TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

This lesson was developed by students at West Chester University in introduction to educational technology. The goal of this WebQuest is for students to learn about rare and endangered animals found on different continents of the world. The students will work individually as wildlife researchers to research rare animals, and then come together as a small group, or a zoo committee, to share what they have learned. When information has been shared amongst the groups and their zoos have been designed, their work will be presented in front of the class. Students are encouraged to be creative as they design their zoos and learn about animals from around the world.

Through the lesson, the students will have many different tasks that must be completed. They will spend time researching the animals and things such as what habitats the animals live in, what they eat, and what their natural predators are. The students will then design their own zoos and arrange them according to what habitats the animals live in and what they need to survive. Each student will have different responsibilities and will have their own animals to research. After research has been completed, the groups will come together to arrange their zoos according to the animals and their habitats. Information sheets for each animal including descriptions and facts must be created. The presentation of the groups will include a map of their zoo and details of each habitat and what the animals need to survive. The final products will be presented to the class by each group.

There are a few multiple intelligences addressed in this WebQuest. First, there is naturalistic intelligence, or nature smart. People with this intelligence like the world of plants and animals and enjoy learning about them. Because this WebQuest is aimed toward learning about animals as well as having fun, this is the first intelligence that is addressed. The second intelligence that is addressed is linguistic intelligence. In order for the students to complete this WebQuest, they must research and present their finished projects. Linguistic intelligence is reading, writing, and talking. This project includes all three of the components of linguistic intelligence.

Each of the six cognitive levels are met in this WebQuest. The first level, knowledge, is met while the students must recall and state the continents of which the animals they will research live on. They will then reach the comprehension level where they must find more information about the animals of their choice and summarize in their own words different information and facts about each animal. After comprehension comes the application level. This is when the students will relate and classify the animals that they have been researching to others in the group, making it easier for them to choose which habitats to place the animals in. The next cognitive level met is analysis level, or the level where analyzing and organizing occurs. This level applies to the part of the WebQuest where the students work together in their groups to plot out their zoos in the best manner according to the information they have gathered. Next is the synthesis level. This is closely related to the analysis level in that after the groups have plotted their zoos, they take that idea and design and make their final product. The final cognitive level is the evaluation level. This is where the groups will present their final projects and will then receive a grade from the teacher.

Learner

This webquest is intended for students at the fourth grade level, and has been designed to fulfill certain fourth grade standards from the PA Department of Education. The task is primarily grounded in science, and involves some aspects of visual design (art). This webquest could be easily simplified for a younger grade. To accomodate younger students, a teacher could: lessen the amount of animals that need to be researched or provide links to a specific list of animals for the students to choose from; instead of designing the habitats of the zoo, the students can present pictures of and information about the animals they would want to include in the zoo. To make this webquest more challenging for older students, it can be reframed as a task in which the students are zoologists who are trying to save the endangered species of the world. For this end, they are gathering endangered animals to keep them in a zoo. The assignment can focus more on why these animals are becoming, or are endangered, what specific adaptations they have that evolved to help them survive in their original environments, and how the zoo must be designed to ensure the health of these very different creatures.

Background skills necessary:
Prior to working on this webquest, students must be able to:

  • navigate and gather information from the Internet
  • identify and describe basic characteristics of habitats present in the seven continents (Ex: desert, forest, mountains, ocean)

Resources necessary:
* poster board (if group chooses to make a poster or trifold)
*computers for each student to do research on their animals
*printers for pictures of each animal
*paper and pencils for note-taking

Only one teacher is necessary to supervise the students as they are researching, guide them as they work in groups, and assess them as they present. A teacher aid or paraprofessional could be helpful in addressing any problems/questions the students have as they are researching.

Standards

NETS-S-2007.3
Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
NETS-S-2007.3.a
plan strategies to guide inquiry.
NETS-S-2007.3.b
locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
NETS-S-2007.3.c
evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
NETS-S-2007.3.d
process data and report results.
PA.SCI.3.3
STANDARD: Biological Sciences
PA.SCI.3.3.4.A
Know the similarities and differences of living things.
PA.SCI.3.3.4.A.1
>--- Identify life processes of living things (e.g., growth, digestion, react to environment). Know that some organisms have similar external characteristics (e.g., anatomical characteristics; appendages, type of covering, body segments) and that similarities and differences are related to environmental habitat.
PA.SCI.3.3.4.A.2
>--- Describe basic needs of plants and animals.
PA.SCI.3.3.4.C
Know that characteristics are inherited and, thus, offspring closely resemble their parents.
PA.SCI.3.3.4.C.1
>--- Identify characteristics for animal and plant survival in different climates.
PA.SCI.3.3.4.C.2
>--- identify physical characteristics that appear in both parents and offspring and differ between families, strains or species.
PA.ENV.4.7
STANDARD: Threatened, Endangered and Extinct Species
PA.ENV.4.7.4.B
Know that adaptations are important for survival.
PA.ENV.4.7.4.B.1
>--- Explain how specific adaptations can help a living organism to survive.
PA.ENV.4.7.4.B.2
>--- Explain what happens to a living thing when its food, water, shelter or space is changed


Reflection on Standards

The main tasks of this webquest require students to research different rare and endangered animals, gather information on their adaptations and characteristics, design habitats in a zoo that the animals can co-inhabit, and present their design of the zoo to the class. The research gathering and information synthesis that the students will be completing reflect the Research and Information Fluency Standards from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The animal information sheets and habitat designs that the students will create address the knowledge identified in the PA Dept. of Ed's Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology Standards.

By completing this webquest, students will have fulfilled the following objectives. Students will be able to:

  • use various websites to locate and gather similar, useful information (NETS 3.a-d)

Resources

Resources necessary:
* poster board (if group chooses to make a poster or trifold)
*computers for each student to do research on their animals
*printers for pictures of each animal
*paper and pencils for note-taking

Only one teacher is necessary to supervise the students as they are researching, guide them as they work in groups, and assess them as they present. A teacher aid or paraprofessional could be helpful in addressing any problems/questions the students have as they are researching.

Evaluation

See the Evaluation section in the description of the Webquest for the individual and group rubrics used in assessment.
The three skills that a teacher should be focusing on directly in his/her assessment of the students is their ability to use the internet to gather information needed for their report, their knowledge of the diverse characteristics of varying habitats/environments, and the adaptations that animals have that enable them to survive in and co-inhabit specific environments.
 

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467