Friday, October 21, 2011

Homeschool Unit: Bats!!

We just finished up our very first unit study on the book Stellaluna! The kids had a lot of fun and we all learned some really cool things. The unit study I used was a free one from Home school share. We added a few things and took a few things out that we thought wouldn't work for us. We kicked off the first day by reading Stellaluna and talking a little about bats, and creating our lapbook outline. If you haven't read Stellaluna to your kids, I recommend it.
It's about a fruit bat that gets seperated from his mother and ends up in a birds nest and the mother bird takes care of it. Stellaluna spends several weeks (months?) in the birds nest with his siblings (birds) feeling like he doesn't belong, until one day he is reunited with his species. It has a few elementary facts about bats that we expanded upon using other books such as The Truth About Bats from the Magic Schoolbus Series, we also used a book entitled Creatures of the Night and a couple of Animal Planet and Discovery Channel specials on bats and nocturnal creatures. 

Throughout the unit we created a lapbook about bats and nocturnal creatures. And even had a field trip to watch bats in nature. Here is what Zoe's lapbook looked like. (Keep in mind, I let my children do their own work on projects I don't "fix" it or make it look pretty, that's undermining for the child). Also Zoe has several reading/writing disabilities (due to her SPD and APD, and ADD) so it's not really reflective of a normal 3rd graders work. But she ROCKED this unit and would continue on with it if I didn't force her to move on, lol! I am pretty sure that she learned the most out of all of us!
Front Cover

What you find when you open up the first page..Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals, Predetor and Prey, Which Bat's use Echo locations, Vocabulary Words, geography lesson in where fruitbats reside and a listing of Carnivore, herbavore and Omnivore animals, Also Bat Anatomy

A few more flip books of different facts, some bat jokes and some pictures Zoe colored.

A descriptive sentence of the bats we saw in Phoenix.
And finally, livened the unit up with a trip to the Bat Cave in Phoenix, where we saw Mexican free-tailed bats fly out into the night. We also got to watch the birds of prey circle overhead for a few minutes before they came out! 

Waiting very impatiently for the bats to come out!

I didn't manage to capture more than a few at a time on camera, they flew out in twos and threes, and sometimes 5's. 

We definitely had a fun time on bats!

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