Going Batty!


On this page you'll find ideas and activities for studying bats, plus songs, poems, and suggested books. To find out more about a book, click on the cover or the title to go to Amazon.com, then use your browser's BACK button to return here for more great ideas.  Amazon will save your books in your electronic shopping cart until you're ready to check out, now or anytime in the next 90 days.

Many of the books and activities I use in my Going Batty unit are listed below, along with some great ideas contributed by KinderKorner mailing list members.  If you have any projects, books or poems to suggest, please send me a note at kndrcorner@aol.com.  Have a great time teaching and learning about bats!


Getting Started

I begin my bat unit by reading Stellaluna, and discussing what it means to be both alike and different.  Stellaluna is a great springboard for discussions of how alike we all are, while still remaining unique.  We brainstorm lists of ways that we are like each other, and then students work in pairs discussing the ways they are alike and different.

This is much easier to do with kinderkids than I had expected, and they are anxious to share what they've learned about themselves and each other.  As they share with the whole group, I made a mini-chart for each pair of students, to help them remember their list of traits, likes, and dislikes.  Over the next few days, I meet with each pair of students again, and help them write a book about their similiarities and differences ... we discuss their original list, they decide on a few sentences that I write for them, and then they make the illustrations.  This is a wonderful experience and the books are very popular in our classroom library.


Stellaluna Follow Up Activities

After reading Stellaluna, we discuss what we know about bats and what we'd like to learn.  I make a Language Experience chart that will help guide us through the rest of our study of bats.  Sometimes I make a bulletin board with individual bat facts written on black construction paper bats that the kids cut out.  Other times we hang the bat facts bats from the ceiling, making our room into a bat cave.  Whatever we end up doing, we learn a lot and it's lots of fun!

Make a Venn diagram comparing bats and birds.

Make a Stellaluna stick puppet or paper bag puppet.

Using simple masks, let children act out the story.

Use the following writing frame, and have children illustrate their sentence:  Stellaluna looked far below her.  She saw __________.

Stellaluna Fruit Stick Snacks

Make fruit kabobs on popsicle sticks, using banana slices,
grapes, melon chucks and mango pieces.

Make a graph of who likes each kind of fruit.

Using large cardboard boxes -- or tables and blankets -- make a
Bat Cave.  Let the children use it for dramatic play
and for reading books about bats.  In December, the Bat Cave
becomes a Bear Cave for Winter hibernation.

Read The Ugly Duckling and discuss how the swan is like Stellaluna.
Make a Venn diagram comparing the two stories.

The Ugly Duckling
A Reading Rainbow selection
Under $5

Do a mini-unit comparing bats and owls.


 Baby bat Stellaluna's life is flitting along right on schedule - until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the bewildered batlet out of her
 mother's loving grasp. The tiny bat is lucky enough to land in a nest of baby birds, but her whole world has just turned upside down. Literally.  Stellaluna's adoptive bird mom accepts her into her nest, but only on the condition that Stellaluna will act like a bird, not a bat ...

An American Bookseller's Book of the Year and a Reading Rainbow selection
The warm and wonderful story of Stellaluna is one that my students enjoy hearing over and over again.  I introduce it in October, and we read it all year long.  Highly recommended.  Aslo available in a
Big Book Edition
... Soon Stellaluna has
 learned to behave like a good bird should - she quits hanging by her feet and starts eating bugs. But when she finally has an opportunity to show her bird siblings what life as a bat is like, all of them are confounded. "How can we be so different and feel so much alike?" one asks. "And how can we feel so different and be so much alike?" asks another. "I agree," Stellaluna responds. "But we're friends. And that's a fact."

Hardcover Book and Puppet
30% off publisher's price

Pop Up Book
and Mobile Edition


Stellaluna Plush Toy
This adorable, 5-inch-tall, high-quality plush bat, can hang upside down off of your finger if you Velcro her feet together. You can also make her flap around freely with her exquisitely crafted wings that boast a 14-inch wingspan. If she's tired after a long day of playing, she can even fold her wings around herself!

Stellaluna and Other
Bat Stories
Audio Cassette Edition
Includes narrator David Holt's story "Why The Bat Flies at Night" and another bat story by "Courduroy" author Don Freeman, "Hattie, The Backstage Bat." The program concludes with bat facts.
Also available on audio CD.

Bat Facts

 1.  Bats are the only flying mammals and comprise the second largest order of mammals in the world.

 2.  A bat's grasp is strong enough to hold its entire body weight while its body hangs upside down.

 3.  Along with whales, dolphins, and some shrew species many bats use echolocation (sonar dependent on pulse sounds and echoes) to identify and track prey.

 4.  Diet:  fruits, flowers, leaves, insects, frogs, fish, small mammals, reptiles, blood of vertebrates.

 5.  Just one insectivorous bat can eat 600 or more mosquitoes in a single hour.

 6.  Bats live between 4 and 30 years, depending on species.

 7.  In the United States nearly 40% of our bat species are listed by USFWS as endangered species or are candidates for it.

 8.  Fruit and nectar-eating bats are among the most important seed dispersers and pollinators of tropical rain forest trees and plants.

 9.  Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of bats have rabies.

10. Bats are not blind.

11. Bat babies are called pups.


Books About Bats

Bat Jamboree
Make way for the Acro-Bats!
55 bats put on an annual jamboree with fun and costumes, while introducing children to number, rhyme, and counting.  Under $4.  Also available in hardcover.

Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats
Introducing bats as insect eaters, Earle puts their prodigious appetites in terms that children will understand: "Each night a bat chomps half its own weight in bugs. If you weigh 60 pounds, that's like eating 125 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day."
Under $4 and highly recommended!

Bats on Parade
Another lively story from the author of Bat Jamboree, this one introduces multiplication facts through rhyme and illustrations.  Delightful reading!

The Bat in the Boot
In a story based on a real-life incident, two children find a baby bat in their father's boot; they protect and care for the animal until evening, when the mother bat returns to rescue her little one.


A charming picture book about a young bat's first solo flight.

The Bat-Poet
Although the bat-poet may look like a furry mouse with wings, he swells with an artistic sensibility. One day, he discovers how amazing it is to stay awake during daylight hours, exploring things mostly unseen by standard, nocturnal bats.  A wonderful read-aloud story. Under $5.

Beautiful Bats
Hard science with soft watercolor illustrations make this book a winner!

Creatures of the Night
All Aboard Reading,
Level 2
An easy-to-read introduction to the world of bats, filled with fun facts.  Under $4.

The Magic School Bus
Going Batty
Kids love the Magic School Bus adventures.  Under $3.


Make Bat T Shirts

One of our favorite bat unit activities is making our own Bat T Shirts.
Here's how we do it:

Ask each child to bring in light-colored T shirt
(they don't have to be new).

Using a large bat sponge from Michael's Crafts,
let each child make a black bat print in the center of the front of their shirt.
I use black acrylic paint, mixed with a little fabric medium,
so the paint will stick better when the shirt is washed.

Have all the kids put on their Bat Shirts.
Go out to the playground or park and hang upside down
on the monkey bars/climbing structure.
Take lots of photos of your Batty students!


More Non Fiction Books About Bats

Shadows In The Night
More than 50 full color photos, along with a personal account of observing more than 20 million bats make their nightly flight from Bracken Cave in Texas.

Bats: Complete Cross-Curricular Theme Unit That Teaches About This Amazing Mammal

Another wonderful book filled with detailed photos and information. Another student favorite in my class. (note: Amazon has the wrong book notes on the page, but it's still the correct book and link :o)

Extremely Weird Bats
I was very disappointed to not be able to find a cover photo of this wonderful book.  There are 21 outstanding photos of very cool-looking bats, and my students love this book!  Great information, too.

Bats of the World
103 Species in Full Color
Features information on bat anatomy, preferred habitats, special behaviors, identifying characteristics, and more.

Amazing Bats
Eyewitness Junior Series
Explains how bats "see" in
the dark, which bats eat fruit or insects and which suck blood, and why some bats have "nose leaves," ear spikes, and other unusual facial features.

Bats!  Amazing and Mysterious Creatures of the Night
See how bats live, how they hunt, and how they fly at speeds up to 35 miles per hour.  Hardcover edition.

Night Creatures
An introduction to nocturnal animals, with an emphasis on bats and owls.  Part of Scholastic's First Discovery Series.

Bats and Other Animals of the Night
An easy-to-read introduction to the world of nocturnal animals explains why bats can catch tiny insects even on the darkest of nights, why cats' eyes appear to glow in the dark, and other mysteries of the animal kingdom.

Bat Activity & Art Resources

Bats are Beautiful
An Australian website with many bat arts and crafts

Printable Bat Mask

Print out these pages and
Make a Bat Flip Book



This is a fun phonemic awareness exercise that my kids love ...
and, yes, it drives me Batty!

Remember the old theme song to the Batman TV show?
The one that goes
do do do do do do do do
do do do do do do do

We sing it with all the consonant sounds.
b b b b b b b b
b b b b b b b
c c c c c c c c
c c c c c c c
d d d d d d d d
d d d d d d d
f f f f f f f f
f f f f f f f

No, I'm not going to sing the whole thing for you!
By now you get the idea ...


Bat Poems
Many of these poems came from various mail rings ... thanks to all who sent them!

Are all bats hairy, scary things
Rushing past on muffled wings,
Out of caves into the night,
On some silent, secret flight?

I think not! I think they're great!
No matter size or shape or weight.
From radio waves to airplane wings
Bats can teach me many things.

Bats Are Sleeping
(tune: Frere Jacques)

Bats are sleeping
Bats are sleeping
Upside down.
Upside down.
Sleeping in the morning sun.
Waiting for the night to come.
Then they'll fly all around.
Then they'll fly all around.


The baby bat 
Screamed out in fright,
"Turn on the dark,
I'm afraid of the light."

Two little bats hanging in a cave
One named Dan, one named Dave
Fly away Dan
Fly away Dave
Come back Dan, come back Dave!
Five Batty Bats

Five batty bats
Were hanging ‘neath the moon.

"Quiet!" said the first.
"The witch is coming soon."

"She’s green," said the second,
"With a purple pointy nose."

"Black boots," said the third,
"Cover up her ugly toes."

"Her broom," said the fourth,
"Can scratch you - that I know!"

"I’m scared," said the fifth.
"I think we’d better go."

Five batty bats
Escaped into the night.

"Dear me," said the witch.
"That’s a scary sight!"

Little Bat

Small and furry,
litle bat,
fly through the sky at night.
Listen, listen,
little bat
as echoes guide your flight.
Swoop and dive,
little bat,
catch insects as you fly.
Hurry, hurry,
little bat,
back to your nearby cave.
Snug and warm,
little bat,
toes hold the ceiling light.
Sleepy, sleepy,
little bat,
wrapped in your wings until night.



A bat can hang upside down
It holds on with its toes
When it wnts to find some food
It spreads its wings and goes
A bat might live inside a cave
And fly around at night 
And when it's dark a bat knows how
to get around all right.

Flying Bats

If I could hide inside this cave,
What wondrous sights I'd see;
Brown bats all hanging upside down
Like dark leaves on a tree.
Their mouths wide open as they fly,
Shouting sounds as they go by;
The echoes bounce off rocks and things.
To help them steer their hunter's wings.

Spooky Bats

Spooky bats go flying at night,
Flapping about in the pale moonlight.
Spreading their wings, they're a scary sight!
But truth be told, there's no need for fright.

Spooky bats are really not bad.
They eat harmful insects, for which we're glad!
They're somewhat shy, I might also add.
But never grab one - it could get mad!

Spooky bats like to sleep in the day.
They hang upside down and doze that way!
Caves and trees are where they stay.
Until it grows dark - then it's up and away.

Five Black Bats
By Shel Silverstein

Five black bats
Ready to soar;
One stayed behind,
Now there are four.
Four black bats
Hanging from a tree;
One fell down,
Now there are three.
Three black bats
Wondering what to do;
One flew away,
Now there are two.
Two black bats
Sitting in the sun;
One fell asleep,
Leaving only one.
One lonesome bat
With no place to go,
Went hiding in a cave,
Now there are zero.

Amazing Bats

Amazing bats like to eat
Thousands of bugs for a tasty treat.
Flying through the moonlit air,
Traveling here and traveling there.
Hibernating when the weather's cold,
Gathered with hundreds of friends,
I'm told.
Many bats are endangered, I'm sad to say
There are fewer and fewer bats every day.
Be kind to bats, that's the thing to do,
Tell your friends and your family too!

Bats Are Neat

Flying, flying in the sky,
Bats are neat, I'll tell you why.
Flying foxes are the tallest,
Bumblebee bats are the smallest.
Bats are yellow, red, and brown,
Bats sleep hanging upside-down.
Some eat bugs and some eat fruit,
Some look mean and some look cute.
Flying, flying in the sky,
Bats are neat, now you know why!

Those Bats

They come in many colours,
Flying through the nightime air.
They use sonar to guide their way,
Those bats are everywhere!
They eat so many little bugs,
The farmers love them so.
But when the daylight comes along,
Do you know where they go?

5 little bats came flying in the door,
One flew away and that left only 4
4 little bats hiding in a tree,
One flew away and that left 3
3 little bats looking down at you,
One flew away and that left 2
2 little bats hiding from the sun,
One flew away and that left just one.
One little bat hanging all alone,
He flew away and then there were none.

Bat Links

Online Bat Quiz

Chipoptera: Night Flyers
An excellent site maintained by the
University of California, Berkeley

Bat Conservation International

Bats, Bats, Everywhere!
The Bat Website for Kids

Into the Batcave Website

Live BatCam
From the National Zoo and the Discovery Channel

The Only Flying Mammal!
A Thematic Resource Unit for Teachers and Kids

Stellaluna's Friends
an Internet project by many second grade classes



Looking for more teaching ideas?

Visit the Kinder Korner Bookstore
for terrific teaching resources!

My bookstore pages have lots of information on how I use various materials in my classroom, and on activities you can do with your students.  The thematic pages are complete unit resources, with lots of poems, songs, and links on each page.  Make yourself comfortable and take a look around!

Choose from the categories below.
Underlined subjects are links, the other ones are coming soon!

Top 10
Must Have
Phonemic Awareness
Integrated Curriculum
Balanced Literacy
Mini Books
for Emergent
Pat Cunningham Books &
4 Blocks Books
Writer's Workshop
Guided Reading
How to
Your Books for Guided Reading
Pocket Chart Resources
 Songs and
About Me
Back to School
Marvelous Math Books
Read It!
Draw It!
Solve It!
What's In A
Literature for Math
I Love
Monthly Themes
Their Way
Along Came
A Spider
Down on the Farm
Rain Forest
Going Buggy!
Read Alouds
Spring Has Sprung!
Come Into
A Camping We Will Go!
Under the Sea
A Rainbow of Colors
I Lost


 Special Books for Special People
reading for pleasure
Fire Safety
We Are

Click below to go directly to
Amazon.com to browse for books.




This page went online October 10, 1999.

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