Bats, The Only Mammal That Can Fly
Lesson 3 of 3
Objective: Use concepts to explain the functions of a bat wing by citing evidence from the text, doing close reading and using a model to further understand the adaptation.
I sometimes start a lesson with a video because it helps review what we have learned, and builds the anticipation of what is about to come. In this lesson we focused on the function of the bat's wing. I also included in the PowerPoint a graphic comparing the bat's wing to a human arm as well as a bird's wing.
My students loved taking a look underneath the bat's fur and seeing x-rays of bat anatomy. Using the PowerPoint I created , Bats the only mammal that can fly , to learn new vocabulary to document on their Frayer Vocabulary Model along with the fact that I also included the video about a bat's visit to the vet, which really helped my students experience that bat wing without ever leaving the classroom!
I always try to find ways to expose my students to scientific language. For this lesson, I used an article that explains the bat's wing in detail. The article, The wing's the thing, gave us many opportunities to use words in context, to infer, and to refer to the text for our answers. The article provides sentence frames to help students review the content in a way that requires them to do close reading.
When we had completed learning about the wings, students had the opportunity to sketch a model of a bat wing and then use plastic bags and or plastic wrap to explain and model the bat wing, here's a picture of the Bat wing model on student's hands The students used plastic bags as a model of the bat membrane and most figured out that their thumbs needed to poke through as the the bat thumb. They then modeled the Bat model in action showing the way bats used their wings.
Class Discussion/Wrap Up
As a result of using a model, along with the videos and the close reading, the discussion about the functions of the bat wing were amazing. Or as one student said "today was batastic!" I think that by utilizing different methods to learn about bat wings the students were able to verbalize explanations using evidence of this adaptation. Being able to provide these explanations are what the NGSS is all about.