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“To the ship without a compass, any port’s a destination.”

 

Learning with the web should be more effective and efficient than wandering around aimlessly and getting happy when any learning just happens to take place. The Internet can provide exciting learning opportunities for your students. There are many existing Internet-based activities available for free if you know where to find them. Here is a list of activities that can greatly enrich your curriculum:

 

·        Scavenger Hunt

·        Single Site Activity

·        Daily Task

·        Subject Sampler

·        WebQuest

 

 

Scavenger Hunt or Treasure Hunt

A Scavenger Hunt is an activity in which students are asked questions and are provided a matching list of Websites they must explore to discover the answers. They are good for training students to find and record information.

 

Scavenger hunts can be specific or general in scope; they can be focused around one or more sites; they can be designed so that students are given direct links to information; or they can be designed so that the students must use a search engine or directory to find answers. It is best to give elementary students direct links to sites with answers. (Tip: These are exact pages you want the students to go to for information, not the top page of a huge Website and expect them to find the needle in a cyberstack).

 

 

Activity 1

Visit the following website Scavenger Hunts: Searching for Treasure on the Internet!
http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr113.shtml

Review the information presented on Scavenger hunts, and then complete The Hunt.

 

Notes:

 

 

 

Single Site Activity
You can use single site activities to help your students learn the structure of a site or to explore a topic of study. Single site activities can be assigned on a regular basis and can be content or theme related or Internet-skill related. The activities can include specific questions, open-ended questions, writing activities, drawing activities, reporting activities, or evaluative activities. You might also create activities that tie in with current events or seasonal events.

 

Single site activities are great for the one-computer classroom. Students can complete their activity sheets during a given week. Try creating activities that can be completed in about 15 minutes. You might want to pair up students to move things along.

 

 
Activity 2

Try the following single site activity, and then find a site that would complement an upcoming unit in your class and devise a single site activity for it.
Go to this website: What's it Like Where You Live?™  http://mbgnet.mobot.org/

  1. Click on the "Students" button at the bottom of the window.
  2. Look at the menu on the left side of the page. What are the 3 areas you can explore?
  3. Click on "Biomes of the World." How many different biomes are there?
  4. In which biome do you live?
  5. What are 3 characteristics of your biome?
  6. Read the story: The Meaning of Fall. What does deciduous mean? Why do leaves change color in the fall?
  7. Explore one other biome. What was the most interesting thing you learned about that biome? Would you like to live in that biome? Why or why not?

 

Notes:

 

 

 

Daily Task

You can also use the Internet for daily data collection of information like weather, news, or stock prices. Look for ways to use the Internet to collect "just-in-time" information as well. Finding ways to use the Internet on a daily basis for quick tasks is a great way to extend the use of the computer in a one-computer classroom. It also teaches students to find what they are looking for quickly on the Internet.

 

 

Activity 3

Visit the following sample news and information sites and familiarize yourself with their resources and potential for classroom use. What would you have your students do with the information once it was collected?

CBC4Kids

http://www.cbc4kids.ca/

 

Scholastic News Zone

http://teacher.scholastic.com/newszone/index.asp

 

World News

http://www.worldnews.com/

 

Time for Kids

http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/

 

U.S. News

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/home.htm

 

The Weather Channel http://www.weather.com/weather/us/zips/11780.html

New York Stock Exchange

http://www.nyse.com/

NewsPapers Online

http://ajr.newslink.org/news.html

 

National Weather Service

http://205.156.54.206/

 

 

Notes:

 

 

 

Subject Samplers

Use a subject sampler when you want your students to feel connected to the topic and to feel that the subject matter matters. Create a subject sampler if your goals for a particular activity turn more toward the affective - getting students to engage in the topic and find personal relevance. In a subject sampler students are presented with a few intriguing websites organized around a main topic. These sites should provide information or content not seen on TV, magazines, and newspapers or on the school library shelves. Rather than uncover hard knowledge as they do in a treasure hunt, students are asked about their perspectives on topics, comparisons to experiences they have had, interpretations of artworks or data etc. The purpose is for students to see and feel that their views are valued in the context.

 

 

Activity 4

Surf, Stumble, Search and Lurch is a Subject Sampler that is meant to help you “hook into something that lets you intrinsically feel the value of the Web.” See how the activities proposed are directed and yet not closed.

Visit example sites www.qesn.meq.gouv.qc.ca/project/inclass/sampler.htm

Notes:

 

 

 

WebQuests
WebQuests are inquiry-based activities that use the Internet as a primary source of information. Basically, a WebQuest presents student groups with a challenging task, scenario, or problems to solve. There are hundreds of WebQuests on the Internet. You can use one of these existing WebQuests with your students or design your own. You can also use WebQuests as resources for finding new websites—since a great amount of time and effort was spent in creating the hundreds of WebQuests already available on the Web—with the added security of knowing that the sites in question have already been "teacher-tested." There are six components to a well-designed WebQuest.

·        The Introduction
The introduction gives the students an overview of the purpose of the WebQuest. It grabs their attention and explains key issues.

·        The Task
The task explains what the students will have to do with the information found during the WebQuest. For example, a task could be to give an oral report, create a PowerPoint presentation, or write a newspaper article or a research paper. The task is the end result of the WebQuest.

·        The Process
The process is a step-by-step explanation of what the student will have to do during the WebQuest. In the process description, you could assign different tasks to different students, give a timeline for completion, or give tips and suggestions for completing the WebQuest.

·        Resources
The resource section is where you list websites the students should visit to complete the WebQuest. The resource list can and should include other resources besides webpages. You can include books, local resources, magazines, and any other resource that will help the students complete the WebQuest.

·        Evaluation
This should lay out the evaluation criteria for the final product. You should clearly state what you will look for in the final product. You might create a rubric or checklist so students can monitor their progress and their product.

·        Conclusion
In the conclusion, students should be asked to reflect on or summarize what they have learned during the WebQuest. The conclusion should wrap up the whole experience for the students and bring closure to the WebQuest.

 

 

Activity 5

Check out the following WebQuests, paying particular attention to how they present the six components mentioned above.

In Search of Stellaluna's Family
Shocking Sharks
The Great Depression

African-American Women in  History

Sampling African America

 

 

Notes:

 

 

 

 

Activity 6


Visit the following collection of WebQuests and find one that you could use with your class.

WebQuest: Matrix of Examples
Students' Center for WebQuests

 

Notes:

 

 

 

 

Activity 7


Develop a simple WebQuest of your own to use in class. Remember to use all 6 components.

 

Notes:

 

 

 

 

You are now well on the way to incorporating the Internet into your classroom teaching. Make frequent use of the activities mentioned above, and continue to create activities of your own as you adapt these ideas to the specific needs of your class.