This unit will familiarize students with the differences between mammals and birds. Students will compare and contrast bats and birds in various activities. The teacher will read the storybook Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. General subjects addressed are Language Arts and Science. Some of the concepts this lesson will teach are identifying bats' and birds' body shapes, sizes, body coverings, movements, and body parts.

The posing question is: If bats can fly, why aren't they birds?


Some of the concepts this lesson will teach are identifying bats' and birds' body shapes, sizes, body coverings, movements, and body parts. Students will review the differences between living and nonliving things.

Student Outcomes

After completing this lesson on bats and birds, students will understand:





Off line


  1. Post the title, author, and illustrator on cards around the classroom.
  2. Discuss these important people as you introduce the story, Stellaluna.
  3. Post pictures of bats and birds.
  4. Hang up a K-W-L chart.
  5. Post a step-by-step poster that includes simple (rebus) directions describing the computer task to be completed using text and pictures.

NOTE: prior computer experience is necessary for this unit. Make sure the bat and bird template is saved on the desktop in the student's folder, and MS PAINT or KidPix is available for student use. It would be good to have extra diskettes and plenty of printer paper. The teacher should choose groups of three students to place into teams that establish multi-level learners.


  1. Make bat resources widely available. Read, discuss, and study as many bat facts as possible.
  2. Look at pictures of bats and birds.
  3. Pose the driving question: "If bats can fly, why aren't they birds?"
  4. Discuss the differences and similarities between mammals and birds.
  5. Generate a K-W-L chart with students. An example of a K-W-L is provided.
  6. Read the storybook Stellaluna by Janell Cannon.
  7. Discuss the character in the book and what they found interesting.
  8. Use available books and other resources, K-W-L chart, to complete the fact template on bats and birds.
  9. Use the MS PAINT or KidPix software to draw a bat or bird and label the body parts.
  10. Save on the desktop in student folder and on a diskette.
  11. Share all work. Display in the hallway. The teacher and students can create a class newsletter to share their work with their parents.
  12. As an extension, students could create a Power Point presentation on bats. Each group would be responsible for creating a slide on a bat fact. Once all slides have been created, the teacher could link the slides together to make a slideshow presentation.
  13. A printed "hard-copy" of the slide show could be used as an assessment tool, among another way to present the student's acquired bat knowledge.



  1. Students will be evaluated with a common grade for the entire group and an individual grade. The teacher will be doing informal observation and taking anecdotal notes while the students work in groups and individually. Students will evaluate their own learning using a self-assessment rubric. The student rubric will be called, "How Did I Do?" Use pictures to go along with the text (rebus). Students will evaluate themselves on listening skills, participation, working in a group, taking turns typing facts on the computer, drawing and labeling pictures. The teacher will use a rubric to rate the degree in which a student has met the specified objectives listed above. The rubric will also evaluate whether the child knows the different facts about bats and birds and living and non-living things.
  2. Use an anecdotal record rubric, portfolios, and interviews with the students to record and assess individual progress.


Downloading & Printing Files

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Microsoft Word (.doc)

Bats Lesson

Sample Graph in EXCEL

Bat Images

Sorting Activity

Files in this format can be read, printed or edited using Microsoft Word.

Acrobat Reader (.pdf)

Bats Lesson and Materials

Files in the .pdf format can be read or printed, but not edited using Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader is a free software. You can download it from the Adobe site.

NM Content Standards

Language Arts

1) Students will understand and use language arts for communication. Benchmark K-4


1) Students will understand science concepts of order and organization. Benchmark K-4

Visual Arts

1) Learn and develop the essential skills and technical demands unique to dance, music, theatre, drama, and visual arts.

NM Technology Standards for Teachers

A. Facilitate technology-enhanced experiences that address content standards and student technology standards.

B. Use technology to support learner-centered strategies that address the diverse needs of students.

D. Manage student-learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment.