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Blind as a Bat?

Overview: Bats are nocturnal creatures, many of which hunt for insects throughout the night. Although bats do have eyes and can see, sight is not their most useful sense when hunting. Through a hands-on tag-type game, students will mimic a bats echolocation ability in order to find and catch prey, and understand echolocation.

Subject: Science

Grades: K-5

Length: Moderate

Materials:

  • Group activity for 6-10 students
  • 1 blindfold

Procedure:

  1. Choose a child to be the "bat". Blindfold the child.
  2. The rest of the group will play the role of "insects" (bat food). They will spread out randomly around the bat within the designated boundaries (approx. basketball court size, if possible).
  3. Bat calls out "Beep, Beep"
  4. The insects respond "Buzz, Buzz" while they walk around the area.
  5. The bat continues to call out and the insects continue to respond while changing positions.
  6. Bat tries to tag an "insect" by listening for the sound they make and moving in the direction of that sound.
  7. A tagged "insect" must go sit in the "bat cave" (designated area) until the next round.
  8. The last person tagged becomes the new "bat".

Adaptations:

  • For Hearing Impaired Students: "Bat" and "insects" stomp or tap on the floor to produce vibrations to locate each other.
  • To reduce chaos, the larger part of the group could be assigned as stationary, and have to call out 'tree' when they hear a 'Beep, beep.'

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