One of the reasons that fall is my favorite time of year is because it provides so many cool topics to learn about. This year, as my family has been looking forward to Halloween, we’ve been studying up on bats. As always when I plan a unit study, the library is my first stop. Some of our favorite bat titles included:
1. Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats by Ann Earle (Let’s Read and Find Out Science series)
After reading our books, we did a bat fact sorting activity. I printed out a list of statements about bats, some of them true and some of them false. The kids cut out each statement and determined whether it was a fact or a myth, and glued it under the correct heading.
Then we did an activity to teach the kids about how echolocation works. I cut a piece of large poster board in half and made two large cones that looked like megaphones. I had two kids stand about six feet apart facing a wall, but kind of angled towards each other, so that the two kids and the wall were making a V, and gave each a megaphone. The first kid pointed his megaphone towards the wall and whispered semi-loudly into his megaphone. The second kid pointed his megaphone towards the wall, and put his ear up to the megaphone. The idea is that the sound will bounce off the wall and back into the second megaphone. You can hear the whisper really loudly. It's cool. And the kids loved it.
Of course I had to throw an art project in the mix. You can’t have a proper unit study without an art project. First I gave each of the kids a black piece of construction paper, and a few bat cut-outs. They decided where they wanted the bats to be, and I helped tape them in place (use masking tape so it won’t rip the black behind when pulling the bats off later). Then we got out our sponges and our paints and went to town, making sure we sponged all around the edges of the bats. When we were done we pulled the bats off. To finish it up, I made a nice outline around each of the bats with permanent marker.
Because I wanted to practice some handwriting, I had each kid write down three things they learned about bats during our unit, and I incorporated it into the art project by gluing the painted bats and the fact sheets onto a large piece of construction paper. Then we taped them up on a closet door where they will remain as part of the Halloween decor until the end of October.