Bats Are Everywhere!

Bats Are Everywhere!

by Judie Haynes

Are bats blind? Do they attack people? Do they carry rabies? This thematic unit provides a change of pace to your study of animals. Help your students explore the scientific facts and myths about bats. Increase vocabulary, study animal classification, and add to knowledge about animals.

I like to begin this unit with a KWL chart. It is important to see where your students are in their understanding of bats. A typical chart reveals that many students think bats are birds and that they have feathers. They also believe that bats are blind and that they attack humans.

Lesson Topic

Do Bats Help or Harm People?

Proficiency/Grade Level:

Grades 2-8; High Beginning to Advanced students.

Content Concepts/Skills

Science concepts: Animal classification; bats;

Cultural concepts: In European cultures bats are portrayed as evil while in Chinese culture bats are good luck.


Bat vocabulary includes names for body parts of the bat; types of bats and words to describe what bats eat and where they live.

Materials Needed:

Books about bats (fiction and nonfiction);black construction, paper, outline of a flying bat.

Unit Overview

This topic was taught over a wide range of grade and ability levels in three different ESL groups. My 2nd graders read "Stellaluna" and listed which parts of the story were fact and which were fiction. They also listened to a fact book about bats and collected bat facts. They learned to differentiate between a fact and a myth. Third and fourth graders read a factual bat book and made a list of vocabulary. They made a map to show where different types of bats live. Older students studied echolocation and endangered bats. They found the main idea in paragraphs and took notes from the writings.

Instructional Sequence

Related Links

Using the Internet for Content Based Instruction
Need ideas to enhance your content-based ESL instruction? Make your thematic units come alive and put pizzaz in your lessons by incorporating internet sites into your plans. If you teach small groups, you only need one computer to pique your studentsí interest.