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Lesson Plan


Look closely at real hornets, their nest and pieces of the nest
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
  • dead hornets in petri dishes
  • magnifiers
  • hornet nest
  • flashlight to look inside nest
  • pieces of hornet nest shell to look at closely
  • hornet nest cells to look at closely
  • images of wasps developing in their cells

Several stations for students to rotate through:

Station 1:
Look at real hornets closely. Draw them.
Wasps in petri dishes with magnifiers

Station 2:
Look at the outside of nests.
Peer into the complete one to see the cells inside.

Station 3:
Look at the outside of the nest with microscopes.
6 microscopes, whole outside of nest, tape to put some nest in journal

Station 4:
Look at the inside of the nest. Draw how they built it.
Nest inside, individual cells in magnifier boxes.

You tube video of nest building:
layers of nest being added over time:
time lapse of outside of nest being built:
half a hornet’s nest, see larvae being fed.


Some children are allergic to wasp venom. This activity may need to be avoided, or at least the materials contained.

Grades taught: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Teaching Site: 
Gordon Elementary Science Club