Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bats: National Geographic Readers

Bats: National Geographic Readers
written by Elizabeth Carney
(National Geographic Society) 2010
Source: Copy provided by publisher

Bats is another winner in the National Geographic Readers series of informational text. You get a combination of high quality photographs and interesting text that will hook young readers. Bats are a fascinating subject with their nocturnal nature and vampire folklore attached to their name. One of my favorite sections of this book is called Bat Myths Busted!. Elizabeth Carney refutes myths about the eyesight and cleanliness of bats. If you want to teach text features, this book would be an excellent source for teaching labeling. Page 13 has a full length photograph of a bat and several labels of bat body parts. The Bat Hall of Fame section is another engaging part of this book with amazing information about species like the flying fox which can have a wingspan of six feet long or the brown bat which "can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in one night."

I read this book with my kindergarten class this morning and they were mesmerized. It is the perfect size for use with a document camera. I drew a quadrant with blocks dedicated to old schema, new schema, new words, and questions we have about bats. Some of my students thought that bats slept at night so reading this book helped us to learn about  the word nocturnal and clear up misconceptions. Bats also helped us work on how to ask questions and wonder out loud.

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