A corner of the Living Science room had been transformed with the addition of a life size tree constructed out of a discarded branch. Leaves and paper bark were added. To finish the display, an assortment of Folkmanis animal puppets were placed in real life poses. The puppets represented nocturnal animals that the children might see in the area. To enhance the experience, we also covered all the windows with black craft paper to create a "night" environment.
When the book was finished, the children watched two videos introducing nocturnal animals. After the videos, the children were asked to watch the tree. As they watched, a spotlight would shine on an animal, and the specific animal's sound would play over the speakers. Each puppet was highlighted accompanied by the individual voice of the animal.
One of the favorite experiences was learning about echolocation. As the children sang and danced to the video, they learned how bats locate their food while flying in the night sky. Several parents commented that their child had been singing the song at home and teaching the parents about echolocation!
Another exciting display was the live scorpion that glowed under the black light. Very cool!
Here are some of the wonderful websites used in this exploration. But, I'll warn you..get your dancing shoes ready for the Echolocation Song!
Night Noise Game
Youtube video about nocturnal animals
Video of night noises