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Little Brown Bats

Updated on April 15, 2015

Little Brown Bat

Little Brown Bat
Little Brown Bat | Source

Little Brown Bats Unit Study

Bats are amazing creatures. Bats are the only mammals that can truly fly. Little Brown Bats live all over the northern part of the United States, Southern Canada and in the mountains of Mexico. There are various kinds of bats that live all over the world. I became interested in Little Brown Bats when I heard about the terrible disease, White Nose Syndrome, that has been decimating populations of bats throughout the northeastern part of the United States including my native state of Vermont. It is believed that 90% of the bats have died out here in Vermont in the past 3 years and that within 15 years, Little Brown Bats may become completely extinct. Little Brown Bats are now on the endangered species list in the state of Vermont.

With the disappearance of bats, the insect population may dramatically increase which could cause problems for agriculture and tourism.

This unit study is designed to help children come to appreciate bats and the role they play in keeping a balance in insect populations. Children will learn the habits of Little Brown Bats, the food the bats eat and the impact that the disappearance of bats may have on the economy of the region.

Included will be bat related Language Arts activities, math games involving bats, science projects and physical educational games that lead to better understanding of Little Brown Bats.

The sun sets in the west and the bats begin to fly out of the belfry, swoop over the edge of the pond and use their echolocation to gobble up the evening insects. Come fly with the bats...

Little Brown Bat Books - Let's learn learn about Little Brown Bats!

As we begin our unit study on Little Brown Bats I like to have a variety of books available to the children that can teach us about the bats. I choose the Gail Gibbons book about bats because it compares various different kinds of bats and gives us a good overview of the various species, habitats and body structures.

Then we concentrate on Shadows of the night because it is about the Little Brown Bat, the bat that until recently was the most prevalent bat in our area and the bat that this unit study is based on. The Little Brown Bat has gone from abundance to near extinction in just three years. We are studying the Little Brown Bat to see if there is anything we can do, as individuals and as a class to help save the bats.

Bat Cave Reading

We made a bat cave for a reading nook. One year it was a play tent. Another year it was the space under a table covered in a black tablecloth.

Place a basket of bat books, a couple of plush bats and a few pillows inside the Bat Cave to invite the children in for hours of reading fun.

Books for the Bat Cave

You can turn your Lemming reading nook into a Bat Cave for learning more about Little Brown Bats. Here are some suggested books to include in your Little Brown Bat Reading Cave.

When choosing books I look for ones with simple text, beautiful illustrations and books that inform. Here are several of my children's favorite bat books that I know your children would love to read as well.

Beautiful Bats
Beautiful Bats
Beautiful watercolor illustrations combined with simple text explain to children all about Little Brown Bats. Beautiful bats shows children how helpful bats are in naturally reducing insect populations and helps us understand not only how humans are responsible for the decline in bat populations but how we can change our behavior in order to help save the bats.

Spelling the word BAT! - Spelling the -at words

Spell Bat
Spell Bat

Bat Words

As Halloween approaches most first graders and some kindergarteners are ready to begin spelling the -at words. These are words where the beginning consonant changes but the last two letters, -at, remain. Words that rhyme with bat include:












Note that the word "what" does not rhyme with bat even though it ends in -at.

Comparing Little Brown Bats with Fruit Bats - Little Brown Bats vs. Fruit Bats

Venn Diagram Comparing Little Brown Bats with Fruit Bats
Venn Diagram Comparing Little Brown Bats with Fruit Bats

Comparing Bats

Photo Credit: Little Brown Bat From WPClipart

Photo Credit: Fruit Bat From WPClipart

Read the story of Stellaluna, a fictional tale of a fruit bat, and then create a Venn Diagram comparing Fruit Bats with Little Brown Bats.

"Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog"

- William Shakespeare

Penmanship and the Little Brown Bat - Writing the Littlel Brown Bat in Cursive

Little Brown Bat
Little Brown Bat | Source

Letter B in Cursive

If you are teaching your children cursive try to get to the letter b before introducing the bat theme. The transition between the b and r can be difficult as well as the w to the n if you would like your children to write the words Little Brown Bat. I always explain to the children that these are the letters that reach out their hands on top.

When introducing new cursive letters, children love to put on a Brown Bat Finger Puppet and use it to make big swooping letters in the air.

More advanced writers might practice writing spelling words such as mosquito, insect or fly.

A Little Brown Bat Stretches, Yawns and goes back to Sleep - Observing the Little Brown Bat

One single bat

can consume over 46,000,000 (yes, that is 46 million) insects in its lifetime. - Bat World Sanctuary

Counting Bat Prey! - Each Bat can eat 600 Insects per Hour!

We read that bats can eat 600 insects per hour but what does that really mean? It can be difficult to grasp large numbers such as 600 so today we will be filling the sky with mosquitoes, 600 mosquitoes to be exact.

Mosquito Rubber Stamp (Realistic)
Mosquito Rubber Stamp (Realistic)
Set up a mosquito breeding station as one of your math centers. At this station children stamp mosquitoes onto 6 pages of one inch graph paper that have been cut into 10 by 10 sections. The children should stamp one mosquito into each square. The papers will be posted on a bulletin board. For every six sheets of paper we post one bat. By the end of this activity the children not only will remember that bats eat lots of insects but many will know that 10 X 10 = 100 and will have begun to lay the foundation for understanding place value.

Bat Shape

Bat Template
Bat Template | Source

Bat Shaped Cookies - Bat Shaped Cards, Books

Let's make bat shaped cookies! I found these cute, sturdy bat shaped cookie cutters that are just right for making bat shaped cookies. We used a recipe for lumberjack cookies that I learned from my grandmother. This cookie recipe is fairly dark making it just right for bat shaped cookies. The cookies were yummy so we made lots more and sold them as a fun raiser to buy materials to make bat houses. We are hoping that by providing housing for bats that more bats will survive.

Bat Costume

Anatomically Correct Bat Costume
Anatomically Correct Bat Costume | Source

Bat Costumes

After decorating your room as a bat cave, visit belfries, bat caves and small dark openings to discover the habitat of the Little Brown Bat.

Scientists Check Vermont Cave for Bats

Virtually walk into a Vermont Cave with scientists as they check to see how the bats are doing this year. Will they find that the entire population as died of or will they discover a stabilizing population?

Notice how well they clean their equipment once they return to the laboratory. Why do you think this is necessary? Should we as armature scientists enter caves looking for bats? Why or why not?

Do you have bats in your attic?

Tell us about your experiences with bats. Have you had bats in the belfry? Have bats roosted in your attic? Have you seen bats swooping through your yard on a summer evening?

Bragging about Bats - Have you seen bats?

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    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 

      7 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      Yes, some years we see bats in our garden, but not the last year or so. I love your bat poem, by the way. And I love to see bats flying. We have rescued a couple which flew into our hallway once, as we have a wildlife sanctuary near us.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      a wonderful and very educational page! Students and teachers alike will find this very helpful! A few had managed to find their way into my moms house (that's not a pretty mom and bats in the same space) - and I'll never forget my grandmother, when I was a little girl, chasing a bat around her house with a pot on her head - it was quite a vision, lol!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      8 years ago from New York City

      I had the good fortune of having a bat flap into my apartment one evening. I actually forgot for a while that I'm about 1,000 times bigger than he was. It took me a day to shoo the poor creature back out.

    • suepogson profile image


      8 years ago

      I have just managed to persuade a little black bat to leave my house. I think it got lost last night and found my house darker than the scary outdoors. I'm rather glad to see the back of him as their darting flight scares me (may be illogical but a common fear I think) I'm quite happy to have them flying about outside. I hope the little brown bat increases in numbers and that we do what we can to help.

    • LoriBeninger profile image


      8 years ago

      When my parents owned a camping resort in Northern California, most of the year the bats would show up at dusk to hunt over the lake. That's when I learner about their benefits and found out what wonderful creatures the are.

    • LaughingLady LM profile image

      Helen Phillips Cockrell 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      It's certainly good news to hear about the increase in the numbers since the discovery of white nose syndrome. I hope the bats are developing a resistance to the disease.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Learned a lot about bats from this. Liked it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I hope there's a way to put a stop to the disease. I'm really sorry for the bats. We enjoy evening walks to watch bats. Lately there are fewer due to new building projects, unfortunately.

    • iijuan12 profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      Yes, we have quite a number of them that fly around our yard each evening gobbling up mosquitoes. Thank you for the great lens! I'm featuring it on my lens on New Mexico for Teachers & Travelers because of all the bats at Carlsbad Caverns.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 

      9 years ago from France

      I love the bats that live around our farmhouse in south west France. I think they live in the barn and are so romantic.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great information. I have some animated bat art

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is wonderful, we want on a walk this evening and saw some bats, can't wait to show this to the girls! :)

    • evelynsaenz1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Evelyn Saenz 

      9 years ago from Royalton

      @CottageHomestead: The more children know about bats, how helpful they are as well as how much they are endangered, the more chance bats have for survival. Thank you for sharing these activities with your children.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Evelyn Saenz 

      9 years ago from Royalton

      @AlleyCatLane: Thanks for stopping by to learn a bit about Little Brown Bats:)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow! Didn't know there was so much to know about bats. Another excellent lens and lesson plan. Blessed!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      9 years ago from Albany New York

      I feel like I really know these Little Brown Bats now! Great lens. Congrats on your Purple Star.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      love watching them swoop around the yard eating insects... wish I had a bat house here

    • PamKeesey profile image


      9 years ago

      Awesome lens! I remember finding a small brown bat as a child, and becoming completely infatuated. Teaching kids about bats, their role in the ecosystem, and how to protect their habitat is, I think, the best way to protect these amazing creatures. Great work!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We bought a bat house (condo, actually) a couple of years back, but the bats haven't taken up occupancy in it. One year we had wasp nests in it that had to be cleared. This winter the bat house fell off the tree we had it on during a storm. This article reminded me that I need to hang it again and hope for the best. Nice lens.

    • surfer1969 lm profile image

      surfer1969 lm 

      9 years ago

      Very nice lens.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lots of great info here about bats! Thanks!

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 

      9 years ago

      Where I live there flocks of fruit bats (also called flying foxes) roost in mangroves along the semi-tidal river near town. Adorable! They fly across the suburbs at night in smaller groups, you can sometimes hear their 'chrrip' calls to each other. Sadly, a few years ago two human deaths were blamed on fruit bats, through disease. One death turned out to be a murder (by another human, not a bat!), the other was found unnconnected to the bats. Still the prejudice remains, and there is talk locally of 'scaring away bats from the river'. This is outrageous! The world needs bats (like fruit bats), not scaremongers.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We see lots of bats flying around in the summer evenings. I love bats. Wonderful lens!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      We get bats outside our house as it gets dark in the summer, they are cool to watch. This was a cool lens with some fun quizzes. So ok I got half of them wrong, but it was fun. Yet another great lens and a half, blessed.

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 

      9 years ago from Detroit

      I like bats very much. Really good and interesting page!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 

      9 years ago

      Nice quiz.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 

      9 years ago

      I still think it's cool as the daylight fades, and suddenly you realize those are bats flying around. When I was 12 in Australia visiting, I saw these HUGE fruit bats flying above and was wondering what they were.

    • profile image

      Eevee LM 

      9 years ago

      Thank you for teaching me so much about Little Brown Bats!

    • MisterJeremy profile image


      10 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Interesting page. I didn't know that the white nose disease was so serious.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Fantastic job, Evelyn. Wonderful resource for Little Brown Bats :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      10 years ago from United States

      This is a wonderful bat study with a lot of excellent resources! Angel Blessed!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      10 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I have seen bats often, I love them. They are strange and fascinating creatures

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      10 years ago from California

      We just put a new roof on part of our house and the workers found 2 bats. I took them and put them in the shade of a bush. I hope I did right. We have a bat house we are hanging tomorrow. They were definitely small brown bats. I hope they survived. Excellent lens. Bear hugs and blessings, Frankster

    • dahlia369 profile image


      10 years ago

      I don't see them around here much but they are special creatures and very beneficial. Wonderful lens, much fun and great info. Blessed! :)

    • imolaK profile image


      10 years ago

      As always, your unit studies are very informative and interesting. Blessed!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      10 years ago from Vermont

      We have a bat house at our PA home and we have at least 2 who patrol over our yard every night. In Vermont we just discovered one that flies around in the early evening. We're hoping for more, and keeping a lookout.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I've just come inside from greeting the hundreds of little fruitbats who fly over my house every evening. Whenever I'm away from home, I wonder if they miss me

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you for a very interesting and informative lens on the little brown bat. We have also seen the number of bats decline in our area due to the White Nose Syndrome. On a positive note, a friend who volunteers to count bats for the State of Connecticut recently tallied 82 bats leaving their roost in a barn to forage for their evening meal of insects.

    • profile image

      franstan lm 

      10 years ago

      Great lens for bat activities for teachers

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I've never actually seen one.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      10 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I haven't seen a bat in ages. I'd love to put a few houses in the back yard but I'm sure the neighbors would go batty. ;)

    • Hedremp profile image

      Sandra Wilson 

      10 years ago from Wilson Education Resource Centre

      My son did a project on bats and adopted a fruit bat from the Bat Conservation Int'l - he called it Redbeard and his picture hung proudly in our school room for many years.


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