals.
Ask kids if they’d like to make their own honeybee mural.
If the group is enthusiastic, a simple way to make a mural is to cut a large piece of white or brown craft paper.
Place the paper on the floor/ground. (A paper mural allows you to hang it and take it down without permanently affecting any surface.)
Start the mural with poster paint (Find a photo or drawing of a honeybee to use as a model)
Let kids get started painting more bees all across the paper.
Another option is to instruct kids to draw, color and cut out large honeybees. Tape or glue the bees to the mural paper.
Catch more attention and listen for laughter when you invite your group of artists to literally “buzz about” the finished mural when you hang it up.
Please send comments about how you have taught children to appreciate the importance of honeybees.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet