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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hanging Out with Stellaluna -- Pt. 3

Now that you've read Stellaluna to your class, it's time to extend the learning.  One of my goals with this study is to change my students' attitudes about bats.  To this end, I invite experts to come talk to my class.  I'm fortunate to live in a college town (Go ILLINI!) where it is easy to find a bat expert.  A professor from the U of I's Natural History Museum is kind enough to spend some time with my kiddos and brings lots of cool artifacts.  Moreover, I have a personal friend who is a caver and professor at the local community college.  She also gives her time to my class.

In addition to these awesome resources, I like to read several non-fiction books about bats to my class.  A couple of my favorites are Amazing Bats by Seymour Simon and Bats by Gail Gibbons.

Armed with new knowledge about bats, my class then completes a Venn Diagram comparing bats and birds.  I have always done this with the traditional 2 ovals intersecting in the middle.   Yesterday, as I was perusing Pinterest, I found this idea for putting the diagram on a bat.  Well, duh.

Well done Kinder by Kim!

Being a "poet-tree nut," I just have to include some poetry writing.  We write acrostics --

and bat shaped poems -- 


and stories -- 

Because I teach first grade, I don't assign factual reports to the class.  I do, however, challenge my gifted/enrichment students to create a factual report -- 

We make a bat nursery with origami bats --

and share our learning with the school --

Can you see the echolocation lines in Katie's drawing above?  They are purple lines right beside the bat's head.  

We publish a class book with all of our poems, stories, and reports.  One copy goes in our class library, one copy is given to the school library, and each student takes a copy home.

If you would like more ideas for teaching about bats through Janell Cannon's Stellaluna, check out my Hanging Out with Stellaluna product on TpT or TN.  In addition to the activities already discussed, Hanging Out with Stellaluna includes math journal prompts, origami directions, and center ideas, such as this phonics center vowel sort --

I don't need a standardized test to assess my students' learning.  It's obvious.  


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