M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Prairie Plants and Pollinators

manimus Add to My Content  Add this lesson to My Content  
The Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Introduction to Prairie Plants and Pollinators
Although grasses dominate the prairies, it is the flowers that capture our eyes. The beautiful colours, sweet fragrances and sugary nectar of prairie flowers entice animals like butterflies, bees, flies, moths and hummingbirds into visiting them.

Prairie plants and pollinators are among the rarest organisms in Canada: less than ¼ of their original habitat remains. Through pollination these organisms interact with each other, helping to assure their mutual survival. Humans also depend on this process as many of our crop plants are insect-pollinated.

Below are five lesson plans created for the Prairie Pollination virtual exhibit. The lessons are intended to bring awareness of the importance of prairie pollinators in maintaining healthy and diverse ecosystems and providing food for people and animals.

Clicking on “View the Learning Object” will take the user to a lesson plan.
Flies: The Unsung Pollinator Heroes Activity
In this lesson, students will examine photographs of flies that pollinate plants and wild plants that are pollinated by flies. They will use diagrams to identify and label the parts of a fly, and the stages in their life cycle. Playing a Pollination Relay game will help the students understand why flies are important pollinators.
Flies: The Unsung Pollinator Heroes
Information about fly anatomy, life cycles and the role they play in pollinating prairie plants.
View the Learning Object

Learning Object Collection: Prairie Plants and Pollinators
A Feast of Goldenrod Nectar Activity
In this lesson, students will examine photographs and illustrations of wild goldenrod plants. They will use diagrams to identify and label the parts of a goldenrod plant,and the stages in its life cycle. Students will also see photographs of the various insects that pollinate goldenrod plants and the predators that try to catch goldenrod pollinators. During the Goldenrod Safari activity, students will be able to observe and draw goldenrod plants and the insects that visit them.
A Feast of Goldenrod Nectar
A lesson on the anatomy, life cycle and pollinators of goldenrod plants.
View the Learning Object

Learning Object Collection: Prairie Plants and Pollinators
Design a Pollinator Garden Activity
Students will watch a video about pollination, and examine photographs of some of the most common plants and pollinators in the prairies. They will learn which plants different pollinators like to visit. Using a flow chart on the design process, the students will design their own Pollinator Garden to attract the kinds of pollinators they like.
Design a Pollinator Garden
This collection will help students identify wild prairie plants that can be grown in a garden to attract specific pollinators.
View the Learning Object

Learning Object Collection: Prairie Plants and Pollinators
Canada’s Endangered Plants and Pollinators Activity
The students will learn why some plants and pollinators on the prairies are endangered by watching several videos. They will be able to look at photographs of rare plants and pollinators in the prairies. Using the information from this lesson plan and other internet resources, the students will participate in an Endangered Prairie Plant and Pollinator Information Fair at their school.
Canada’s Endangered Plants and Pollinators
Information about the rare plants and pollinators in Canada’s prairie ecosystems, and why they are endangered.
View the Learning Object

Learning Object Collection: Prairie Plants and Pollinators
Pollinator Conservation Activity
In this lesson plan, students will learn about the role that domesticated and wild pollinators play in crop production. The student will watch videos on pollination and view photographs of crop plant pollinators and their habitats. Using the scientific method, the students will design their own pollination experiment to help determine how to best conserve crop pollinators.
Pollinator Conservation
Information about Canada’s wild pollinators of crop plants, why they are important and what is threatening them.
View the Learning Object

Learning Object Collection: Prairie Plants and Pollinators

Learning Objectives

Lesson plans are intended to supplement and support the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Science curricula. Specific curricular outcomes met by the lesson plans are:

Flies: The Unsung Pollinator Heroes
Growth and Changes in Animals: Curricular outcomes for the Manitoba and Saskatchewan grade 2 and Alberta grade 3 clusters and units.

A Feast of Goldenrod Nectar
Growth and Changes in Plants: Curricular outcomes for the Manitoba and Saskatchewan grade 3 and Alberta grade 4 clusters and units.

Design a Pollinator Garden
Habitats and Communities for the Manitoba and Saskatchewan grade 4 curricular outcomes.

Canada’s Endangered Plants and Pollinators
Interactions and Ecosystems: Curricular outcomes for the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta grade 7 clusters and units.

Pollinator Conservation
Dynamics of Ecosystems; Conservation of Biodiversity: Manitoba grades 10 and 12 curricular outcomes.
Ecosystems; Diversity of Life and Ecological Organization: Saskatchewan grades 10 and 11 curricular outcomes.
Biological Diversity; Ecosystems and Population Changes: Alberta grades 9 and 11 curricular outcomes.

Learning objectives specific to each lesson plan are listed at the end of the Learning Object Collections.

The Learning Object Collection and Lesson Plans were written by the Educational Consultant, Angela Fey and the Curator of Botany at The Manitoba Museum, Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson.