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How the Bat Came to Be

Keepers of the Night - Native American Stories and Nocturnal Activities for Children

Elementary

Description

How The Bat Came to Be is part of a compilation entitled Keepers of the Night which provides an integrated approach to teaching the mystery and fascination of the animals, plants, and insects that inhabit the world of night. Through the use of Native North American stories, nighttime artistic and scientific activities, children learn to develop a caring, constructive relationship with nature and the outdoors.  

How The Bat Came to Be introduces its theme, nocturnal animals and the night, with a Native American story.  The discussion section that follows provides background information and questions about the night and its nocturnal inhabitants.  Students participate in a variety of activities that vary from drama to scientific experiments. Each activity provides goals, detailed teaching instructions and a list of required materials.

Night by Light – Students observe and experience the activities of crepuscular and nocturnal animals during their natural behaviour. 

Night Walk – Students go on a night time excursion and experience the heightened sensory awareness that comes from being outdoors at night. 

Why Animals Don’t Go Bump in the Night – Students put on a puppet show in which nocturnal animals reveal a number of their adaptations for surviving in the night environment. 

Dark Detectives – Students travel a familiar route for several nights, stopping, observing and listening along the way. They record their observations and report on the animals they saw and heard. 

A section entitled Extending the Experience provides a variety of activities to reinforce and supplement the lessons of the story and activities.  

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The students learn to:

  • Keep a field journal
  • Experience the nightime using all of their senses

Strengths

  • Excellent background information for teachers.
  • The resource is very easy to use.
  • Excellent outdoors activities to encourage an interconnectedness with the nocturnal environment.
  • Excellent activites for an environmental program or school activities that involve an overnight field trip to wilderness areas.
  • Excellent lessons plans which involve using all of the senses to experience the nocturnal environment.
  • Includes many extending the experience activities
  • Activities include an easy to use symbols system that provides a quick reference to both the setting and the topics of that activity. 

Weaknesses

    The resource lacks a significant action component.
    No assessment tools/rubrics are provided
    Include some technology ideas 
    Little opportunities for students to share what they have learned 
    Little mention of the problems associated with the nocturnal environment

Relevant Curriculum Units

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 2
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      • Science
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        • Small Crawling and Flying Animals
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      • Science
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        • Animal Life Cycles
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        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment
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        • The Senses
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        • Animal Growth and Changes:Investigating the Needs and Life Cycles of an Organism
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        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Biodiversity

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Poor/Not considered
  • Not applicable in this resource
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Poor/Not considered
  • Non-applicable in this resource
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • No action projects are suggested in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Poor/Not considered
  • Students are invited to share their experiences but are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
  • The resource uses native wisdom to help young people learn valuable lessons about the natural world.
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Very Good
  • Students are encouraged to use all their senses to experience the nocturnal environment. The activities take place outdoors during the day and night.

  

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
  • Students visit their own local environment such as a forest, pond or grassland to experience night time excursions.
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory
  • The resource introduces its theme using a Native North American story. The book provides a map of native North America showing cultural areas and tribal locations as they appeared around 1600.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good
  • Students observe and experience the nocturnal environment using all of their senses. Through a variety of hands-on, outdoor activities they learn to understand, live with and care for nature at night. Students are encouraged to share their observations/discoveries in a sharing circle.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good
  • Science
  • Health
  • Drama
  • Social Studies
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
  • Students record their observations and findings in a journal following their night time excursions. They write down their thoughts and interpretations of what they saw, while answering questions such as who, what, where and why.
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good
  • All of the experiences take place in an outdoor, nocturnal environment.
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
  • For some of the activities the students work in groups.
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory
  • Journal entries
  • Observations written in a field journal
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
  • Students are invited to use the information from their observations and research to write and present reports about the animals they saw.
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered
  • No relevant case studies are provided.
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
  • The students are given the opportunity to observe their nocturnal environment and are encouraged to do further research on the animals they observed. The Extending the Experience activities allow students to enhance their learning.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.