Students Design Bat Houses


Inspired by a read aloud on Halloween, students discovered that a "client" was in need of a design.  The "client" was a family of bats from the book, Bat Baby Finds a Home, by Robert Quackenbush.  The story revealed that it is not easy for bats to find a place to live.  Everywhere the bats attempted to make a home, there was some disruption.  For instance, when the family hung themselves under a tunnel, they soon realized that a train traveling over the tunnel made it very loud.

Students analyzed the text to understand criteria for bat homes.  To support the non-fiction text, the teacher brought in a fiction work about bats.  As students uncovered details about bats' lives they were becoming prepared to brainstorm and ideate around innovative homes for their clients.

With focus on collaboration and cooperation, students combined individual ideas to prototype one bat home.  Students practiced public speaking by sharing and receiving feedback from peers.  Students were able to "test" each design by the criteria the class decided upon: dark, quiet, small opening, cool, a place to hang, and a possible food source nearby.  They also determined "next steps" for iterating their design.