a Web Quest by
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
The African Elephant is the largest land animal in the world, weighing up to 12,000 pounds. For thousands of years, the Elephant has made the African savanna it's home. Now the elephant is considered an endangered species from poaching and loss of habitat. In this Web Quest, you will learn all about the life cycle of the African elephant, it's habitat and the threats that endanger it.
In this Web Quest, you will break up into groups, and use the internet to research the life and habitat of the African Elephant. You will then come up with an environmental action plan to help preserve the elephant. To do so, you will identify the factors that threaten elephants, and brainstorm for potential solutions. As a group you will decide on a single solution and present it to the class. In addition, you will have to explain specifically what your action plan will solve, how it will solve it, and what potential adverse consequences the plan might have.
1. First you will watch the IMAX dvd "Africa's Elephant Kingdom." This movie will provide background information about the life cycle and habitat of elephants.
2. Secondly, you will be divided into groups of no more than five. Each group must have access to the internet.
3. You will use the following web sites to research the problems facing elephants and the potential solutions. In addition to the following web sites, use the Google Search Engine to complete your own searches using keywords.
4. The above web sites will get your research started. Remember what you are researching. Specifically, you need to study the elephant behavior and habitat to infer the threats to survival, and come up with a potential solution, your "Environmental Action Plan"
5. All members of the group must participate in both research, discussion, and class presentation.
6. Your presentation should be between 5 and 10 minutes long, and meet all of the requirements previously discussed.
7. You will need to use your critical thinking skills to come up with a potential solution. You will need to use your research to defend your proposed solution.
8. Make some type of visual aid to help your presentation. It might be a poster board, handouts, power point, etc.
You will be evaluated based on the following rubric:
|Oral Presentation Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Provided depth in coverage elephant behavior, habitat, threats, and environmental action plan.||50
|Presentation was well planned and coherent. (Evidence of rehearsal), and clearly justified proposed solution||10
|Visual Aid (helpful, neat)||15
|Stayed within the time limit. (5 to 10 minutes)||10|
|Communication Skills (eye contact, posture, clear voice, appropriate volume, transitions between speakers smooth, and all members presented)||15
|Total Possible Points||
Note that half of your grade is based on content of the presentation while the other half is based on delivery.
Many different factors threaten the African Elephants' survival. Any solution would potentially have adverse consequences. However, critical thinking, evaluating and planning is the best we can do to ensure the survival of the elephants. Hopefully in this Web Quest you not only learned about the African Elephants, but also how to address environmental problems and search for solutions.
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Grade Band: 9 - 12
Tennessee State Curriculum Standards: Environmental Science
6.0 The student will understand his/her personal and civic responsibility concerning issues related to the environment.
Performance Indicators: At Level 3, the student is able to
Purpose of Web Quest and Learning Improvements:
The students will learn about how current geopolitical problems effect the environment. The students will also learn to think critically about a problem and use research to create a solution. The students will also learn to articulate their ideas through oral presentation. The purpose of the web quest is to: teach students about current environmental problems and potential solutions, to introduce the student to the life and behavior of the endangered African Elephant, to teach the student about how the human world affects the environment, to promote the internet as a useful research tool, to promote teamwork through group activities, to promote oral communication skills through class presentations.
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction:
Before beginning the Web Quest, the teacher should show the IMAX dvd "Africa's Elephant Kingdom", available at www.amazon.com . The DVD is approximately 45 minutes long, and will introduce the students to the problems the endangered elephants are facing, as well as the geographic habitat of the elephant. After the movie, the teacher is responsible for dividing the class into groups, making sure each group has access to the internet. The teacher might also want to go over some basic tips for keyword searches on the internet. After the process is complete, the teacher will moderate the class presentations, or if time is limited, replace the oral presentation with a less formal class discussion. This web quest will also tie into geopolitics, environmental problem solving, endangered species, and conservation.
Discovery (1997). Africa's Elephant Kingdom [dvd]. Santa Monica, California: Artisan.
Elephant Information Repository. (2001). Home Page. Retrieved April 22, 2004 from http://elephant.elehost.com/
Google. (2004). Search Engine. Retrieved April 22, 2004 from http://www.google.com
Nature. (2004). The Elephants of Africa. Retrieved April 22, 2004 from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/elephants/
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