Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: In the Trees, Honey Bees



 In the Trees, Honey Bees written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Cris Arbo is an amazingly illustrated story about the jobs of honey bees and their interaction with the surrounding environment.  In the Trees, Honey Bees offers explanations of the different roles of honey bees such as worker, drone and queen.  One of the best aspects of this book are the illustrations, they are detailed and offer the reader a glimpse inside the hives of honey bees.  The last two pages of the book present a more elaborate account of the honey bee both inside the hive, and out.

Curriculum Connections

 There are numerous different lessons for which In the Trees, Honey Bees can be used.  It can be used for instruction on habitat, animal life cycles and behavioral adaptations to environment.(2.4a)  This book is appropriate for many different grade levels.  It provides students with an example of how animals rely on their environment to survive.(1.5a)  It would be perfect for a lesson on conserving resources and our own relationship with the environment.

Additional Resources

  • Tales from the Hive, this is a great PBS site about the anatomy of a honey bee hive and it also explains how bees dance.
  • The National Honey Board, this website has some great free downloads and a teacher’s guide for sale at a discounted rate for educators.
  • Honey Bee Lesson Plan, detailed lesson plan that discusses honey bee biology, pollination, pheromones and the “waggle” dance.

Book: In the Trees, Honey Bees
Author: Lori Mortensen
Illustrator: Cris Arbo
Publisher: Dawn Publications
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 29
Grade Range: 1-3
ISBN: 978-1-58469-114-3

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