Bat Radar, a Mobile

Bat Radar, a Mobile lesson plan

How would you like to eat a dinner of insects in the dark?! Bats find their food with echolocation—show how with this mobile!

  • 1.

    Students research radar and echolocation, especially with bats. Bats possess an ability, called echolocation, to find insects to eat using sound waves. These animals emit very high-pitched sounds, which bounce off flying insects. Bats "hear" the returning sound waves that help them to find bugs. Have students compare and contrast differences between radar and echolocation. They should incorporate what they learned about bats into a mobile.

  • 2.

    Have students use one sheet of Crayola Color Explosion™ Black paper to make the top of the mobile. With Color Explosion Markers, draw the outline of a bat, flying insects, stars, or other things will tell people looking at the mobile about echolocation, or bat radar. Draw freehand or make a stencil with recycled cardboard.

  • 3.

    Punch about four holes in both ends of the paper. Roll ends together and insert paper fasteners to make a cylinder. Punch more holes around the bottom of the cylinder, and two more holes at the top. Lace and tie yarn between the top holes to create a hanger.

  • 4.

    On more Color Explosion™ Paper, draw several bats, insects, and other items to hang from the mobile. Be creative! Punch a hole at the top of each item. Tie pieces to the mobile with yarn. Add a bat with wings spread at the top if desired.


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural an dhuman-built worlds.
  • SCI: Construct explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.
  • SCI: Construct explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.


  • Make a real-world connection! Invite a guest speaker such as an animal control specialist or zookeeper to share personal experiences and scientific information about bats. Ask the speaker to bring model bats to demonstrate characteristics.
  • Students with special needs may find it helpful to have holes punched for them and to use stencils for bats and flying insects.
  • Learn more about this fascinating endangered species by reading books such as Bat Loves the Night by Nicole Davies or Outside and Inside Bats by Sandra Markle.
  • Assessment: Create a performance assessment rubric with a list of things needed for a complete mobile. Ask students to write questions about bats, investigate, and orally present the answers.