Developed by:Bookerella and Story Worldwide
Learn all about bats in this nonfiction app, which we love for its mixed media illustrative style, variety of ways of presenting information, and fun activities such as screeching or flying like a bat!
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
- Storytime.Get your child in a batty mood! Share some bat-themed fictional stories such as Nightsong, Bats at the Library, and Stellaluna.
- Title Talk.The title of the app is Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night. Ask your child why they think bats have fur. Discuss with your child what they already know about bats. Is there anything in particular they are hoping to learn?
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities.
- Imagine.Imagine people with bat-like wings really did exist as shown in the diagram in Chapter 2. What would living with wings be like? How would life be different? What could a person do that they cannot do now? What types of activities would humans no longer be able to do if they sprouted wings, or what things would be more challenging? Would your child like to have wings if they could? Encourage them to write a story about themselves with wings!
- Bat Residences.Turn the bat-finding activity in Chapter 3 into a real-life game. The next time you are out and about, have your child look for places a bat might like to roost: barns, bridges, highway overpasses, trees, houses, cliffs, caves, etc. It does not matter if you really have bats in your immediate neighborhood. This activity will still help cement some of the facts your child has learned in the app about where bats live!
- So Many Bats.Have your child turn the wheel in Chapter 4 and explore the many different types of bats listed. Do they have a favorite kind of bat from this list? Or one they would like to learn more about? Use this as a jumping-off point for learning more about a specific kind of bat and the region or country in which it lives. For example, if they want to find out more about spectacled flying foxes, urge them to gather some facts about Australia, as well!
- Compare and Contrast.Now that your child has learned that bats are, in fact, mammals, ask your child to brainstorm ways in which bats are similar to and different from birds. How are they different from other mammals? Revisit the app as necessary!
Extend the app experience with a real life activity.
- Echolocation game.Find an open space without any obstacles, such as a field. Divide up your players into one bat, obstacles, and prey—insects, of course (if you only have two players, all you really need is a bat and prey)! The players acting as obstacles should decide on what type of obstacle they are – a tree, a building, a telephone pole, etc. Tie a blindfold around the bat so that they cannot see where the other players are. The other players should quietly move into place. Obstacles should stay in one place, and insects can move around. Lead the blindfolded bat into the middle of the open space. They should begin the game by making their bat noise – this could be, “Screech!” or “Beep, beep!” or another sound that has been agreed upon. The obstacles and insects will reply when the bat is sending the sound in their direction. Obstacles should reply by saying what they are, and insects should reply by saying “Buzz buzz.” The bat will continue to “echolocate” until they catch an insect! Then the game can begin again with the caught insect as the new bat. Have fun! (Game adapted from natureshift.org)
- Get Crafty.Help your child create a flapping bat. The materials you will need are: black craft foam, scissors, a bat template, sequins, glue, brass fasteners, a 10-inch piece of string or dental floss, a hole punch, a short piece of ribbon, and a bead. Cut a bat body and two separate wings out of black craft foam. Use the template as a guideline for your own bat body or print it out and trace it exactly. Use the hole punch to make holes where the template indicates. Glue two sequins on to the bat’s head to make eyes. Attach the wings using the fasteners in one wing and shoulder hole, then thread the string through the remaining wing holes, tying it loosely in a loop behind the bat’s back with the remaining string extending past the bat’s head. Tie a bead at the end of the string to make an easy pull. Then tie the ribbon through the hole at the bottom of the bat and use it to hang the bat upside down! Find complete instructions with visual aids here.
- Bat Adventure.Do a bit of research to find out if and where bats reside near you. If bats are not easy to spot near you, save this activity for a vacation! Push bedtime back one night and go on a bat hunt. What types of bat might you be seeing? Have your child help you do this detective work at the library. If pushing bedtime back is not a good option for your family, but you have a kiddo who is wild about bats, there are many places around the world where you can see bats roosting during the daytime by visiting caves and bat residences like Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Tucson, Arizona.