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Bats of Arizona
 

Here are some ideas to incorporate the Bats of Arizona poster into your sixth grade classroom. The appropriate standards are listed below each activity.

Anatomy

Compare and contrast the anatomy of bats to birds and mammals. Focus on the bones in the forelimb. Are bats more similar to birds or humans? Why? What advantages do the design of the wings give to birds? What advantages are given to bats? Do you think birds or bats are more adept fliers? Why?

  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 1, Objective 6

Diversity

Research bat diversity. How many species of bats are there in North America? Worldwide? How does this compare to other mammals? In what parts of the world can bats be found? Which state has the most species? Which state has the least? Why? Where does Arizona rank?

  • Technology: Standard 5, Essentials 2, Objective 2

Endangered Species

Using the "Bats of the United States and Canada", make a pie chart showing the total number of bats compared to those that are endangered and those that are of special concern. What percentage of the bats is in need of protection? Do endangered bats appear to come from one family more than any other or are they fairly well distributed? Why? Identify bats found in Arizona and make a similar chart. How do the percentage of protected bats in Arizona compare to that of the U.S. and Canada?

  • Math: Strand 2, Concept 1, Objective 3
  • Math: Strand 2, Concept 1, Objective 4
  • Math: Strand 2, Concept 1, Objective 7

Mythology

Bats have been a part of human mythology for thousands of years. Use the Internet to research some of the myths and legends about bats. Based on the stories you found, are bats portrayed positively or negatively? Are they supported by facts? If so, which ones? Select one of the stories you found that misrepresents bats and rewrite it so that it accurately depicts these animals.

  • Reading: Strand 2, Concept 1, Objective 6
  • Technology: Standard 5, Essentials 2, Objective 2

Math

Answer the following math problems related to bats:

  • A human’s active heartbeat is 150 times per minute. For a bat, it is 900 per minute. How much faster does the bat’s heart beat? How many times does a bat’s heart beat in one second? When a bat hibernates, the rate drops to about 20 beats per minute. How much does it slow down? How many times will a hibernating bat’s heart beat in one day?
  • Insectivorous bats can eat half their weight in insects every night! Many of these insects, like moths, are considered pests because they can damage crops. If a bat weighs 16 grams and a moth weighs 0.4 grams, how many moths can the bat eat in one night? How many moths could it eat from May to September?
  • If a bat can pollinate flowers on 12 different saguaro cacti in one night, how many cacti will the bat pollinate in one month? How long does the saguaro blooming season typically last? How many cacti might be pollinated by one bat in that time?
  • Mexican free-tailed bats produce one baby (known as a “pup”) each year. How many pups will a colony of five million females produce in one summer? If half the babies are eaten by predators or die during the long fall migration back to Mexico, how many are left? If one quarter of the remaining young die in their winter roost or during the spring migration back to Arizona, how many will return?
  • Math: Strand 1, Concept 2, Objective 2
  • Math: Strand 1, Concept 2, Objective 14

Wild Kids

Check out the Wild Kids activity page focused on bats. Be sure to pick the appropriate grade level.

  • Reading: Strand 1, Concept 4, Objective 2
  • Reading: Strand 1, Concept 6, Objective 7

Bat Houses

As a school project, try attracting bats to your schoolyard. Use the following websites to research directions on building a bat house and build your own!

  • Reading: Strand 3, Concept 2, Objective 1
 

 
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