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Canadian Agriculture at a Glance Teacher's Kit > Lesson plans

Lesson: Little bees, big potential

View the article (PDF)

Curriculum connections
Notes to teacher
Teaching and learning strategies
Assessment/evaluation strategies
Accommodation and enrichment strategies
Links to other activities
Suggestions for further research


This activity looks at bees and the important role they play in food production. Particular attention is paid to the leafcutting bee and how its positive attributes benefit modern agriculture.

Curriculum connections


  • demonstrates an understanding of the diversity of agricultural endeavours in Canada
  • identifies the human factors that affect food production.

Family Studies/Home Economics

  • identifies factors that affect food supply in Canada
  • investigates food-related issues.


  • describes ways in which research has brought about improvements in human health and nutrition
  • recognizes that scientific knowledge has evolved and that technology has played a major role in this process
  • teaches an appreciation of the role and contribution of science to our understanding of the world.

Notes to teacher

In this unit, farm-profile activities can be a co-operative group activity. Students can be divided into groups of "experts" to learn about one of the farms profiled; they can then teach the rest of the class about their topic.

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. Students read article "Little bees, big potential," pages 87 to 92 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  2. Students complete the chart in the worksheet, comparing the honeybee to the leafcutter bee.
  3. Students draw the life cycle of the leafcutter, explaining the work that they do throughout their life cycle and how they are beneficial to agriculture.
  4. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Assess chart for completion and accuracy.
  2. Evaluate the life cycle of the leafcutter bee.

Accommodation and enrichment strategies

  1. Some students may require assistance in order to complete written work.
  2. Students with special needs may work with a partner to complete a task.
  3. Templates for note-taking should be provided to students with special needs.
  4. Main ideas and/or new information should be mapped out and organized to meet the needs of all students.
  5. Wherever possible, vocabulary lists should be provided with a discussion of context clues and related vocabulary.
  6. For enrichment, students can investigate bees in their region and how they are being used to pollinate crops.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can investigate other uses of insects in agriculture.
  • Students can use 2001 Census of Agriculture data in E-STAT for data analysis, graphing and mapping activities for specific geographic areas of local interest.

Please send comments or examples of how you used this lesson in your class to Learning Resources.

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Date modified: 2008-05-20 Important Notices