Science - Year 3
Plants – Block 3P
Artful Flowers, Fruits and Seeds
© Original resource copyright Hamilton Trust, who give permission for it to be adapted as wished by individual users.
We refer you to our warning, at the foot of the block overview, about links to other websites.
Instructions for Making a Model Bee
For each bee you will need: Half a rectangular (car wash) sponge, 3 pipe cleaners, a rectangle of black
cotton or similar plain black fabric (32 x 26 cm approx.), a needle and plenty of strong black thread,
10cm length of thick wire, a black bendy wire tie (12cm approx.), a strip of plain yellow dishcloth or
yellow felt (6x28cm), an A4 sheet of thin white card, wing template (from session resources), stapler,
PVA glue and spreader, scissors, pencil
1. Cut your sponge in half lengthways
and then wrap your black fabric around it.
There should be plenty of excess fabric at
2. Fold over the fabric at one end and tie it off tightly with a
length of thread. Wrap it round 2 or 3 times making sure
you catch the layer of folded back fabric. Then knot it
securely on the underside (the side that has the folded
flap). This section will be the bee’s head.
3. Next make the thorax by wrapping round another length of thread a
little further down. Make sure you pull the sponge and fabric in tight. Once
again, knot your thread securely on the underside. Cut away any excess thread
from your knots.
4. Fold the excess fabric at the other end into a point
and staple or sew it together to make the bee’s tail
5. Lay 3 pipe cleaners along the underside of the thorax and use a needle
and thread to stitch them in place. A simple over stitch pulled nice and tight
over all 3 together is easy and effective. Then separate the pipe cleaners by
fanning them out and bend them into jointed legs.
6. Cut 3 strips from your yellow cloth (2 x 28cm approx.) and paint PVA glue along
the entire length of one side. Wrap the strips around the body of your bee to
make 3 stripes. Make sure they overlap on the underside of the body.
7. While you wait for your stripes to dry, make your antennae. Fold
your bendy black tie wire into a U shape and loop back the ends. Use a
needle and thread to stitch it to the top of your bee’s head.
8. Finally make and attach your wings. Fold your sheet of A4 card in half
and draw around the template against the fold. Cut it out and open it
up. You will have a pair of wings that are joined in the centre. Take your
piece of thick wire and work it underneath the thread between the
thorax and body (on the topside of your bee). Once it comes through,
fold a small loop of wire back like a hook (to stop it slipping out). Slide
the wings under the wire. Wiggle the wire upwards towards the head
and then back down again so it embeds itself underneath the first 2
stripes. This will hold the wire in place. Your bee is finished although
you could stick on some googly eyes to give it more character.
Flower Model Reminder Sheet
1. You need 6 matching petals. If you are working with a partner, paint 3 each.
2. Decide whether to use 1, 2 or 3 colours
3. Select colours that are close on the colour wheel and use
watercolour crayons to colour each petal
4. Blend your colours by brushing with
water from the base upwards
5. Arrange 3 of your petals in a Y shape by sticking them onto a circle or around a
6. Then stick a second layer of 3 petals in
the spaces in between
7. Make the reproductive parts for your
flower and stick them in the centre of
Waggle Dance Game Instructions
This is a game for 2 teams. The teams take it in turns to be bees and flowers. For each round, one of
the bees must communicate the location of a target flower by doing the waggle dance. The rest of the
hive then fly to the flower they think is the one with the best nectar. The team wins points for every
bee that selects the right flower.
You will need:
A playing space - this could be the classroom, the hall or even an outside space. Ideally the space
needs a hive area where the bees can buzz about and waggle dance. So if you are using the classroom
it would need a carpeted area (or you could move the tables back).
Some sticky-notes and a pen
To play the Game
1. Divide the class into 2 equal (or almost equal teams). Name one the Honeybees and the other
the Bumblebees. Explain that the winning team will be the team who best communicates using
the waggle dance.
2. Explain that the teams will take it in turns to be bees and flowers. The Bumblebees will start by
being the flowers. They should spread themselves out in a circle (or semicircle if you are in the
classroom and your carpet area is at the edge of the room). The flowers should be close enough
to touch each other with extended arms. Don’t worry if your space is small as it doesn’t matter
if the flowers are closer than arm’s length apart. Try to get the flowers evenly spaced. Once the
flowers are in position, they should stand still and silent (as flowers do), although of course it’s
fine to wave gently in the breeze.
3. The Honeybees should stand in the middle. This is the beehive.
4. Write the name of one of the flower children secretly on a sticky-note.
5. Explain to the children that you are going to secretly select one of the Honeybees and tell them
who the flower with the best nectar is. Only that bee will know which flower it is. All the
Honeybees should close their eyes and put the heel of their palms gently over their eyes to
ensure no peeking. Tell the children that you have the name of the flower with the best nectar
written on a folded sticky-note in your hand and you will choose the bee by gently touching one
of them on the head. The bee who feels this should open their eyes and look at the name on
the sticky-note in the teacher’s hand. They should quickly check on where this flower is
6. Walk slowly around the bees before selecting your target. After this child has seen the name,
continue walking slowly around for a few more seconds to make it less obvious where the
target bee is.
7. Tell the honeybees they can open their eyes. Then ask all the bees to buzz gently around the
hive, they can fly to a flower or two if they like (without touching the flowers) and back to the
hive but they should keep alert because one of them is going to begin a waggle dance after a
few seconds. The bee who knows where the good nectar is should do their waggle dance in the
centre of the hive as a figure of eight (as practised in the lesson) and perform the waggle
section 3 times, pointing in the direction of the named flower but without looking at that
flower. They should then fly off outside the circle.
8. Now shimmer the tambourine to signal that it’s time to choose which flower has the best
nectar. All the bees in the hive must fly to the flower they think it is before the tambourine
stops shimmering. Explain to the children that it is best for each bee to make up their own mind
and not just go to the same flower as everyone else because they might be wrong!
9. Ask the Waggle Dance bee to tell everyone which flower had the best nectar. The honeybees
will get a point for every bee that got it right.
10. Swap over bees and flowers and play again.
11. Play more rounds if time allows and add scores as you go. If it is too easy, play a second round
with the flowers closer together.
Session 2 Teachers’ Notes
Waggle Dance Film Clip
This clip is great for showing how bees communicate using the waggle dance and has some lovely
footage taken inside a hive. It is not aimed at a child audience though and contains rather more detail
than needed about the angle of the sun. At this stage, it is sufficient for children to know that the
direction of the dance tells the other bees where to find the flower.
Water Soluble Crayons
These crayons are readily available from most educational art and craft catalogues although they are
fairly expensive to buy if you do not already have them. They provide an easy and controlled way for
children to create an impressive colour grading effect. Providing children with high quality resources
will almost always lead to higher quality outcomes.
You can get the same effect using watercolours by creating a wash of one colour and while it is still
wet, introducing a second colour.
It is a bit trickier but with a little practice the children will achieve good results. Encourage them to
choose 2 colours that are close on the colour wheel and have them ready mixed in their pallet before
It is suggested that the children work in pairs on a flower, painting 3 petals each. Cut between the
templates for the pointed and flat top petals to divide them into chunks of 3 petals so each child can
work on their own.
The flat petal design is much easier to model than the bell shape. If you do not have an extra adult to
help, you may decide to encourage everyone to stick to the flat design. The different choices of petal
shape and colour will still give your flowers lots of variety. Alternatively, if you would like some pairs to
model the bell shape, you could pre-make the little cardboard cups.
It is suggested that yo