ASK: Stellaluna

Today we’re doing a set of three ASK programs on the book Stellaluna. Tw0 classes from E.P.Clarke Elementary, St. Joseph; two classes from Countryside Charter, Benton Harbor, and three classes from Hollywood Elementary, Lakeshore are participating. We also shared the program with a class in Rosenberg, Texas, and a class in Hudsonville, Michigan.

Students read the book Stellaluna, journalled, and then wrote questions in preparation for the program. Yesterday’s ASK program was an interview with an author. Today’s ASK programs are with a specialist, a staff member from the Bat Zone at the Cranbrook Institute of Science. We’re actually doing a modified version of their program, Bats of the World. We listen to part of the program, see a live bat, and then take a set of questions from the students. This pattern rotates throughout the program.

In ASK programs, the difference between interviewing the author and interviewing the specialist is the focus of the questions. Interviewing the author focuses questions more on the writing process; while interviewing the specialist focuses questions on the content of the book. If you’re thinking about starting an ASK program in your area, it’s easier to start with books that you can interview a specialist related to the book.

It’s pretty funny to see the little Jamaican Leaf Nose Bat chewing on Dawn’s finger as she talked about him. He’s pretty unhappy because he wants to sleep!

Kids questions are fun to hear too:

  • Can you have a bat as a pet? (No! It’s illegal. Plus they don’t make good pets for several reasons.)
  • Why do some bats hibernate & some bats hibernate?
  • What should we do if we find a bat on the ground?
  • Which bats are found in southwest Michigan?
  • How are bats helpful to humans?
  • Would a fruit bat ever eat a fruit bat eat an insect if there was no fruit available or would they starve?

Another great ASK program finished for today! Great questions from students and interesting facts about bats. Kids especially liked seeing the live bats.

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