Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Batty Facts

Carol Cline
Leon County Schools


Go batty! Students use a KWL chart as a prereading strategy to organize and display their knowledge of bats, nocturnal animals.


The student uses prereading strategies before reading (for example, a KWL or skimming text headings, bold type, and other text features).


-Baseball bat
-Bat animal model or Halloween prop or large picture
-Classroom set of [Silverwing] by Kenneth Oppel, Simon & Schuster (Juv); ISBN: 0689815298; (October 1997)
-KWL Chart worksheets (see attached Associated File)
-KWL Chart on overhead transparency
-Overhead projector
-Transparency marker
-Pencils for all students
-Internet connected computers
-Assorted books and magazine articles about bats


1. Obtain all materials in advance.
2. Preview related Websites and have several URL addresses available for students to use.
3. If necessary, reserve Media Center and Computer Lab on the days that students will be completing their research on bats. Also, have books and articles about bats reserved for the students to use.


NOTE: Students should be comfortable with computer searching skills.

1. Have models of a baseball bat and an animal bat. First, hold the baseball bat up for the students to see. Ask: What do you think of when I show you this bat? Call on a student for a response. Next, hold up the animal model and ask: Now what do you think of when I show you this bat? Accept several student responses. Then say: Today we are going to learn how to use a KWL chart to help us organize what we know about a subject, decide what else we would like to find out about the subject, and, finally, show what we ultimately learn about this subject. Since we will soon begin reading the novel [Silverwing], by Kenneth Oppel, which is about the adventure of a young bat, these unique creatures will be our focus today.

2. Pass out a blank KWL Chart (see associated file) to each student, and put a transparency of a blank chart on the overhead. Ask the students to be ready with pencils to complete the chart as the class works through each section together. Explain that the K in KWL stands for Know and coincides with the first section of the chart: What We Know. The W in the KWL stands for Want in the second section of the chart, What We Want to Know. The L in the KWL stands for Learned in the chart's last section, What We Have Learned.

3. Have the students brainstorm what they know about bats. As they share, write their ideas on the overhead, under the first section of the chart, What We Know. At the same time, direct the students to complete this section on their charts along with you.

4. Next, have the students offer suggestions of what they would like to know about bats and write these in the second section of the chart as was done in #3 above. Lead the students in formulating questions about the different kinds of bats, where bats live and what they eat, and what their life styles and social structures are like.

5. In order to complete the section on What We Have Learned, students will be given directions to find information on bats using the Internet, books, and articles. Students will be given class time to research the topic in the media center and/or computer lab. Review research skills appropriate for your class.

6. After research has been completed, students will share, during class, what they have learned about bats, and the whole group will together complete the final section of the KWL charts. Ask if any of the ideas that the students thought they knew about bats turned out to be myths. Let the students share their findings about this. Then collect the charts to assess the studentsí use of the KWL charts as a prereading strategy.

7. At this point, you may wish to begin reading the novel, [Silverwing], by Kenneth Oppel.


Assess students' KWL charts for:

1. In What We Know column, students should list at least five things they think they know about bats and their lifestyles.
2. In What We Want to Know column, students should list at least five reasonable questions about bats and their lifestyles.
3. In What We Have Learned column, students should list at least five things they have learned about bats and their lifestyles.


Another animal category important to the plot in this novel is owls. Students may complete a KWL Chart on owls as an independent assignment.

Web Links

The Just Read Now site discusses using KWL charts . Note especially the video clip of this strategy in action.>Just Read Now

This one-page site contains information about kinds of bats and their lifestyles.
Bats: Sciath?n Leathair

This one-page site contains interesting myths about bats that students will enjoy.

This is a one-page site of information for children about bats, Batty About Bats Kid.
Connecticut Department of Environmental Education

This is a more advanced site that has many photos of different kinds of bats, maps showing where they can be found, and a wealth of information about bats.
Astralasian Bat Society Inc.

Attached Files

This file contains a sample of a KWL Chart .     File Extension: pdf

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