Bats in the Classroom!

black bat on orange backgroundYour preschoolers are sure to go "batty" over these fun Halloween activities from Gary Hopkins at Education World ®!

Bat Science

Your students will be surprised to find out that bats do not rely on their eyesight to navigate while flying or locating their food. Hopkins recommends helping preschoolers understand the concept of echolocation with Jump Start's Bat Echolocation Song (via YouTube). NOTE: While repetitive, the echolocation "rap" tends to move at a rapid pace so you may have to play it a few times in order for your students to catch everything. Or, print out the lyrics and recite them slowly, inviting your students to repeat them after you for full "digestion" of the material! You might also consider "demonstrating" the concept of echolocation with a game. Try a "batty" version of Marco Polo where a student volunteer gets blindfolded, is placed in the center of the game play area, and pretends to be a "bat", while the rest of the class pretend to be "insects". The blindfolded volunteer calls out "beep, beep" to which the insects, with full sight and instructions to keep moving around the play area, must respond "buzz, buzz". Relying solely on their ears, the bat then attempts to "catch" their prey. Once tagged, insects must return to the "bat cave" (their desk) until the bat is full (set a limit of three or four insects) and then another student volunteer gets the chance to be the bat.

To finish up the science lesson on bats, consider creating a slideshow of various bats native to your area or region - including both pictures and audio clips found on the internet - for your students to examine and discuss. They'll be amazed to learn that because bat frequencies are so high and move at such a fast pace, they must be slowed down in order for the human ear to distinguish each species sound complexities.

For more great bat resources and ideas for incorporating these interesting creatures into your reading, writing, math, and social studies lessons, be sure to visit Hopkins' full post!