WebQuest

The goal for my WebQuest is for students to see “the big picture” when it comes to wildlife conservation.  Students will understand how living things are connected to other living things in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

I want students to consider why we should protect animal species and their habitats. What would happen if the great white shark became extinct?  What would it mean if the gray wolf is removed from its food chain?  Why should this matter to me?  Why should we protect animals and their habitats?

Creating the WebQuest was challenging.  Although I quickly had the “Big Question” in my mind, I had difficulty maintaining my focus throughout the project.  After I developed my questions, I searched for online resources.  I modified the Custom Search Engine I created in Week 4 and I used my new friend Delicious to organize research sites, games, pictures and teacher blogs that I found useful.

As I worked through the process section, I ran into difficulty creating specific jobs for the individuals on each team.  I tried to make this project relevant to the students’ lives and find jobs that they could understand.  I also encountered problems trying to plan the length of the lesson.  Since I have been out of the classroom for sometime, I had a difficult time estimating how long each section will take.

I am pleased with the final project.  The games I have included are fun for the students but will also help them master the concept of food chains.  The research sites are great educational sites that include pictures and maps which are good visual aids.

Inquiry-Oriented Learning Activity

Any inquiry-oriented learning activity is defined by Coffman as “any activity that encourages students to think, ask questions, explore information, and then present possible solutions or ideas” (2009).  I have created my WebQuest with this in mind.

Think

By providing students with the “big question”, I will guide them in their critical thinking.  Students will learn to ask how and why.

Ask Questions

By working in groups, students will brainstorm and question one another.  This will help them in their investigation of their assigned animal.  They will ask questions as they investigate the websites.

Explore Information

The WebQuest does not have a simple, right or wrong answer.  Students must explore a variety of resources to determine how their animal fits into its environment.  Students must build connections between new concepts and think critically to determine what would happen if that animal became extinct.

Present Solutions or Ideas

Students will need to build upon their new knowledge to determine why it is important to protect animals and their habitats.  Then students will work collaboratively to create a project to educate people about the importance of protecting their animal species.  Students will have to be creative in their approach to this global issue.

Standards

This WebQuest addresses the following standards:

Virginia Science Standard 3.5  The student will investigate and understand relationships among organisms in aquatic and terrestrial food chains.  Key concepts include

a) producer, consumer, decomposer;

b) herbivore, carnivore, omnivore; and

c) predator and prey.

INTASC Core Teaching Standards #5: Application of Content.  The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

ISTE NETS #2 Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments.  Teachers design, develop, and evaluate learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETSS.

References

Coffman, T. (2009). Engaging students through inquiry-oriented learning and technology.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

 

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