TeachersFirst's Webquest Resources
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students find, use, and create webquests. Teachers can find examples of webquests across the curriculum (and places to find MORE). Both students and teachers can find tools for creating their own webquests. We have even included some sample web resources as terrific seeds for webquest ideas.
The webquest format has been around for years and can be adapted many ways. Start from this collection and consider designing a webquest "Task" that uses a collaborative, web 2.0 tool such as those reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge listings. Today's students will love the authentic, creative tasks and collaboration made possible by today's tools. TeachersFirst Edge reviews include ways to use the tools safely and within school policies, for a learning "win-win."
Grades9 to 12
One of the nicest things on the site is the links that each group can use to access information they might use to complete their PowerPoints. These links all go to reputable sites and give students adequate information while showing the variety of sources to get information on a topic. At the time of this review, all research sites were working except one.
In the ClassroomThis Webquest assigns both individual and group tasks, so while students are working together, they are also working individually, great practice for the workplace. You might assign roles to students within the groups to encourage cooperation, such as the director of the PowerPoint, the writer, the editor, the layout editor, etc. This can isolate tasks for students while requiring them to know all the information necessary for the end product.
Instead of the traditional PowerPoint, consider having students use Google Presentation, a Google Docs tool reviewed here. This will allow students to automatically save their presentations, as well as easily share them from anywhere. Not to mention upload time is quick - a cure for the long waits in between student presentations.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomOne of the nice things about this website is that it gives the simple (Wikipedia) through the more complex. You can structure the groups in ways that determine how deeply you want your students to involve themselves. If politics is more of a focus, then the group dealing with McCarthyism can do addition research beyond the links posted here. A nice extra is a link to the National Geographic virtual witch hunt, which gives students a slightly different view, closer to home.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThis webquest can easily be expanded by using your own web sources to help students analyze the arts as periods in their entirety rather than just the fine artists of the time. It could also be modified to have groups of students include architecture, theatre, dance as they affected the history of the time (or the history was affected by the art) and present this as "experts" on that time period. You may want to use a more current collaborative tool instead of PowerPoint. Consider having students collaborate on a Google Docs presentation (tool reviewed here), an online Bookemon book (tool reviewed here), or a Simplybox collection (tool reviewed here) about art during their assigned time period.
Grades10 to 12
Note: the first link relating to how to write a report is not working and neither is the Horizon Magazine, but all of the other article links and MLA source links are fine.
In the ClassroomThis is a great activity to meld literature and social studies or humanities-based curriculum. Students can choose different areas to search for information and this can be tailored to the students in a given class. Using the information found will spark new interpretation as students then read the play Othello. As a writing activity, have students write a blog post as one of the investigators, reflecting on what he/she has learned!
Since the webquest was made, 3 of the links have ceased working, so teachers need to be sure to take the time to test all of them and find replacements if need be.
In regards to the final product, consider using a tool such as Google Docs,reviewed here, to have students digitally share the end product, vs having a stack of papers on your desk at the end of the day.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomBe aware that some students may have recently lost a grandparent; be sure to provide other options for some of the activities (for example, interview an aunt or uncle, rather than a grandparent).
Share the video clips (about the history of the holiday) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Visit the Task page to learn several ways to incorporate this holiday into your language arts, social studies, or even music classes. You may want to share this site with families on your website or in your class newsletter.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): literature (275)
In the ClassroomThe mix-n-match element of this particular list makes it interesting for students working on a novel or a longer story that could deal with several of these elements. Take one or two of the ideas and split them up among a class. Create a debate, complete with slide show, or webquest to involve students in the text.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomSearch the multitude of webquests that are "ready to go" at this site. If you are looking for a more personal touch, you can create your own webquest for each class, tailored to what you want to cover or want students to research. This site also provides a place to post a personal portfolio of your work (if you choose to include any student work, you must have written permission to do so from the student and his or her parent). You might also want students to create webquests as final products of group research projects. Be sure to provide a meaningful rubric for the essential features.
In the ClassroomShare this webquest on laptops or a classroom computer cluster for students to accomplish the "quest." Use this project in an ESL/ELL class as a cumulative review of each student's specific grammar problem. Pair ESL students with a native speaker to work on the research and drawing. This creative activity is sure to excite ESL/ELL students and native English speakers.
Grades6 to 10
By completing this web activity, students learn about various computer programs available (such as Audacity, Movie Maker, iMovie, WMP, and Real Player). Other technology topics discussed include resizing images, identifying the differences between a jpg and gif, how to grab audio from videos, and much more. There are detailed directions available in PDF format. This website requires FLASH and Adobe, get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..
Teachers, you might want to try some of these activities on your own. You might be surprised at how much information you will learn about computer capabilities and multimedia in education. Perhaps you can create a sample student project as an individualized professional development goal beofe doing this unit with your team.
In the ClassroomWhat a fabulous website to use to integrate technology into your lessons (in science, social studies, LA, and other curriculum areas). Use this website as a process step the first time students research any topic so they can create an effective multimedia presentation as their final project. If you team teach (as in middle school), orient the entire team to multimedia projects using this site early in the year, so all teachers can assume the same skills in your students.
Grades5 to 8
tag(s): creative writing (171)
In the ClassroomThis activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Before you assign a research project on your middle school team, take the time to work through this webquest. Every student on the team will benefit when it comes time to do research in ANY subject. Perhaps you can "divvy up" the webquest tasks and time across multiple subjects so no one class needs spend too long on this foundation experience.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site provides specific ideas for you to try. The specific ideas for using things as simple as digital cameras for project-based language learning are easily accomplished in any language classroom.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): webquests (30)
In the ClassroomConsider alternate product options for today's students, such as using Google Docs during planning and writing phases reviewed here or one of many creative. collaborative web 2.0 tools reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge. Your students can work collaboratively without even being in the same place, and their projects can be shared easily on the web.
Grades9 to 11
Students love to debate, and this gives them opportunity to do it within a specific format similar to the US justice system. Learning what a bailiff and a court reporter do, as well as a judge, public defender, etc. will be an eye-opening experience for many students. They likely will remember the project much better for having been active participants.
In the ClassroomAs you plan to teach the novel, set aside the time to do this webquest, or intersperse the steps during the time spent reading. Students will have more of a purpose in their reading. If you do not teach "Of Mice and Men," consider using some of the links from this webquest to make a similar activity for a "trial" of a character from another book. Most of the work has been done here. Simply create a word processing document with your own directions and the links for students to use or put your new webquest in the form of a PowerPoint show with links from there so students can navigate the task.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomAlthough this was written for 6-8th graders, it is a lesson easily adaptable to older students. The list of resources is very good, and the kinds of embellishments you can make on the tasks are limitless. It is a great project for students to work on in small groups, allowing students of all abilities an opportunity for success.
If you ever considered podcasting, this webquest is the perfect lead-in. Your social studies(or language arts) students will love actually producing their scripts for "broadcast" on the web. Bring the 1930s to life in your classroom!
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): elizabethan (16)
In the ClassroomThere are many ways you can use this webquest to assist in teaching the beginning of modern drama, Elizabethan theatre, or Shakespeare. He goes through the quest process of introduction, task, process, and evaluation, but he also includes a teacher page with tips and ideas that is useful to the classroom teacher. If you have never done a complete webquest, why not consider trying ONE per year to see the benefits of a project-based approach, especially if someone else has already created the project for you. A grading rubric is includede in the Student Pages.
To assist in script editing and peer review, consider having students write and turn in their scripts on Google Docs, reviewed here. This can allow you an easier opportunity at giving timely feedback, and make it easier for groups to work in separate locations if need be - great for those with busy schedules.
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomThis is a great tool to introduce your class to the meaning of independence, symbols and more. Get an interactive whiteboard and take your students back in time - to 1776.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUpdate this project a little and have students deliver their reports via podcast, giving them practice on oral reporting and editing. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).Student groups can present their reports to the class or post the to the class wiki or webpage. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomUse this Webquest to introduce the connections between major social studies and science concepts. After students work in groups to investigate the different areas, bring the class together to share. Guide a class discussion to show how the different areas are linked and work together. Use the Relationship Wheel (see Teacher Guide) as a bulletin board to support understanding. The site information says it can be used in grades K-4, but non-readers cannot do the tasks without a reader! For independent workers, it is better suited (and quite applicable)for grades 2-6.
If you do this at the start of the school year, you can revisit the overarching connections as you begin study of each sub-area so you are connecting to prior knowledge every time. Teachers in later grades could even recall the overarching questions as they continue with the study of these topics. Be SURE to put the link on your teacher web page for students to revisit throughout the year.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): engineering (128)
In the ClassroomDivide students carefully into well balanced groups so that they learn not only the topic of genetic engineering, but also the process of researching, analyzing, and presenting findings.
This site would make an excellent "hands-on" activity in a biology class where students can experience both scientific research and policy-making on a first hand basis. If your students are also studying government, they should have an even better sense of the processes involved.
Grades9 to 12
This is a very sensitive subject, and teachers should consider the maturity of their students before proceeding with the activities on this site. In addition, teachers should be sensitive to the fact that there may be Chinese adoptees in their classes for whom this topic might be especially difficult.
At the time of this review, a few of the links were no longer active. We are keeping the listing because of the discussions that the site can produce. You may want to provide students with a corrected resource list without the dead links.
In the ClassroomWhile it is unlikely you will want to make a discussion on the plight of Chinese orphans the centerpiece of an examination of Chinese culture, this site may prove valuable for a student or student group to use in planning a special project. This site would be good research background for a debate on human rights.
For an extension activity, have student groups create online venn diagrams, dissecting the two different arguments. This can be done using a program such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Students can do this in their groups on classroom computers, or as a class on the interactive whiteboard. This would be a good way to lead into a discussion of the power of the media, and government responsibilities in regards to social services.