Pollination services are a frequently overlooked component of urban ecosystems. As cities look to become more sustainable and incorporate more urban green spaces, these pollinator services are coming to the forefront, and educating the public about the habitat and foraging needs of urban pollinators is becoming more important. Increasingly popular features in urban gardens are “bug hotels”, which are artificial structures that humans can install to create habitat or shelter for urban insect pollinators. In a college-level Urban Ecology class, we use a structured classroom activity to teach students about pollinator needs, but also place the activity in a larger context of a discussion about the value of urban landscapes, as well as the importance of evaluating sources of information. Here we describe the steps of a research activity that students undertake to design a “bug hotel”, as well as suggestions for how to extend the activity beyond the classroom.