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Give Bees a Chance

School: Genesee Community Charter School

City/State: Rochester, NY

Grade(s): 6

Format(s): Report: Science

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Social Studies

Project Overview

This book was created by 6th grade students at the Genesee Community Charter School as part of a learning expedition on bees and beekeeping.

The 6th grade - the last grade in this K-6 school - has a tradition of undertaking a capstone expedition that contributes to their community and requires significant field research. Students during this year brainstormed a number of topics and issue they were interested in exploring, and then split into teams to research those topics and advocate for their adoption by the full class. Teams presented their research to the class and rationale for how their adopted topic could meet content and skill standards, could address an important community need, and would be exciting to explore. The topic that won the class decision process was an investigation of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) – a local and national threat to bees, beekeeping and pollination of important crops.

Students decided that the best way to investigate CCD was to study local bee keepers, and at the same time celebrate their work. Through their book, students aimed to help people understand the importance of bees to the production of food – and the impact CCD could have on people’s lives. 

To research their topic, students did fieldwork with local bee keepers, during which they interviewed the bee keepers and took digital photographs of their work.

The book was produced on professional, glossy paper, center-staple bound, using the school’s in-house production machine. The images from the book were also turned into an informative museum exhibit, which was displayed at the local Seneca Zoo.

This book, and many others like it, are available for purchase on the school’s website.

Student work also helped to support beekeeping in Madagascar. 

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Very high quality model of an interview book
  • Great model for service learning
  • Intriguing idea for a study
  • Excellent graphic layout: the format artfully combines writing with student-taken digital photography on attractive colored backgrounds
  • Includes a one-page overview of the project, which helps to orient the reader to the overall scope of the students’ work
  • Professional-quality production lends the product a sophisticated feel
  • Highlights students doing extensive fieldwork

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized.
  • I can use evidence from a variety of grade appropriate texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
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