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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 important ideas are implied by the resource, but not taught explicitly?

We should care about knowing the correct information about certain animals.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 1
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      • Science
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        • Needs of Animals and Plants
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Small Crawling and Flying Animals
  • British Columbia
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      • Science
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        • Life Sciences: Needs of Living Things
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        • Life Science: Animal Growth & Changes
  • Manitoba
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        • Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
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        • Growth and Changes in Animals
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        • Habitat and Communities
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        • You and Your World: Our Environment
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        • Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
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        • Life Science: Growth and Changes in Animals
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        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
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        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
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        • Animal Growth and Changes:Investigating the Needs and Life Cycles of an Organism
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        • Habitats
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  • Saskatchewan
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        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
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      • Science
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Habitats and Communities
  • Yukon Territory
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        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Sciences: Needs of Living Things
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Animal Growth & Changes
    • Grade 4
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Habitats & Communities

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (4)

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

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Bias Minimization Satisfactory

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

Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
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:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

Respects Complexity Good

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

Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience 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.

Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Poor/Not considered

TPoor

The resource does not teach skills to take effective action.

Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
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: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused 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: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
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.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary 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.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery 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.

Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification 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 Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
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 learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Satisfactory
Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
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 used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine 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.