Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week Eight: My Wheels Are Spinning

Well, some of the points for this week’s blog were already mentioned in last week’s post so I appologize if this seems redundant.
First, my understanding of a WebQuest is that it is an inquiry based activity where students are seeking out information and gaining new knowledge via the World Wide Web which will then be used in order to complete a task. There are six elements which must be included in the WebQuest. An introduction which provides background knowledge what the WebQuest is for. A task that engages students and that students can successful complete. A variety of information sources that are mainly Web based. The process or steps students need to go through. Guidance is a step that is not always listed is very important if you plan to use this in a classroom setting and/or incorporate cooperative groups.  Finally, a conclusion which sums the project up and discusses the big ideas students should have acquired during the process.
So, for my project, I plan on completing a short term WebQuest, designed for third grade students. I am still heavily leaning towards focusing on Native Americans of Orange County. The standard for this is 3.2 Students describe the American Indian nations in their local region long ago and in the recent past. The power standard that I would want my task to focus on is: Discuss the ways in which physical geography, including climate, influenced how the local Indian nations adapted to their natural environment (e.g., how they obtained food, clothing, tools). Yet, I’m not sure what my exact task would be. I did get some great feedback from Loretta on possible tasks.
Here is a link to third grade Social Studies Standards:
However, another area I started contemplating is the local history of the school’s community which would be Rancho Santa Margarita, Dove Canyon, and Coto De Caza. I’ve been thinking about this one since I came across some great sources online such as original maps, letters, and city designs. The standard 3.3 is: Students draw from historical and community resources to organize the sequence of local historical events and describe how each period of settlement left its mark on the land. The power standard is: Trace why their community was established, how individuals and families contributed to its founding and development, and how the community has changed over time, drawing on maps, photographs, oral histories, letters, newspapers, and other primary sources.  I believe this standard is often skimmed over or left out altogether.
Decisions, decisions…I would love anyone’s feedback or recommendations. You can email me directly or post them on this blog.  I also hope to ask some 3rd grade, teacher friends of mine to see which one they would be most likely to use. Once I begin planning the WebQuest I am sure I will have a stronger feeling as to which one to do.
Finally, I would like to integrate the Social Studies content with Language Arts curriculum. I want to design the task so that it can be used as a Language Arts/Social Studies center during a guided reading block and have students collaborating in small groups throughout the week. 
I am actually really looking forward to this project. I may be wrong but I think the technology aspect will not be difficult which means we can focus more on the design and content. We’ll see!

1 comment:

  1. Ingrid, you have excellent ideas. The main thing to remember about a WQ is that you want students to 'use' what they learned by visiting the sites you sent them to in a way that has them applying higher order thinking. One way to look at this is to think about parallel situations they could do. For example, after looking at native americans of OC, they could 'create' a new tribe for today's OC- this would have them have to think about climate, resources,... but apply it to a new 'era/environment'
    If you had them look at the local area, you could have them be reporters etc.

    Have a look at for some ideas of different types of tasks (I'll be ending the whole class here too ;-0)