To celebrate the Year of the Bat, Bats Live! is a new resource for home educators in 2012. This is an offshoot of Pollinator Live! A virtual field trip will take place on May 17, 2012. Prior to the field trip date, students can access the Bats Live! website to see videos on bats and parents can find a plethora of learning activities and lesson ideas.
Little Rock Zoo
The Little Rock Zoo is a fun place for kids to explore. Make a field trip to the zoo. Call them in advance for group rates if several homeschoolers want to go together. Ask the zoo about having a special program on bats for the kids. You will need a minimum of 15 kids and there is a fee. However, the outcome is well worth the cost. The Vampire Bat exhibit will make a great learning experience. Check out the video of the zookeeper rounding up the Vampire Bats so they can be weighed and micro-chipped.
Other Places to See Bats in Arkansas
While most caves in Arkansas are closed to the public, the private show caves are still operational and they offer regular tours and spelunking tours. The Olde Spanish Treasure Cave in Gravette, is open for regular tours. War Eagle Cave in Rogers, offers private spelunking tours. Several of the show caves near Branson and Eureka Springs have spelunking tours open to the public. Finally, you can check out the Lost Valley Trail outside of Boxley. This is one of the few undeveloped caves left open to the public. It is free to hike the trail to the cave.
Completing the Unit Study
Creating a lapbook is a great way to finish off your unit study. Have your homeschooler create a lapbook using several file folders. Older students can write an essay or create a Power-Point presentation. Kids who have access to woodworking tools can build a bat house.
If you have a homeschool group, a 4H or scout group, try contacting the Forestry Service and see if a speaker can come to your group and do a talk on bats and White Nose Syndrome.
For a complete unit study, combine the information found on Bats Live!, take a field trip to the zoo, and contact the Forestry Service about a condition called White Nose Syndrome. Help your homeschoolers learn more about bats this school year by taking advantage of the new resource Bats Live!