Saturday, October 18, 2014

We Went 'Batty!'

This week we learned all about...

BATS!

This was the first year I really dove into a unit on bats and boy did we have fun...and learn a lot!

There were several books I used this week- both fiction and informational- about bats!
Here are a few we used to learn about bats:




And a few others that we used for read alouds and/or as mentor texts for Readers and Writers Workshop:



(BTW I checked and all of the titles above can be found on Amazon if you, or your local library don't have them!)

As much as I would have LOVED for my kinders to try hanging upside down, I am not that adventurous, so I had them lay on the floor, wrap their 'wings' around themselves and I stood over their heads!  We also practiced 'flying' like bats and..of course...tried out our screeching!

We charted what we learned on a huge bat 'can, have, are' chart:

The first time we wrote on it I used purple and then after reading a few more books and watching some videos we added what we learned with the orange marker.  I did this to show them how authors can add to their pieces as part of our Writers Workshop lesson one day.

We also used interactive writing to label the parts of a bat:

What I LOVED was that my kinders were EAGER to add other parts to the bat that I did not originally have on it...

Including...
fingers and its thumb....

AND..my favorite...
REAL FUR! (aka pulled pieces of brown burlap that I had in my craft closet!)

I put it together in this collage so that you could pin it as 1 image to reference later on!

We used some fun songs and learning videos I found online this week too!
The first up is Bats, Bats, Bats!  It is a fun song with great real photos of bats!  The tune is catchy!  My kinders loved it!

The next taught all about echolocation- which my kinders LOVED saying!


The last one is from PBS Kids.  It is a bit long and better for grade 1 but has some interesting bat facts.  My kinders started to lose interest after a bit..and just wanted 'the singing bat movies' back!

But that was not the end of our bat learning and fun!

Our 'Poem of the Week' was from DeeDee Wills' Poetry Pack- the October Poetry Stations- called 5 Little Bats:
Our sight word this week was 'the' so we found it with highlighting tape.
I also had a 'bat snatcher' each day who stood near the pocketchart as we read it and 'snatched' a bat each time we got to the line 'One flew out to find a snack...' until all the bats were gone.  

I wanted a fun display for our bat fact chart and interactive writing but needed a little something more!
I came across this pin for a bat tracer:

but decided to add the kids faces to the bats rather than the googly eyes!

After they cut out the bat, I glued on their face and cut around the ears.  I folded the wings and put a staple in the middle (see below).

Each child wrote a bat fact and I 'hung' their bat from their fact:
This bat fact was inspired by the 'Poem of the Week!'

So proud of her spacing and sound spelling!

They LOVED to write about the bats sucking blood!

And once all were hung we had a...

We learned that bats are not really blind...they just have a hard time seeing in the dark!  But we talked about how hard it would be for a bat to see teeny tiny writing...what could a bat use??

MAGNIFYING GLASSES!
So we tried out a new 'I Spy' type of activity using a bat theme:


We use 'Fundations' to teach letters, so we have covered t,b,f,n,m,i,u,c & o so far.
So I hit those letters (6pt font) in the bat picture and then put pictures of items that start with those letters on the bottom of the page.  They had to...

and then... 
I had them 'x' each letter as they found it on the bat so that they would know which ones were already used.  They loved it!

Want to try it out with your kiddos?
Here it is for free:
Just right click on the image and copy it into a new document or save it as a picture and insert it into a new document!

Here is the bat fact paper I used too, if you want that:

Next week they will do a similar activity independently in Phonics Center, but our theme will be pumpkins, so I created this one for them to do and added the 2 new letters (a and g) that we will learn next week into the mix:
Feel free to use this one, as well! 

There is so much more I would have loved to do with bats but we merely ran out of time!  Next week we are onto pumpkins!  I have a bunch of fun things planned...be sure to stop by again!

I will be blogging on The Primary Pack on Thursday 10/24- my first post!  I'd love for you to swing on by- planning a 'dough' lot of fun and some freebies!

Until next post,
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