Free "Bat Craft" & Lesson Plan for Halloween September 16 2009

Materials:

  • HalloweenBatCraft Free, printable "Bat Craft" template  (If possible, print it directly onto card stock to speed up the process.)
  • Scissors
  • Black (body, wings, head, ears) & yellow construction paper (eyes)
  • White pencil or crayon
  • Glue

Instructions:

Teacher (or Parent Volunteer)

  • Trace the template onto construction paper. One bat for each student.

Students

  • Cut out the bat parts.
  • Glue the wings, head and ears onto the body.
  • Glue on the yellow eyes.
  • Use a white crayon or pencil to make a nose and mouth.
  • Write your name on the back.

Lesson Plan

During the Fall, I took my 2nd grade class to the pumpkin patch & farm. We also studied mammals. This included a study about bats. This interesting article can give you a quick brush up on bat facts. If you can put your computer screen on a TV monitor it can be helpful to show the animation of the bat echo locating, which is described in this article.

"This is the basic principle of echolocation. Bats make sounds the same way we do, by moving air past their vibrating vocal chords. Some bats emit the sounds from their mouth, which they hold open as they fly. Others emit sound through their nose. It's not fully understood how the bat's sound production works, but scientists believe that the strange nose structure found in some bats serves to focus the noise for more accurate pin-pointing of insects and other prey."

(9/16/09, How Stuff Works, http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/bat2.htm)

Experimenting with Echolocation

Give each student a paper cup and ask him/her to talk into the cup. (To prevent annoying the teacher this echo experiment needs to last about 1 min. or less, just long enough to hear and feel the echo bouncing back from the cup -or- just have one student demonstrate the process for the class.)

Can he/she hear or feel the echo?

Imagine that the cup was really a canyon and you were yelling across the canyon.

"The bat's brain processes the returning information the same way we processed our shouting sound using a stopwatch and calculator. By determining how long it takes a noise to return, the bat's brain figures out how far away an object is." 

(The precise mathematical formula is in the article, but for younger students this will be too much information, so I took it out of the lesson plan.)

"A bat processes all of this information unconsciously, the same way we process the visual and aural information we gather with our eyes and ears. A bat forms an echolocation image in its head that is something like the image you form in your head based on visual information. Bats also process visual information -- contrary to popular belief, most bats have fairly acute vision. They use echolocation in conjunction with vision, not instead of it."

(9/16/09, How Stuff Works, http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/bat2.htm)