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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden


Pollinator Preferences with Budburst Nativars

Grades 5-8

Plants, Pollinators and People

Nativars Research Question
Should we include nativars in our garden?
Students Will Help Answer These Questions
How can we create a pollinator friendly garden?
Will all of the plants in our garden be attractive to the pollinators?
NGSS Topic
Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems (Grade 5)
Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems (Grades 6-8)

Unit 1 Overview

Oh, where have all the monarchs gone?

Core Activities
  1. 5 lessons
  2. 7-10 45-minute periods
Supplemental activities *
  1. 5 lessons
  2. 5-8 45-minute periods

* Supplemental activities provide additional supporting NGSS aligned content, but are not required to complete the unit.

  1. Lesson 1 - Core

    Firefighters to the Rescue!

    Students will be introduced to the local firehouse in a Chicago neighborhood that will begin their thinking about how a...

  2. Lesson 2 - Core

    Milkweed Habitat

    In this lesson, use the 'Milkweed Habitat: Home Sweet Home' story to engage students in a study about habitats and...

  3. Lesson 3 - Supplemental

    Habitats, Chains, and Webs

    Using some of the organisms featured in Lesson 2 (Milkweed Habitat) and organisms in other ecosystems, students will create simple...

  4. Lesson 4 - Core

    Patient Pollinator Count 1

    This activity provides students with hands-on experience observing pollination in their school’s Nativar Garden or areas around the school where...

  5. Lesson 5 - Supplemental

    Pollinator Super Powers

    Pollinators have special abilities to see guides that flowers provide to attract them; however, bees can’t distinguish red and butterflies...

  6. Lesson 6 - Supplemental

    Is This My Habitat? My Ecosystem? My World?

    This activity introduces students to the major components that make up an ecosystem; how biotic and abiotic factors determine what...

  7. Lesson 7 - Supplemental

    Patient Pollinator Count 2

    This activity is identical to Lesson 4’s Patient Pollinator Count 1. Allow students to complete this activity once or twice...

  8. Lesson 8 - Core

    Plotting Plants & Pollinators

    This is a class analysis of data to help answer the question: Do pollinators prefer cultivars of native plants species...

  9. Lesson 9 - Supplemental

    Pea Patch Pollinator Game

    Students play a simulation game modeling changes in a plant population (a Pea Patch) caused by patterns of pollination. The...

  10. Lesson 10 - Core

    Coming Back Home, a Success Story!

    Students have been learning about how pollinators have preferences AND how flowers attract specific pollinators. They have learned how to...

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