October 17, 2018

Going Batty - Bringing Bats into the Classroom

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

I've taught my students about bats in the past. This year, however, we spent a week taking such a deep dive into bats that I just had to share.

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Books to Read:


                  


               

While I enjoy all of these books, my personal favorite is Stellaluna (which we had read to us on Storyline Online). My favorite nonfiction bat book, Vampire Bats, is no longer being printed. I am still reading my well loved copy. This year, as a companion fiction story, we also read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat. I have a whole class set of these. I love using class sets of books so each student has their own copy to go back and find text confirming their answers.

Websites for Students:

National Geographic - There are some great videos and pictures about bats. This website also has lots of bat facts perfect for a Webquest.

Science Kids - Another website with lots of facts and perfect for a Webquest.

Kidzone - Lots of bat facts, photos, and even printables for teachers to print out.

Bat Reading:

There is so much nonfiction information out there on bats. A lot of this makes great resources for text features and fact/opinion.

We focused on Fact and Opinion. I made an admittedly sad looking bat (no black paper available) and placed Fact and Opinion Task Cards on the bat based on the information on the card.



My sad looking bat!

Bat Fact and Opinion Task Cards

Click this pic to see the task cards we used.

Bat Art:

I did a Google search for Directed Drawings and came up with an easy one. I like doing these because it really helps students follow directions. It also allows me a little bit of art with my students which is nice since they don't have that as a special this year. 

Bat Math:

While we didn't go overboard with bats in math, we did focus on addition on Friday, as it's our day to do addition review each week. For this, I created addition sheets of different levels with bat facts. I let my students choose the level that was appropriate for them. I had one girl that was about to take an easier math sheet until I shot her the teacher look. Everyone else got an appropriate sheet or tried to challenge themselves.


Bats Addition Review Fun

Click this pic to see the math sheets we used.

Bat Science: 

I took my students Direct Drawings and taped them in large boxes that I had. I then covered the boxes with plastic tablecloths from the dollar store to look more cave like. This isn't the most 'ideal' cave. However, my students were able to lay in the caves and read their books while wearing headlamps. 



I made sure the bats were hanging upside-down for this!



These headlamps were pretty reasonable on Amazon.


Next year, I'm thinking about getting something like this for my bats. It's a little haunted house that the kids can decorate during Indoor Recess and be a bit bigger for them to fit inside.

I loved our week "Going Batty!" It's amazing how changing up your normal routine can make a big difference on your excitement in the classroom.

What topics do you take a "deep-dive" on with your students?

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