This week the purple room finished up our work with bees. This was a more in depth, two-day lesson that provided so much rich material for conversation and exploration. Our community hive is finished and hanging proudly in the block area. Kids are still talking about the queen bee and all the interesting facts we learned over the course of our lesson.
We also started a new work this week that naturally follows this bee lesson- a flower dissection. I specifically asked my dear family for lilies this Mother's Day, because they are beautiful, but also because I wanted to put them to good use after they adorned our kitchen for a day or so. The first thing everyone notices about the flowers is their strong smell and their beautiful colors. Pink, red, yellow, brown, green, white. Upon close inspection so many colors reveal themselves. We discussed how these delightful features of the flowers are what attracts the bees. Then we took a closer look at the pollen and nectar (what the bees are looking for) and the structures that house these treasures. After carefully taking apart the pieces and discussing their names and functions, kids used scissors to chop and cut and search as they wished. We've been using magnifying glasses to try to get a closer look inside the ovule, where a flower makes it's seeds.
Finally, we pressed some of the plant parts on wax paper and have been hanging them on our door to further inspire thoughts about flowers and their component parts.