Bat’s Big Game – Margaret Read Macdonald (Discontinued)
Bat’s Big Game
Written by Margaret Read Macdonald
Illustrated by Eugenia Nobati
“Bat’s Big Game” helps students understand the concepts of both respect and responsibility while also teaching the importance of loyalty and commitment.
This story is based on one of Aesop’s Fables. In this version, Bat learns the importance of sticking with a team regardless of whether the team is winning or losing. Bat doesn’t care which team he is on as long as it is the winning side.
His preconceived ideas of which team will win leads him to picking the Animal team as the one he wants to belong on. However, when he discovers that the Birds are in the lead, he decides to switch teams mid-game resulting in some lessons for Bat. This story helps children learn the meaning of being a responsible member of a team.
Characters in the Story
Have a discussion about how joining in with peers is a very important skill that we need to learn in order to get along with each other (e.g. at recess and lunch).
When someone tries to stack a team or doesn’t play fair, it causes others in the group to become upset.
Introduce the word “loyalty” and it’s definition. Discuss how it is important that we are able to commit to the team we join and learn to enjoy playing the game regardless of the outcome.
Point out that the other animals are optimistic that they can win and that they work together as a team. Elicit that no one is being a “ball hog” or playing as a “one man team” so everyone is having fun. Help the students see that it is important to be responsible so that the team knows you can be counted on and that you respect the game by playing fair.
Discuss how preconceived ideas can influence your impressions about the abilities of different people. Have students recall Bat’s reasoning behind choosing the animal team for his first choice (stronger, faster). Why do you suppose the Birds were still able to score? (player skill, working together as a team, effort)
Discuss how Bat’s lack of loyalty and commitment to one team leads him to having no one to play with. Should Bat have snuck off to switch to the Birds’ team? Why not? What happened when the Animals and Birds discovered that Bat was switching teams? Could the team count on Bat to be there regardless of the outcome of the game? Is this fair?
Fin’s Tales – Can You Help?
When I first wanted to join a hockey team I wasn’t worried about whether the team would win every game. I knew that isn’t always possible and I wanted to be part of a team that I had fun with and where I could improve my skills. What do you think I did?
Say, “Hi, my name is Fin! That looks like fun, can I please play with you on your team?
Or Did I?
Say to myself “Well, this team has some of the bigger players on it. I will stick with this team if they win but if they don’t win I will quit.”