Busy Bees

Thank you for signing up for Busy Bees, a course that focuses on being curious about the outside world and how we can all be more sustainable. Here's a rough outline of our syllabus along with resources to go with each week. As always, send any questions my way! 

We'll read a bit from Bees: A Honeyed History throughout the class while we work on art projects. I adore this book and recommend it for plant and pollinator lovers of all ages! 

Bee sleeping on goldenrod

Busy Bees Week 1

Foraging for Ink Supplies

We'll kick off our class with some time outside exploring. We'll talk about materials that might work to make ink as well as look at the ink I made from materials at home. We'll collect items to make ink as well as flowers and leaves to press for art projects. 


Make Ink: A Forager's Guide to Natural Inkmaking

The Organic Artist: Make Your Own Paint, Paper, Pigments, Prints and More from Nature

Foraging bags

Busy Bees Week 2

Decorating our Foraging Bags and Making Pressed Flower Art

We'll kick off week 2 by investigating how our natural ink experiments from week 1 went. Each student will get their own biodegradable drawstring foraging bag to decorate. We'll explore the art of flower pounding to create designs on our bags. We'll explore the process of pressing flowers. 


The Modern Flower Press: Capturing the Beauty of Nature

Busy Bees Week 3

Foraging for Organic Materials to Make Seed Paper

We'll use our (now dried and personalized) foraging bags to head back outside to forage for interesting organic material to decorate seed paper. We'll upcycle finished homework into seed paper to be planted at home. 


How to Make Handmade Paper

How to Make Plantable Seed Paper

How to Harvest Seeds

Busy Bees making soil from rocks

Busy Bees Week 4

Franklin County Soil and Water Presentation

A representative from Franklin County Soil and Water will join us for a presentation on soil and all its critters. We'll chat about how important soil is and how to support our soil. 


Splendid Soil SWIFTlet

Enviroscapes model to learn about protecting our watershed

Busy Bees Week 5

Protecting our Watershed

We'll be borrowing an Enviroscapes model from Franklin County Soil and Water to build a little town and understand how we affect our watersheds. We'll spread "pollution" via colored salt and other materials to represent farm runoff, pollutants from factories and other human-made additions to the environment. Then we'll "make it rain" via spray water bottles and watch how our watershed is affected. We'll discuss strategies to mitigate the pollution and to keep our water clean. 


Pesky Pollution SWIFTlet

Butterfly on purple coneflower

Busy Bees Week 6

Planting for Pollinators

We'll wrap up the class by creating mini pollinator gardens for each student to bring home in a biodegradable pot. We'll discuss the importance of biodiversity and native plants. Hopefully we'll get to spend this class outside to explore the insects and birds around us while we build our mini pollinator gardens. 


The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard

How to Make Milk Jug Greenhouses for Winter Sowing