The Magic School Bus Going Batty

Field Trip Notes
The class is studying nocturnal animals, and Ms. Frizzle takes the parents on a nighttime field trip to learn more about bats. As the night progresses, Ralphie becomes convinced that The Friz is a vampire! The class follows Ms. Frizzle and their parents to a scary old castle where, by becoming bats themselves, the kids find out the wonderful truth about these creatures of the night, and Ms. Frizzle!
Seeing with Sound

Going Hands-On

Time: 40 minutes
Group Size: Up to 14

As BatKids, Ms. Frizzle’s students use echolocation to find their way through the dark. Your kids can use sound to find their way through the room.

What You Need
  • A scarf for the "bat"
  • 2 metal spoons for the "moth"
  • Copies of SEEING WITH SOUND page

Talk About It

Ask: How could you get around the room if it were too dark to see?

What To Do
  1. Create an open space by pushing students’ desks to one side.
  2. Give each child a copy of the activity page.
  3. Pick one child to be the "bat" and another to be the "moth" (bat food). Remaining kids can be "objects" in the bat’s environment.
  4. Blindfold the bat and have "objects" stand in groups of three with their backs to each other, each facing a different direction.
  5. Help students try SEEING WITH SOUND. The bat should clap often, as it tries to tag the moth without bumping into objects. Objects and moths only clap or clink spoons when the bat faces them directly.
  6. Once the bat bumps into an object or tags the moth, choose a new bat and moth.
  7. Ask: How is this activity like echolocation? different? (Unlike kids, bats bounce their own sounds off objects and get "sound" messages back from many objects at the same time.)

Next Stop
Ask: Why do bats come out at night? (Predators and prey can’t see in the dark, but bats can locate them with echolocation.)
Back to Classroom Activities