In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses a recent listing of yellow-faced bees on the endangered list. This is the first time any type of bee has ever been listed as endangered. The text describes how the yellow-faced bee population in Hawaii has been decimated by invasive species, habitat loss, and climate change. The text also describes an innovative approach by researchers to help bring these bees back from the verge of extinction. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.
Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10
Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Overhead Projector, Speakers/Headphones
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: invasive, endangered, bees, pollination, Hawaii, habitat loss, invertebrate, conservation, ecology, ecosystem, predator, text complexity, informational text
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students should be able to:
- identify the consequences of climate change, human activities, and invasive species on biodiversity, specifically that of the situation in Hawaii with the yellow-faced honey bee.
- cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- determine the meaning of unknown academic or domain-specific words in the text.
- determine the central ideas of the text.
- construct a written response that clearly establishes the main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
In regards to science:
- General familiarity with bees and their life cycle would be beneficial to students. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers a brief of some basic information on bees in the genus Hylaeus.
- This PDF from the University of Hawai'i gives specific information on Hawaiian yellow-faced bees.
- Students should have basic knowledge of species' interactions and predator-prey dynamics, as well as how these interactions can be shaped by ecological factors such as habitat loss and invasive species. For example, students should be able to recognize that there are limiting factors, like food, water and space.
- Discussing the competitive exclusion principal with the students would increase their understanding of the article.
- This five-minute CPALMS perspective video on measuring biodiversity is a great review.
- This TedEd video on "Why is Diversity so Important?" is a great overall tutorial.
- This short video (approx. five minutes) from How Stuff Works explains what an invasive species is and provides some examples.
In regards to literacy skills:
- Students should have prior experience using various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text, including use of word parts, context clues, and dictionary skills.
- Students should understand the term “central idea” and be able to distinguish central ideas from key details.
- “Central idea” means the same thing as “main idea.” The central idea is the author’s main point about the topic or topics in a text. The central ideas are the dominant, most important, or chief ideas that emerge from all the ideas presented in a text. Students should be aware that the author can have several main points he or she wants to make about the topic or topics in a piece of writing, and as a result, there can be multiple central ideas in a text, especially in longer more complex pieces.
- Key, or in other words, important, details in a text help an author support and develop his or her central ideas.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in the National Geographic endangered bees article include a title, subtitle, headings, a photographs, and two captions. The online version of the article also includes an embedded video.
- Based on the writing rubric provided with this lesson, students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next. Teachers might wish to provide students with a sheet of transitions to help them. This site provides transitions teachers might provide.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- Why was there a need to list yellow-faced bees as endangered?
- The yellow-faced bees were listed because their population has dropped dramatically. They were once the most abundant Hawaiian insect. They are essential pollinators for many of the plants in Hawaii. If these pollinators are lost, then the biodiversity will plummet in Hawaii. Researchers hope that by placing the bees on the endangered list it will help strengthen plans to help the insects.
- What are the causes of the decline of yellow-faced bees?
- The causes of the decline of yellow-faced bees includes habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change.
- How do scientists and Hawaiian leaders plan to protect and re-establish the yellow-faced bees' population?
- Artificial nest boxes are being produced to help re-establish new colonies. The idea of setting aside strongholds as conservation areas has been proposed as well. (Areas free from agriculture and development.)
- How might climate change, human activities, and invasive species affect biodiversity, specifically in regards to the situation with yellow-faced bees in Hawaii?
- See the text-dependent questions answer key for a sample essay response to this question.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by posing a general question to the class: "What types of insects do you think are most important to an ecosystem?"
- Students are likely to suggest pollinators like honey bees, any insect that eats mosquitoes, butterflies, dragonflies, lady bugs and various other insects.
- The teacher may want to consider using the example of the honeybee and discuss their importance as pollinators.
- Students are likely to know bees are pollinators, but they may not truly understand what that means. The teacher may want to explain at this point how bees pollinate plants.
- Next, ask students: "What is habitat loss?"
- At least some students in the class should be able to define this term. It is the loss of a place for organisms to call home. It is caused mostly by humans, and it is the biggest threat to biodiversity. Even if students are not familiar with the term in an ecological context, they should be able to guess at the meaning simply by defining the words.
- Next, ask students: "What is biodiversity?"
- Students might speculate that biodiversity has to do with life and the types of life on the planet. A few students may be able to correctly define this term: the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.
- End the discussion by informing students that they will be reading an article that addresses the consequences of habitat loss and invasive species for the yellow-faced bees, a key pollinator in Hawaii.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Provide each student with a “For the First Time, Bees Declared Endangered in the U.S.” For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph within each section. They can also number the sections (for example, Section 1 follows the subtitle, section 2 begins with "Ignored Insects," section 3 begins with "Deadly Invaders," section 4 begins with "Giving Bees a Boost," section 5 begins with "We Can Do More").
- Provide each student with a note-taking guide.
- Before students begin reading, direct them to pay attention to the text features of the article to help them learn and locate information:
- Title: For the First Time, Bees Declared Endangered in the U.S.
- Subtitle: Seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bee, decimated by invasive species and habitat loss, are now federally protected.
- Headings: Ignored Insects, Deadly Invaders, Giving Bees a Boost, We Can Do More.
- Captions: Located under the photograph and under the embedded video.
- Have students fill out the note-taking guide as they read the text. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in a small group. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
- Students should define any words they put down in column one.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words. For domain-specific (in other words, subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge and use a dictionary to define the words.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' completed note-taking guide, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
- For discussion on students' answers to the words they defined, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to provide alternative suggestions as to how the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
- Misconception: Bees and other pollinators are not needed for humans to survive.
- Response: Students often don't realize that the food we eat is part of this cycle. The plant products we eat need to be pollinated and the sources of meat we eat often eat plants that also need to be pollinated (e.g., corn and wheat).
- Misconception: One type of bee can pollinate all flowers.
- Response: Bees or any type of pollinator can be specifically adapted to pollinate only one species or genus of flowers or plants. Some bees' bodies do not allow them to pollinate all flowers.This website shows an extreme example of the co-evolution of plants and their pollinators.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students’ answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the text-dependent questions sample answer key.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing prompt for the summative assessment be sure to review responses to the text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points described in the sample answer key.
- After students' written responses for the summative assessment have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a well-organized, detailed written response. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or withanLCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- Have students identify the argument provided in the introduction.
- Have students point out use of evidence from the article in the body paragraphs to support the paper's argument.
- Ask students to identify accurate and effective use of domain-specific vocabulary (e.g., habitat, invasive species, climate change, endangered, pollinator, biodiversity, ecosystem, organism, larvae) and academic vocabulary (e.g., forager, predator).
- As a final closure activity, have the students do a quick doodle. Give them 3 minutes to sketch a picture that represents what they learned in class today.
- Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric, and go over the rubric with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
- Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address.
- The prompt: Human activities and natural events can have profound effects on populations, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes. Using evidence from the text, argue whether or not you believe human activities are the cause for the decline of the yellow-faced bees in Hawaii. Also, identify any consequences the decline of yellow-faced bees will have on biodiversity.
- Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written response.
Specific suggestions for conducting the Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson.
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for providing Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond."
Accommodations & Recommendations
The text's grade band recommendation reflects the shifts inherent in the Florida Standards and is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Jennifer Heflick
District/Organization of Contributor(s): BrevardDistrict/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.