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Little Brown Bat

Elementary

Description

This interesting resource teaches students about bats in an effort to dispel negative myths and demonstrate the important contributions these animals make.  It offers both a teacher's guide and a student booklet.  The teacher's guide includes an introduction to six lessons as well as a number of activities, bat riddles and plans for building a bat house.   Lessons are supported with additional resources and background information.

The student booklet includes a story about bats and five support activities.  In addition to learning about the structure and behavior of bats, students will build bat houses, take part in predator-prey games that incorporate food chain concepts, make bat fruit salad and research different kinds of bats.  Pre and post tests to determine student attitudes towards bats are included with the resource. 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • Using a story to include informational text was an effective motivator. 
  • The integration of art, drama and movement made the resource interesting. 
  • The story and some of the activities could also be used for weaker and for older students. 

Weaknesses

  • Very teacher directed 
  • Lacking in assessment and evaluation suggestions

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The resource teaches to look critically at information and to carry out research in order to dispel myths about bats.  Attitudes can change once exposed to correct information.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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  • Alberta
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        • Needs of Animals and Plants
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        • Small Crawling and Flying Animals
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        • Life Science: Animal Growth & Changes
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Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (4)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Habitat Loss
    • Interdependence
    • Wildlife Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

The bias is positive and necessary to dispel myths about bats, The focus is restricted to the little brown bat.

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 Satisfactory

As this is geared towards younger students, multiple dimensions of problems and solutions are not fully addressed.

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 Good

Within the information, discussion and story the problems of bat survival are addressed.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered

Poor

There are no action experiences developed.   Students do build bat boxes and mention is made to share what they learn with their parents.

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 Good

A bat attitude pretest and post test are provided in the resource to determine what students think about bats before and after completing the unit.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

Poor

This is not considered in this resource.

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 Satisfactory

In the enrichment portion of lesson two teachers are encouraged to take the students to the zoo or a local pet store.

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

The resource has an Alberta focus but due to the extensive range of the little brown bat, the lessons have local application in many jurisdictions.   Students are encouraged to bring other small animals to the classroom and make comparison to bats.

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 Good

This is accomplished through the background information and the story in the student booklet. 

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 Satisfactory

The resource provides opportunities within some of the activities for the students to make their own comparisons with other small animals but most lessons are teacher directed.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

Within the lessons and activities, drama, art and movement are integrated into the Language Arts and a Science focus of the resource.  The story is written as one containing informational text.

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

Within the primarily teacher directed approach to this resource the students do have opportunities to take part in some hands-on activities which provide elements of discovery learning.  There is no KWL approach used or any efforts made to illicit prior knowledge of bats from the students.

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 Satisfactory

Because this is a heavily teacher-directed resource there is very little room for differentiated instruction. 

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 Satisfactory
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made concrete. Working with real objects,  using real sources of information
  • Good: learning takes place in a real-world context. Simulation, mentorship
  • Very good: learning provides experience beyond the classroom.  Addressing real world issues and problems 
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students work in groups in the games played.

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

Other than the pre and post attitudinal surveys, assessment and evaluation tools are missing.

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

As this is mostly teacher directed the students are encouraged to share what they have learned with their parents but there is no mention of further opportunities.

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 Satisfactory

Specific case studies are not referred to, however informational text is woven into the story in the student booklet.

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 Poor/Not considered

There are few meaningful opportunities for students to make their own choices.

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.