Echolocation

Activity

Students play a modified version of blind-man’s-bluff. There will two-three bats at a time who try to make it through a maze of sounds trying to find the food. Students who are bats are blindfolded and given a shaker that makes it’s own sound. The other students in the group are given various size cans with fillers to become the bounced back signal of the bat from trees, insects, and other obstructions.

Materials Needed

12-15 Containers filled with rocks, pebbles, and sand blindfolds diagram of echolocation insect stickers

Procedure

  1. Docent takes students to designated area.
  2. Docent will then explain to students that they are going to play a game of echolocation which demonstrates how micro-bats obtain food and fly.
  3. Docent then explains briefly the structural differences between micro- and mega-bats. Docent explains the relationship between sound and the way it bounces off objects in its path. Docent shows diagram while explaining.
  4. Students are given the instructions for the game: The bats have to find their way through the maze of students who represent object in the environment and collect insects without running into another object.
  5. Docent demonstrates the different sounds the cans make. Docent shows the students how the bat sound is different from the tree sound, insect sound, etc.
  6. Students are asked who wants to be a bat first and try to collect food without running into an obstruction. If all the students want to be a bat first then the Docent will have to ask the students to pick a number between 1-10 and see which two, or three, get the closest.
  7. Docent will then blindfold the bats and hand out the shakers and insect stickers.
  8. Students will then play the game until time to go to the next activity.


Alabama Course of Study for Science

This activity meets goals specified for grades:

  1. K–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 20
  2. 1st–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 19, 25
  3. 2nd–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 16, 20
  4. 3rd–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 21, 28, 37, 39
  5. 4th–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 41, 43
  6. 5th–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 39

Learning Outcomes

Students will understand the process of echolocation that bats use to fly and obtain food better.

Instrumental Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • experience the idea of how bats hear and locate food.
  • demonstrate they understand the concept of echolocation through collecting insect stickers in the game.
  • make connections between the differences in micro-bats and mega-bats.
 

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