Batty About Bats!


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  • Allow students time to view and discuss the photo. This bat is swooping in on a bug that has landed on a cactus plant.
  • Ask students these questions just for discussion. If necessary, remind students of the difference between fact and fiction. At this point it is not necessary to confirm if they are correct or incorrect. Encourage students to make educated guesses and to explain their reason for their guess. Although the last question may be a matter of opinion, discuss with students the reasons why some people feel this way about bats.
  • After reviewing this information with the students, ask them if they think Stellaluna is a microbat or megabat. Stellaluna is a fruit bat so she is a megabat. Other facts: megabats usually have large eyes that is why they see very well and microbats often have unusual facial features. Megabats typically live in tropical areas. If time permits, visit these sites to learn about megabats and microbats: and Pictures of microbats and megabats can be found here:
  • Ask students if they can think of ways that bats and humans are alike. Bats and humans 1) are mammals 2) have babies that grow inside of the mother’s stomach 3) have babies that drink milk from the mother and 4) have similar skeletons in their arms/wingsVisit this page to find out more information:
  • If students have learned about ocean animals they may remember that dolphins also use echolocationThis site has sounds and animation of echolocation:
  • Ask students if they have seen any bats in Maryland. Ask them where in Maryland bats might live. Visit Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources to see bats that live here in Maryland:
  • Ask students what they think bats eat. Let them guess based on the photographs and previously gained information. Tell students that there are almost 1000 species of bats that eat all types of food. The group of microbats mostly eat small flying night bugs like mosquitoes, moths and others. The megabats mostly eat ripe fruit found in the rainforests. There are other bats that eat strange food such as frogs, fish, scorpions, and plant nectar.Source:
  • After sharing the two facts above ask students what might happen if we didn’t have bats.
  • Revisit these questions and see if students have different answers. Points to make: #1. There is one type of bat called the vampire bat that feeds on blood. But it mostly eats the blood of cows, pigs, horses and birds. They don’t suck blood but they do bite the animal and lap the blood but this does not hurt the animal. Compare it to a mosquito bite on humans. #2. Bats are not blind. Microbats can see but because their eyes are small they have a harder time seeing in the dark so they use echolocation. Megabats have large eyes and do not need to use echolocation. #3. Bats are not rodents like mice or rats. They are not dirty; they groom themselves daily. Bats help control the bug population and they help pollinate flowers and fruit bearing trees.
  • The links for this slide are: students are independent readers they can visit these two sites on their own or in small groups to complete the activities.
  • Divide the students into groups and allow them to complete their mission. Give student access to print and online resources. In addition, students will need poster making and report writing materials. Students will share their final presentations with the rest of the class.
  • Bookmark the sites above on the computers that students use. Here are the actual links:
  • Batty About Bats!

    1. 1. Batty About Bats!<br />Created By: Tonya Wright<br />Grade Level 2-3<br />Photo Credit:<br /><br />
    2. 2. Fact or Fiction?<br />Bats suck your blood.<br />Bats are blind.<br />Bats are ugly, dirty, and useless.<br /><br />Photo credit<br />
    3. 3. Megabats and Microbats<br />MEGABATS<br /><ul><li>Large in size
    4. 4. Use sight instead of echolocation
    5. 5. Small ears compared to microbats
    6. 6. Commonly called fruit bats due to their diet</li></ul>MICROBATS<br /><ul><li>Smaller in size
    7. 7. Use echolocation
    8. 8. Small eyes
    9. 9. Large ears
    10. 10. Use echo- location
    11. 11. Unusual facial features </li></ul>Source: <br /><br />
    12. 12. Bat Anatomy<br />How are bats and humans alike?<br />Photo Sources:<br /><br /><br />
    13. 13. Echolocation<br /><ul><li>Many microbats use echolocation. These bats are not blind but echolocation helps them navigate better in the dark.
    14. 14. Bats send out sound waves using their mouth or nose.  When the sound hits an object an echo comes back.  The bat can identify an object by the sound of the echo. They can even tell the size, shape and texture of  a tiny insect from its echo. </li></ul>Sources:<br /><br /><br />
    15. 15. Bat Habitats<br /><ul><li>Bats live on every continent except Antarctica.
    16. 16. Bats do not live in places that are very, very hot or very, very cold.
    17. 17. The largest bats, such as flying fruit bats live in warm places while mircobats live in places that are both warm and cold.
    18. 18. Many types of microbats live here in Maryland.</li></ul>Sources:<br /><br /><br />
    19. 19. What do bats eat?<br />Photo Sources:<br /><br /><br /><br />
    20. 20. Bat Babies<br /> Most females have only one baby, called a pup, per year, although twins or quadruplets occur in a few species. Some tropical bats can have two pregnancies a year. Mothers nurse their pup for two to six months, then teach it to fly and find food.<br />Sources: <br /><br /><br />
    21. 21. We Need Bats!<br /><ul><li>Just like bees and butterflies, tropical bats can transfer pollen as they fly from plant to plant. The seeds of the fruit are dropped by the bats as they are flying. This reseeds large areas of land.
    22. 22. Most bats fly at night. Many eat half their weight in insects in one night! A little brown bat can eat 600 insects like mosquitoes in an hour. A colony can eat 6,000 tons of insects in one year. </li></ul>Source:<br /><br />
    23. 23. Fact or Fiction?<br />Bats suck your blood.<br />Bats are blind.<br />Bats are ugly, dirty, and useless.<br />Photo Sources: <br /><br /><br /><br />
    24. 24. Test Your Knowledge<br />What Do You Know? Go to<br />Where Do Bats Live? Go to<br />Photo Source: <br /><br />
    25. 25. Your Mission<br /> BatTown, Maryland has decided to eliminate all of the bats from the city. They think that all bats are dirty, carry diseases, and have no use. Your job is to teach the people of BatTown about bats and help them to learn why they should keep and protect the bats in their town. <br />Photo Source<br />
    26. 26. Resources<br /> Use these resources to find information about bats: <br />The Story of Echo the Bat<br />Zoo Books Virtual Zoo: Bats<br />Bats 4 Kids <br />Bats: Why Should We Care?<br />WDFW Bat-Cams <br />KidZone: Bats<br />National Geographic Kids: Vampire Bats<br />