1. This simulation activity will enable students to attempt to catch a moving
object using only their sense of hearing.
2. Students will generalize why larger ears may enable insect-eating bats to locate
their food efficiently.
1. copy paper lids
3. bat ears (cupped hands or try semicircle shaped paper - small and large sizes)
How can an insect-eating bat cat its prey using only its sense of hearing? Think
about whether or not it should be hard to catch something you could not see.
Show the lid and the marble. Roll the marble in the lid and ask the students if
they can hear it. Explain that the bat will have to close his or her eyes, and use
the bat ear like a mitt. With the hand cupping the back of the ear, the ear will
funnel the sound.
2. Begin the activity
a. Divide the class into groups of 3 (2 movers and 1 bat). Students will rotate
jobs after each turn.
b. Distribute the lids, marbles, and bat ears to each group.
c. Without closing their eyes, the bats will practice catching the marble between
the thumb and forefinger as the movers gently move the lid from side to side.
d. Have bats put the bat ear on their non-dominant hand. Close eyes and try to
catch the marble while the movers gently move the lid.
e. Change jobs once the marble is caught. Do this until everyone in the group
has had a turn catching the marble.
3. Group Discussion
- Discuss among the group how it felt to catch the marble using only the sense
- Write how it felt on the lines of the bat ears (if using paper – if not, do so in
their science notebooks.
4. Class discussion
- Was it as easy to catch the marble with your eyes closed as when you could
- Did anyone develop a strategy to help find the marble with your eyes closed?
- What do you know about the physical characteristics of bats that use
- How do large ears help them find their food?
- Explain in your own words how bats use echolocation.
1. Did students conclude that an insect-eating bats sense of hearing is different
than their own?
2. Were students able to associate keen hearing with echolocation abilities?