What's All the Buzz About?

K, 1, 2

The students respond to text and apply the principles of believing in oneself and being kind to others to their own lives.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo Thirty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify examples of talk that hurts other people.
  • illustrate Buzzy the Bumblebee’s feelings at various points in the story.
  • sing the "Buzzy the Bumblebee" song.
  • construct a Buzzy headband using a pattern.

Day One:

  • Teacher copy of Buzzy the Bumblebee by Denise Brennan-Nelson (see Bibliographical References)
  • Paper (one sheet per student)
  • Crayons, colored pencils or markers
  • Bee antennae (may be made with a headband and pipe cleaners)

Day Two:

  • Teacher copy of "Buzzy the Bumblebee" song (Handout Two)
  • Copies of Handout One: Headband on tagboard (one per student)
  • Pipe cleaners (preferably black, two per student)
  • Tape or stapler
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, colored pencils or markers (yellow & black)
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent/Student Homework:At home, the students tell their families about Buzzy and talk about how his family supported him. As a family, come up with one thing you can do to help a family member believe in him/herself. See Handout Three. The student may practice the "Buzzy the Bumblebee" song at home. Send home the lyrics. See Handout Two.


Brennan-Nelson, Denise. Buzzy the Bumblebee. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2003. ISBN: 1886947821


  1. Day One:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Begin the lesson by asking students if they have ever heard students in the hallways or classroom saying mean things about other children. Give an example by putting on bee antennae and holding the following pretend conversation:

    "Bzzzzzz… (Name) is way too little to play on the soccer team!"

    "Bzzzzzz… There’s no way he/she could do it!"

    Explain that this type of conversation is called "Buzz talk." Buzz talk usually includes hurtful words about someone else. Ask students to think, pair and share about how these words can hurt someone. They should think of a time when they felt hurt by another person’s words or heard someone using buzz talk.

  2. Introduce and read the book Buzzy the Bumblebee by Denise Brennan-Nelson (see Bibliographical References).

  3. Ask students how Buzzy felt when he read that he couldn’t fly. Discuss these feelings.

  4. Pass out paper to each student. Show students how to make a neat line down the middle of their page by folding their paper in half the long way and then opening it. Ask students to illustrate a picture on the left side of the page showing how Buzzy felt when he thought he couldn’t fly.

  5. Ask students how Buzzy felt when he realized he could fly again. Discuss these feelings.

  6. Ask students to illustrate a picture on the right side of the page showing how Buzzy felt when he realized he really could fly.

  7. Display the finished pictures. Discuss the similarities in the students’ pictures and contrast Buzzy’s facial expressions on the left and right sides of the page. Ask students what happened to make Buzzy’s feelings change. Discuss the change in Buzzy’s attitude (not believing in himself vs. believing in himself). Discuss in what way his family supported him.

  8. Ask the students to propose how they can use what Buzzy learned to be philanthropic. Define philanthropy as sharing time, talent or treasure for the common good. Challenge the students to propose what they can do about buzz talk in school so it doesn’t hurt anyone. Role-play some of their ideas to help them practice.

  9. Tell students that next time we talk about Buzzy, we will be learning a fun song and making bee costumes!

  10. Day Two:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Review the story elements of Buzzy the Bumblebee and review what the students learned about believing in themselves.

  11. Introduce and sing the song "Buzzy the Bumblebee" to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (Handout Two).

  12. Have students practice and rehearse the song as a whole class.

  13. Explain that students will now be making their very own Buzzy antennae. Model the making of the headband. Color the headband (see Handout One) in an alternating yellow and black pattern. Cut out the two strips of the headband. Staple or tape the pieces together so it is long enough to fit the student’s head. Then, attach two black pipe cleaners to the front of the headband and curl the ends.

  14. Have students work independently to construct their own Buzzy headbands. You may need to help the students fit the headbands to their heads.

  15. Have students perform the song while wearing their headbands. Frequently practice the song throughout the unit.


Teacher will assess student participation using the following questions: Did the student participate in discussion? Did the student complete two illustrations? Did the student demonstrate knowledge of feelings through discussion and illustrations? Did the student sing the "Buzzy the Bumblebee" song?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify examples of families supporting giving and sharing.