A Third Grade WebQuest activity focusing on Science and Language Arts skills.
By Jill Ball
Have you given much thought to the planets in our solar system?
If you could select one planet to visit, which one would you choose?
How would you decide on this planet?
How could you help others in their quest to learn more about our solar system?
You have recently
been selected as a student astronaut at a new space school in
You will have four tasks to complete on your WebQuest. The first task is to successfully complete the Solar System Scavenger Hunt. The knowledge gained on this virtual journey through space will enable you and your crew to select a planet to focus on for the second task. On this segment of your journey, you will collect specific data on your chosen planet. Upon completion of the Planet Data Sheets, you will begin the third task. You will write a brief report and develop a presentation on your planet that will persuade other student astronauts and the mission commander to plan a journey to your planet. Your final task is to practice and perfect a Reader’s Theatre presentation for elementary students visiting the space school.
HCDE Tennessee Language Arts Content Standards, Reading Standard 1.0, grade 3: Develop oral language –
· Participate in creative responses to text (e.g., choral reading, discussion, dramatization, and oral presentations).
· Summarize orally what has been learned or accomplished after completing an activity or assignment.
· Give oral presentations about experiences or interests, using eye contact, proper pacing, adequate volume, and clear enunciation.
HCDE Tennessee Language Arts Content Standards, Writing Standard 2.0, grade 3: Write for a variety of purposes –
· Continue to write to acquire and exhibit knowledge (e.g., paragraphs, reports, and answer questions).
· Continue to write to inform (e.g., friendly letters, reports, invitations, journals, notes, lists).
HCDE Tennessee Science Content Standards, Standard 7.0, Earth and Its Place in the Universe, grade 3: Recognize that different objects appear in the day and nighttime sky –
· Recognize that planets are major features of the universe.
Arnet, B. (2004). The nine planets: A multimedia tour of the solar system. Retrieved March 15, 2008, from http://www.nineplanets.org/.
Cornish, J. (2001).
Dejoie, J., & Truelove, E. (n.d.). StarChild: The universe [background]. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/universe_level2/universe.html.
Flynn, R. (n.d.). The adventures of Captain Planet. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from http://www.rosalindflynn.com/pdf%20files/Planets_CaptainPlanet.pdf.
Hamilton County Department of Education. (2007). Standards/alignments: 3rd grade. Retrieved March 15, 2008, from http://www.hcde.org/media/pdf/items/194.pdf.
Windows to the Universe Team. (1996). Windows to the universe: The solar system. Retrieved March 20, 2008, from http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/our_solar_system/solar_system.html&edu=elem.
Determine your four-person crew for this assignment.
Decide on a name for your crew.
Download and print the Solar System Scavenger Hunt sheet.
.Use the link on the sheet to complete the scavenger hunt. You may complete this hunt individually and meet together as a crew to discuss the results, or you may work as a team to reach a group consensus on the answers.
Based on your virtual voyage through the solar system, determine as a crew which planet you would like to spotlight for the rest of your journey.
Download and print the Planet Data Sheets. Decide which crew member will complete each sheet.
Click on one of the Web sites below to begin your journey to research your planet. Be sure to visit all three sites in order to collect as much information as possible!
Each crew member should prepare a brief report using the information documented on the Planet Data Sheet.
Your crew should then combine the four individual reports into one written document, and decide on a project (PowerPoint, brochure, newsletter, etc.) to use while presenting the findings to fellow student astronauts and the mission commander.
Schedule a time to present your report.
Download the Reader’s Theatre script The Adventures of Captain Planet.
Assign parts and highlight those lines for which you are responsible.
Practice your individual part and then practice as a crew. Emphasis should be placed on fluency, inflection, eye contact, and projection.
Be prepared to perform this script for elementary students visiting the space school.
Place all of the documentation from your crew’s mission into a folder and be prepared to submit it to your mission commander for evaluation.
Included should be:
3. Individual reports
4. Crew report
5. Evidence of the project used in the presentation (copy of brochure or newsletter, disc with PowerPoint, etc.)
6. The completed WebQuest Checklist.
The purpose of this WebQuest activity is multi-faceted. Students participating in this educational journey will learn to navigate through the links and attachments required to complete the on-line tasks. They will first hunt for information on one site, and will then use data collection sheets to focus their research as they reference several sites. Teamwork will be necessary as the crew members combine their research to produce a report of their findings. The students will use appropriate communication skills to present both their report and the reader’s theatre scripts to other students.
Before using this WebQuest, students should be familiar with navigational skills such as using hyperlinks, downloading, and printing documents. They should be taken through a sample WebQuest so they will have a basic understanding of what the activity encompasses, and any questions they have may be addressed at this time. After completing the quest, the teacher should hold a conference with each crew. At this time, students can reflect on the activity and share what they have learned with their teacher. The teacher can use this opportunity to evaluate the activity and provide feedback to the students, both as individuals and as a team.
This activity can improve student learning in several ways. Students are given ample opportunities to practice their internet research skills. Students are encouraged to work in teams, which enables them to share their strengths and learn from each other. Tasks increase in difficulty throughout the quest, promoting confidence as they successfully work through the mission. Student-teacher conferences encourage students to reflect and learn from their performance, and teachers can provide productive and constructive feedback.
This WebQuest could be expanded in several ways. Students could be given more specific requirements for the crew project, including a rubric that would allow them to compare their work to specific standards before submitting it for evaluation. Students could be given a variety of reader’s theatre scripts to choose from, or could be encouraged to write their own script based on what they learned on their journey.
CONGRATULATIONS! You have successfully completed your first official “mission” as a student astronaut! On this journey, you learned a little bit about each of the planets in our solar system, and a lot about one planet in particular. Because of your efforts, many of your fellow student astronauts have included your planet in their upcoming flight plans. Your enthusiasm about space has also sparked an interest in students visiting the space school, and many have decided to join the space program, as well. Hopefully this mission has inspired you to further your quest to be an astronaut, and will motivate you to continue your travels……….
OUT OF THIS WORLD!
The following attachments are the documents needed for evaluation of the WebQuest Activity: