Pollinator-Themed Citizen Science

The lesson plans found in this tab are designed to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (https://nextgenscience.org) into pollinator-themed citizen science programs available both nationally and locally (Tucson, AZ). Citizen science programs promote collaboration between professional scientists and the general public to produce large-scale data collection and research initiatives. The focus of this tab is on both the national citizen science, Monarch Waystations, found at MonarchWatch.org, and a local Sonoran Desert program through the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum called the Pollinator Hotspot Program.

Each lesson works to promote the NGSS through lessons that use the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) 5 E Model to Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate student learning. With the 5 E Model, students are challenged to learn scientific terminology while developing explanations and design solutions; use evidence-based arguments and reasoning; use systems thinking and modeling while conducting investigations; solve problems and discuss open-ended question; and more!

The content of the materials included in this tab are meant to act as templates and may need to be edited for each unique school site. The original outline and template that each lesson follows is attached below and includes guiding questions and strategies consistent with the BSCS 5 E Model. 

Please contact Carly Pierson with feedback or questions at carlypierson@arizona.edu.


Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, & Evaluate

Monitoring fishhook barrel cactus fruits for native bee health

Learn all about a local pollinator that uses the fishhook barrel cactus

Learn how to build and monitor a certified habitat for monarchs at your school

Lesson plan & reading/drawing activity

Get moving & experience the ups and downs of migrating like a monarch butterfly


Poem-creation lesson plan + worksheet