National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
Mind Your Own Beeswax
6 - 8
Ten 45-minute class periods
Through project-based learning, students will solve the problem of excess beeswax, a byproduct of honey bees, by developing a useful beeswax product and marketing their product to be sold in a local boutique or farmers market.
Milestone 1: Entry Event
- Honey Extraction Start to Finish video
- Beeswax: A Byproduct of Honey Production PowerPoint
- Made With Beeswax Pinterest Board
- Beeswax Pinterest Board
- 101 Uses for Beeswax
- Paper-based or electronic team notebook, 1 per team
Milestone 2: Planning and Design
- Team notebooks
- Product Rubric
Milestone 3: Prototype
- How Burt's Bees Lip Balms are Made video
- Hot plate or stove top
- Small sauce pan
- Glass jars (8 oz or 236 mL)
- Glass jars (4 oz or 118 mL)
- Hot pad
- Measuring spoons (tablespoon or mL)
- Wax paper
- Beeswax pellets*
- Coconut oil*
- Shea butter*
- Stir sticks*
- Flavor oil*
- Lip balm tubes*
- Portion cups,* 1 per team
- Cotton swabs, 1 per student
- Team notebook
*These items are included in the Beeswax Lip Balm Kit, which is available for purchase from agclassroomstore.com.
Milestone 4: Marketing Plan and Final Product Presentation
- The 4 Ps of the Marketing Mix Simplified video
- Marketing Mix Graphic Organizer
- Team notebook
- Presentation Rubric
- Peer Collaboration Evaluation (Use this template and instructions to create a Peer Collaboration Evaluation Google Form customized to your class.)
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
- Presentation Rubric
- The Marketing Mix Graphic Organizer
- Product Rubric
- Beeswax: A Byproduct of Honey Production
beeswax: a substance secreted from glands located on the underside of a worker bee's abdomen
byproduct: something that is made in addition to or that is left over from the production of the desired good
cell: a hexagonal wax chamber built from beeswax for brood rearing and storage of honey and pollen
hive: a home to a colony of bees
honeycomb: six-sided wax cells in a beehive
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
At the beginning of the project, students are introduced to key content using a compelling situation that provides context and serves as a catalyst for an authentic problem or challenge. In Project-Based Learning (PBL), this authentic problem/challenge is referred to as an "Entry Event." Students use the Entry Event to initiate inquiry by reflecting on their prior knowledge of the key content, generating questions that they need to know the answers to in order to successfully complete the project or process that will solve the problem, and identifying what their next steps might be to answer their questions. These questions are used in an ongoing way throughout the project to track learning and guide inquiry.3 While students may have several questions, one driving question needs to be agreed upon that, when answered, should address the initial situation. Refer to Milestone 1 for Entry Event procedures.
In PBL, projects are organized into milestones. Each milestone represents a significant stage of the project. Click on each milestone below to access instructional procedures.
Milestone 1: Entry Event (approximately 1 day)
Milestone 2: Planning and Design (approximately 2 days)
Milestone 3: Prototype (approximately 3 days)
Milestone 4: Marketing Plan and Final Product Presentation (approximately 4 days)
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation:
As a final wrap-up, review and summarize the following key points:
- A valuable byproduct of honey production is beeswax.
- Beeswax is a substance secreted from the glands located on the underside of the worker bee's abdomen and requires the protein from pollen and the carbohydrates from honey to be created.
- Beeswax is used by bees to form cells within the hive for honey storage and to protect eggs, larvae, and pupae through the process of metamorphosis.
- Beeswax is used to make candles, artists' materials, lubricants, polishes, and cosmetics.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Suggested Companion Resources
- Beeswax Lip Balm Kit (Kit)
- Beeswax Modeling Clay Kit (Kit)
- Anatomy of a Worker Bee (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Honey Bee Study Prints (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Bees: Tales from the Hive (Multimedia)
- How It's Made: Honey (Multimedia)
- NMSU Field Trip: Honey (Multimedia)
- TedTalk- The First 21 Days of a Bees Life (Multimedia)
- Wings of Life (Multimedia)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography
- Distinguish between careers in production (farmers and ranchers) with those that directly involve consumers (business and nutrition) (T5.6-8.b)
Food, Health, and Lifestyle
- Identify sources of agricultural products that provide food, fuel, clothing, shelter, medical, and other non-food products for their community, state, and/or nation (T3.6-8.i)
Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
- Identify science careers related to both producers and consumers of agricultural products (T4.6-8.g)
Education Content Standards
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Cluster Skills
CS.05.02Examine and choose career opportunities that are matched to personal skills, talents, and career goals in an AFNR pathway of interest.
Career Ready Practices
CRP.10.1Identify career opportunities within a career cluster that match personal interests, talents, goals and preferences.
CRP.10.4Identify, prepare, update and improve the tools and skills necessary to pursue a chosen career path.
Economics Standard 14: Entrepreneurship
ObjectiveIdentify the risks and potential returns to entrepreneurship, as well as the skills necessary to engage in it. Understand the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to economic growth, and how public policies affect incentives for and, consequently, the success of entrepreneurship in the United States.
Economics Standard 2: Decision Making
ObjectiveMake effective decisions as consumers, producers, savers, investors, and citizens.
Common Core Connections
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.