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Bats: Teachers

Bat Essentials

Bats provide critical ecosystem services and the health of bat populations has a true global impact. Review your knowledge of bats with Bats 101 from Bat Conservation International.

Bat hanging upside down

The United States government offers background information and amazing photographs to deepen your bat knowledge. Check out “bat pages” from the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of the Interior. These are fascinating sites you may want to share with your students as well. At the NPS bats multimedia page, students can watch a bat in flight catching a moth or listen to different bat species' echolocation calls.

Visit the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of Natural History to learn everything about bats. Investigate their varieties, lifestyles, habits, and locations, and see bat-inspired art throughout history.

Sort fact from fiction as you study bat basics at How Bats Work.

Discover amazing bat facts with the Nature Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation.

PBS LearningMedia

All resources from PBS LearningMedia contain teacher support materials including videos, background reading, discussion questions, teaching tips, hands-on activities, student handouts, and more. Several have fully developed lessons plans and investigations that can be easily adapted for different grade levels. You'll want to check these out!

Wild Kratts: A Night Out With Bats features fun video clips for primary grades. Wild Kratts: Creatures of the Night follows the Kratt brothers in their search for flying foxes and elusive ghost bats. Wild Kratts: The World of Bats offers a lesson plan where students build bat boxes, investigate bats' habitat needs, and act out echolocation.

Bats! is a truly fascinating look at these incredible flying mammals, for grade 3 and above. Five shorter clips from this production are also available, illustrating echolocation, cave emergence, wing structure and white-nose syndrome.

Bats roosting

Bats: Untamed is a terrific production for grades 4 and up from Virginia Public Media and the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Access the facilitator's guide to find animations, a watch-along worksheet, a student-made bat booklet, and more teaching resources.

Bat Women of Panama – Nocturnal biologists investigate tropical bats and their amazing adaptations. Check out the study guides and classroom extensions for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Digital Adventure 360 Interactive Experience: Bats takes teachers and students on a virtual field trip inside the habitats of bats and includes a complete lesson plan.

Bats: Guardians of the Night is an engaging, fast-moving introduction to bats for grades 5-8.

Introduce your students to field biologists and researchers who study bats. Bat Woman is about a bat scientist in Arizona, Bat Biologist focuses on researchers using virtual bats to repel moths in the Midwest, and Bats of the Southwest highlights biologists working with bats in the Nevada desert.

Echo Explorers is a fun online game from PBS that incorporates both bat science and math concepts. Set-up directions for teachers are included.

Lesson Plans and More

Bats Live has a series of complete lesson plans for grades K-8. Check out the EduBat page, which features lessons and activities for elementary, middle school and high school. Consider “What's Your Habitat?” for grades 3-5, “Calculate the Value of Bats” for grades 5-8, or “There's A Fungus Among Us” for grades 8 and up. You may want to use the graphic novel Bat Brigade or EduBat activity book with your students. Go to Bat for Bats is a fun downloadable game for classroom use.

Mariana fruit bat
Mariana fruit bat, USFWS

Bat Squad, part of Bat Conservation International, is a standards-aligned webcast series that features kids who care about bats. Complete lesson plans accompany each of these engaging Bat Squad videos.

Night Friends: Bats of the Americas, a publication for teachers from the National Wildlife Federation, contains lesson plans and extension materials for grades 3-8.

Wildlife Express, a publication for elementary classrooms from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, highlights Idaho's 14 species of bats. Accompanying lesson plans are available for teachers.

The Wildlife Divisions in many US states have developed excellent Bat materials and lesson plans for classroom use. Check out Hanging Around With Bats from Texas, with accompanying lesson plans.

Mexican free-tailed bats
Mexican free-tailed bats, USFWS

The United States National Park Service offers bat lesson plans that address bat attitudes, habitats, and adaptations.

Find bat lesson plans, guided reading activities, and powerpoint presentations at this teachers' collection.

Primary-grade teachers may want to check out this K-2 bats lesson plan or this activity where students compare birds and bats, using the classic children's book Stellaluna.

Echolocation in Action, a lesson plan from Teach Engineering for grades 3-5, invites students to experience echolocation themselves.

Other lesson plans that you may want to check out include Batty About Bats (grades K-2), Busy, Busy Bat (grades 1-3), Bats Across the Curriculum (grades 3-4), and Soar With Bats (grades 2-6).

Bat Resources for Teachers

Bat Conservation International is the primary site for information about bats and current efforts to keep bat populations healthy. About Bats contains Bat Profiles about various species, Bats 101 basic information, and Games and Activities for kids. You'll find coloring pages, puzzles, and directions for making bat masks, bat puppets, recipes and even a bat fruit salad.

Bat houses are fun to build and provide needed shelter for bats. You may want to make one as a classroom project and send a handout home for parents to use. Find instructions for building a bat house from the National Wildlife Federation or Fun Family Projects, and see suggestions for observing your bat house from PBS Kids.

Pollen-covered bat
Pollen-covered bat, NPS

Kidzone has bat activities, book templates, worksheets, craft projects and slide shows, including a wide variety of printables for classroom use.

BatsLive is a great resource for teachers, with lots of bat information, useful links, and classroom activities including group games, art projects, and infographics. Webcasts, webinars and multimedia resources include a series of video clips from Bracken Cave, the world's largest bat colony.

National Geographic Kids has some excellent bat resources for classroom use. Find amazing photographs, fun videos, high-interest facts and myth-busters to share with your students, as well as “Freaky Creature” spotlights on vampire bats and tube-lipped nectar bats.

Arizona State University's Ask A Biologist: Bats site is designed for classroom use. Check out the echolocation page, or the comparison of human, bird and bat bones.

Find art activities and printables for grades K-2 at Bat Crafts for Kids and Enchanted Learning: Bats.

California leaf-nosed bats
California leaf-nosed bats, NPS

A to Z offers many bat activities for your classroom, including puzzles, stories, and an echolocation song.

Echolocation is an intriguing concept for most students. Take a look at this Smithsonian video showing what bat echolocation sounds like, slowed down for human ears. Then try this classroom echolocation game from BatsLive.

Did you know that Bat Week is celebrated every year, October 24-31? Bring Bat Week into your classroom with these Bat Week Activities and this Educator Guide from Project Learning Tree.

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