BATS IN THE CLASSROOM: BEYOND OCTOBER!

batcountOctober has come and gone and, with it, Halloween. If you haven’t already, you’ll soon be returning your bat books to their shelves, where they’ll sit again until next year. BUT WAIT — NOT SO FAST! Bats are too cool to be relegated to just one month!!

In Anna Forrester’s BAT COUNT (which does NOT take place in October!), Jojo worries about the bats disappearing from her family’s barn, and helps out on a citizen science project that’s researching white nose syndrome, the disease that is killing so many bats. BAT COUNT (Arbordale, 2017) introduces bats plus all sorts of other life science concepts: habitat, animal adaptation, species differentiation, hibernation and more.

Four pages of back matter in BAT COUNT cover bat facts and bat anatomy. BAT COUNT’s publisher, Arbordale, also provides a rich, interdisciplinary Teaching Activity Guide, and other aligned math and language activities. Curriculum materials for more extensive bat studies are available on line, too, at Bat Conservation International and the Organization for Bat Conservation.

Studying white nose syndrome offers older students a great, real-world entry point to broader topics too: interdependence, population dynamics, and human impacts. Check out Arbordale’s materials as well as whitenosesyndrome.org’s teacher resources.

And finally, Jojo’s bat count works as a great introduction to the field of citizen science. Through citizen science  projects, kids uses crowd sourcing and digital technologies to help professional scientists do real-world STEM work. Check out The Crowd & The Cloud video series to learn more about citizen science, and at the Cornell Ornithology Lab, Zooniverse and SciStarter you’ll find scads of other great citizen science initiatives.

And: you can find more resources on Anna Forrester’s website!

Click here for the Rafflecopter giveaway of one signed copy of Bat Count and a set of classroom bookmarks.

forresterannaframeAnna Forrester loves nothing better than to stumble onto a funny idea or a great question, and hold on tight as it leads her through books, her imagination, and unexpected nooks and crannies of the real world. She loves words and stories, and many of her adventures find their way into the books she writes. Anna lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two daughters and two dogs. Visit her on line at www.annaforrester.com, or on Twitter @annaforr.

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