Author: Angela Picco

AreaLife Sciences 

 Grade Level: 5-8


This lesson plan is designed to introduce students to a mysterious mammal, and to use this mammal as a model for understanding form and function and biodiversity. Inquiry-based teaching methods will be employed in this lesson plan, encouraging student participation and insight.

This lesson is taught after a lesson on Animal Diversity in which students learned about general features and similarities and differences in form and function among arthropods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Teachers should be familiar with the basics of bat form and function (e.g. bone structure, eating tactics, diet, physical features). Some important vocabulary words include echolocation, nocturnal, herbivore, and carnivore. For background information and diagrams, please refer to references at the end of the lesson.

Students are given Bat Questionnaire so that teacher can address misconceptions about bats and engage students by addressing questions that interest them.


  • hypothesize and model how the bones in a bat wing are organized
  • test hypotheses by comparing models to museum specimens of bats
  • develop questions about bat body parts based on bat photos
  • hypothesize the purpose of different bat body parts based on their questions
  • test hypotheses by watching video and having discussion
  • hypothesize how bats locate their food
  • model bat echolocation to test hypotheses regarding how bats find food  



Bats, Animal Diversity, form and function, mammals, echolocation, food web


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State Standards:

  • Formulate a relative question through observations that can be tested by and investigation (S1C1PO1)
  • Formulate predictions in the realm of science based on observed cause and effect relationships (S1C1PO2)
  • Communicate verbally or in writing the results of an inquiry (S1C4PO1)
  • Identify the functions or parts of the skeletal system (S4C1PO1)

National Standards:

Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry

Content Standard C: Life Science

  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Regulation and behavior
  • Populations and ecosystems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Content Standard E: Science and Technology

  • Abilities of technological design

Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

  • Personal health
  • Populations, resources, and environments

Content Standard G: History and Nature of Science

  • Nature of science



 Lesson Plan (pdf / doc)
 Pre Lesson Handout (pdf / doc)
 Example Questions (pdf / doc)
 Echolocation Handout (pdf / doc)
 Sample Questions Sheet (pdf / doc)