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The fascinating world of bats is explored in this engaging set of activities that teaches students about the remarkable features of these flying mammals that are uniquely adapted to their environment. The interactive hands-on activities investigate how bats travel, habitat requirements and life cycles while dispelling many common myths that lead to fear of these amazing animals. As students learn about population threats and why we should all be involved in bat conservation they will:
Examine and describe bat structural features.
Quantify wing beat speeds.
Identify habitat requirements.
Compare and contrast bat and human sleep cycles.
Describe population threats such as White Nose syndrome.
This resource supports curriculum outcomes examining habitats, interdependence, ecosystem connections and habitat conservation. The echolocation activity also provides an opportunity for students to investigate properties of sound. As the class analyzes human impacts on bat populations they will be motivated to learn more about conservation and protective measures for species at risk.
A unique action project resulting from this lesson could have a class building and installing bat boxes in a local conservation area. A good design can be found on the National Wildlife Federation website
A class could work with a local naturalist group to place the houses in appropriate habitat and create kits for local homeowners with instructions and a fact sheet about bats species in the area.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
This resource leads students to an understanding of the connections between bat adaptations and habitat. The information is provided in the context of the environmental challenges that are impacting bat populations. The links between species needs and ecosystem health develop an awareness of the urgency for conservation of declining bat populations.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
Bats are often misrepresented in media and consequently many people feel they are simply flying rodents with no real purpose. One of the key strengths of this lesson is that it dispels many of the myths surrounding bats by highlighting their unique features. Students also become aware of the valuable role of bats in food production as pollinators and insectivores that help control pests.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students are able to explore scientific cause and effect relationships and use this information to describe interactions within ecosystems and develop new ideas about conservation.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
There is a recognition in the resource that many bat populations require human intervention to survive but no specific action projects are defined. However, the material does include links to several sites that do provide ideas for citizen engagement in bat conservation.
|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
Students are able to challenge misconceptions and develop their own opinions.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|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||Good|
The hands-on investigation of bat features such as echolocation has an appeal that will promote curiosity and concern. Students will be more motivated to become citizen scientists that observe and document bats in their community.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Using the Little Brown Bat as the key species for discussion is important since this species is probably most familiar to students and has experienced dramatic population declines in areas like Eastern Canada due to white nose fungus.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
An effective questioning process uses scaffolding to guide students through reflections on their learning to develop questions and answers for the wrap up "How do Bat's Compare" activity.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although this resource was developed to support science outcomes, there is a kinesthetic element to several activities that involves students in physical activity.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The activities encourage interaction and engagement with nature in a manner that provides many opportunities for students to move beyond the parameters of the lesson to make new discoveries.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Poor/Not considered|
There are no specific differentiation strategies but the hands-on nature of the activities will appeal to a variety of learners.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
This resource is classroom based but several of the activities involve actively mimicking bat adaptations like echolocation and wing speed. Simulating actual physical processes provides a more authentic and meaningful learning experience.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
There are no defined assessment tasks in the lesson. but guided questioning does support formative assessment. The final "How do Bats Compare" summary worksheet could be used to formally evaluate new learning.
|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: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
This topic is extremely timely and relevant especially as concern increases about the decimation of bat colonies by white nose fungus. The activities in this resource encourage students to become bat advocates who promote stewardship within their local community.
|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|
|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.|