- Pollinator Jeopardy cards or questions to read
- Chalkboard/dry-erase board or Jeopardy board
Pollinators are animals that move pollen from one flower to another so that the plants can produce fruits and seeds. Most pollinators are insects, including bees, wasps, butterflies, flies, ants, and beetles. But some plants are pollinated by birds, such as hummingbirds, and some are pollinated by bats!
While most of these creatures are small, they are not insignificant! For without pollinators we wouldn’t be able to enjoy many of the foods we eat. We’d miss out on foods like apples, cucumbers, zucchini, almonds, and strawberries, which develop from flowers after they’ve been pollinated. We’d also lose many food plants that are grown from seed, like lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli, since without pollination the plants can’t produce the seeds needed to grow more plants. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every three mouthfuls we eat depends on pollination! And it’s not just food crops that benefit from pollinators. Over 75% of all flowering plants are pollinated by insects and other animals. Vital links in the web of life, pollinators are an integral part of healthy ecosystems worldwide.
Learn more at:
Encourage Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
Laying the Groundwork
KidsGardening offers a wide variety of lessons and activity ideas to help you introduce your students to pollinators and the important work that they do.
- Pollinator Lessons: Pollinator Activity Kit
- Pollinator Patch Program
- Petal Attraction
- Planning a Pollinator Garden
- Be a Bee
- Pollinator Celebration Meal
Draw out a Jeopardy board on a white board or chalkboard, or if planning to do your activity outside, you can also construct a mobile Jeopardy game board as pictured above. Your board should have 5 categories and then 5 questions within each category. You can choose the value of each question, but they are listed below in ranked order from easiest to hardest and so traditional 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 points would be appropriate.
- Here are some sample questions that you can use. You may need to alter the questions based on the lessons that were delivered and/or the age of your students. Also, note that these are general questions based on a “typical” flowers and pollinators. Download the questions in a card format.
Category 1: Flower Parts
Question 1: This part of the flower helps attract the attention of pollinators and is usually brightly colored or decorated with patterns.
Answer: What are petals?
Question 2: This product of the flower is usually yellow in color and moved from one flower to another to help make seeds.
Answer: What is pollen?
Question 3: Many flowers produce this sweet liquid that many pollinators like to consume.
Answer: What is nectar?
Question 4: This part of the flower makes the pollen.
Answer: What is the stamen? (The anther is another acceptable answer.)
Question 5: This part of the flower is sticky on the top to catch pollen and makes seeds at the bottom.
Answer: What is the pistil?
Categories 2: Flower-Pollinator Pairings
Question 1: This pollinator is one of most common and hard-working pollinators known for being attracted to a wide diversity of plants. It is known for making honey.
Answer 1: What is a honeybee? (A bee is another acceptable answer.)
Question 2: This pollinator is attracted to flowers that smell stinky or smell like rotting fruit or meat.
Answer 2: What is a fly?
Question 3: This pollinator is a fan favorite because of its delicate and beautifully decorated wings.
Answer 3: What is a butterfly?
Question 4: These pollinators are attracted to flowers that are white, give off a sweet smell and bloom at nighttime.
Answer 4: What are bats and moths?
Question 5: These pollinators like flat, wide-open flowers that have a lot of pollen.
Answer 5: What are beetles?
Category 3: Designing a Pollinator Garden
Question 1: This liquid is needed for all animal life to survive.
Answer 1: What is water?
Question 2: In a pollinator garden, is it is better to plant lots of different kinds of plants or lots of the same type of plant?
Answer 2: Lots of different kind of plants (a diversity).
Question 3: You should avoid using this kind of chemical in a pollinator garden.
Answer 3: What is a pesticide?
Question 4: What we call plants that grow in their original, natural ecosystem.
Answer 4: What are native plants.?
Question 5: Pollinator gardens need food sources for these two stages of the insect life cycle.
Answer 5: What is larva and adult?
Categories 4: True or False
Question 1: All plants need pollinators to help them produce seed.
Answer 1: False. Not all plants need pollinators to help them move pollen from one plant to another. Some rely on other helpers like wind and water.
Question 2: Apples need pollinators to make fruit and seeds.
Answer 2: True.
Question 3: Cucumbers need pollinators.
Answer 3: True.
Question 4: Corn needs pollinators to seeds.
Answer 4: False. Corn plants and most other cereal crop plants and plants in the grass family are pollinated with help from the wind.
Question 5: Carrots need pollinators.
Answer 5: True. Although we eat the root of the carrot and not the fruit, if a carrot plant does not make more seeds, then it cannot make new plants and the species will eventually die out.
Category 5: Pollinator Problems
Question 1: Is the number of pollinators in our world increasing or decreasing?
Answer 1: Decreasing.
Question 2: Why does new construction of roads, houses and businesses impact pollinator populations?
Answer 2: It decreases the size of their habitat.
Question 3: Do pollinators get diseases?
Answer 3: Yes, just like people, pollinators can be impacted by a wide variety of diseases.
Question 4: Can people make decisions and take actions that will help protect pollinators in our environment.
Answer 4: Yes!
Question 5: This term is used to describe changes in environmental conditions that impact things like temperatures and rainfall.
Answer 5: What is climate change.
- Divide your class into teams and then let the game begin. Each team can choose one question at a time. Read the question and ask that the team indicate they want to answer by raising their hand or by using some kind of other indicator like ringing a bell. If they get the answer wrong, you can call on a second group to answer. Keep track of the score.
- Find a fun, pollinator-friendly reward for your winning team, such as a special trip to your pollinator garden or a treat available thanks to a pollinator, like an apple or strawberries.
Use your new knowledge to make a difference. Plan a pollinator awareness event in your school or your community. Host an open house at your pollinator garden. Create your own Pollinator Times newsletter.
Start a pollinator journal and spend time observing pollinators at work in your school garden or schoolyard. Download the KidsGardening My Pollinator Journal to record your notes.