Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 15!

 Bats!  Halloween is the perfect time for a great week learning all about real-life bats and reading about the dearest little bat baby in the world - Stellaluna!

I find that doing both at the same time makes great use of our classroom time and makes it easier to connect bits of information. Stellaluna, by Janelle Cannon, is a favorite of first graders everywhere. One night while flying about with her mother, a hungry owl attacks, causing mother to let go of her baby. Stellaluna ends up in a nest full of three baby birds. Things don't go so well there. Stellaluna has to eat wretched 
grasshoppers instead of fruit. The birds' mother is not too thrilled to find Stellaluna is teaching her babies to hang upside down from the nest. It is a long journey back to her own mother, but it is very satisfying when they are finally reunited at last. Stellaluna and her three bird friends Pip, Flap, and Flitter have learned much about how they are alike and how they are different.

During science class time, I would read Bats by Elizabeth Carney. In this book many questions are asked and answered, such as "What is a bat?", "Where do bats live?", and "What do bats eat?". Did you know that there are more than 150 types of fruit bats? Of course you did! This book has fantastic colorful pages that are labelled so that your students can practice getting information from a picture, which is a Common Core requirement. There is a section about echolocation (using sound waves to locate objects) You can follow that up with a YouTube video:Echolocation - You Tube

You can combine science and literacy skills in as many ways as you have the time to. The children always love to trace a bat shaped template onto black construction paper. You can fold it in half and make a little Bat Book of Facts on the inside. That gets them to think about what new things have they learned about bats.

Likewise, you can study the differences between bats and birds by comparing the characters in Stellaluna. These can be sorted on any kind of graphic organizer that you like. I invite you to check out my Pinterest board (see the side of the page for the link) called "October Ideas", where you will find many brilliant ideas from other teachers! That's where I have always found most of mine!

Happy Reading!  Till Next Time, Nancy

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