Activity

Pollen collection

Summary
Use magnifiers to find pollen. Use pipecleaners to collect pollen.
Science content
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Life Cycles (2)
Lessons activity is in
Materials
  • flowers with heavy pollen, ideally of different colours. lily with stamen works.
  • magnifiers
  • Q-tips or pipe cleaners of contrasting colour to pollen colour
Procedure

Bees collect pollen, to feed growing bees in the hive.
Pollen can be different colours, to attract bees.
Once students know that the pollen is on the anthers of a flower, give them magnifiers to find it, look at it closely, and find out what colour it is.
(Tulips have black pollen. Orange lilies purchased in florists have red-brown pollen. Fireweed has green pollen.)
Give them pipe cleaners to gently touch the anthers to pick up pollen.

Notes

With McBride Elementary, the tulips were not open at Van Dusen, so we used lilies that I had purchased to collect pollen.

Grades taught
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Teaching site
McBride Elementary
Oppenheimer Elementary
Van Dusen Botanical Garden