Student will learn to:
Students will simulate a natural predator/prey relationship in a game of tag.
Almost all bats in North America are insectivores (insect eaters). A single Little Brown Bat can eat as many as 3,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single night. Bats are often seen at dusk swooping around street lights and outdoor lamps. The light attracts night-flying insects, the bats' food source.
Despite the saying "blind as a bat", bats can see quite well. However, sight is not what makes them such skillful predators. Bats use their sense of hearing to navigate and find food in the dark. Using their voices and their ears, bats locate objects by a method called echolocation.
The ears of bats are specially adapted to gather sound waves. Their ears are large with a broad, scoop-like form and project well above their heads to allow better hearing. While flying, bats continuously emit high-pitched, ultrasonic squeaks through their mouths or noses. These sounds are inaudible to humans. The emitted sounds radiate out until they hit an object and bounce back to the bats as an echo. Hearing the echo, bats can judge the distance, location, and size of objects in their paths. If an object appears large, bats steer away; if the object is small and in motion, the bat dives quickly to catch the insect prey.
Note: With a mixed age group or a very aggressive bat, the insects might not stand a chance. A student acting as a tree or lamp post can be added in the middle of the circle and respond "Tree" or "Lamp post" to each bat signal sent. This stationary object will provide a little natural protection for the flying insects.
Young students will have an easier time remembering their roles and responding if you have all the students inside the circle be moths (or any one type of appropriate insect). The insect type may vary in a future round.
After completing one or two rounds, have the environment circle play an active part in returning signals each time the bat calls. Have the students look around and determine what else would return the bat's signal. If outside: trees, a fence, cars, buildings? If inside: the walls, chairs, tables? Assign two to four students standing beside each other a particular item they will represent and continue around the circle, with every few students representing different items in the bat's surroundings.. When the bat sends its signals out, each person in the circle will respond. You may introduce background interference by adding constant shuffling of feet of the students in the circle. It will add confusion and promote concentration by the bats to differentiate between prey and the natural surroundings.