Lost Worlds - Life in the Balance
an Environmental Web Quest by
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
The world we live in is a complex web of relationships. If one chain in the web breaks down, then every living thing could potentially be affected. Taking care of our environment is important and necessary in order to preserve our future. Without a clean and stable world, our civilization and all its accomplishments could be lost. Conserving our greatest gifts will allow future generations to enjoy them, and keep our world healthy and safe. We must protect the environment, in order to protect ourselves.
In this Web Quest, you will choose an environmental problem to research. After you have learned about it's causes and effects, you and your group will construct and present a policy proposal to help solve the problem. You will construct the policy proposal as if you were presenting it to congress. In other words, you will present what the problem is , what its effects are, and what your recommended solutions are. In addition, you will present how you believe your proposal would help ease the solution. After you have finished your policy proposal, you will present it to the class in a ten minute oral presentation. Skip down to the Evaluation Rubric to see what you will be graded on.
Read the following simple example:
Canada's natural fisheries have long been over fished, leaving the fisheries almost depleted. Wildlife has left the area for lack of food, and local fishermen are losing jobs. To fix the problem, there are a variety of options. One option is a fishery program that would breed fish and release them into the ocean on a large scale. Another solution is to impose a fixed quantity of fish that may be taken by a company or boat each year. Hopefully, with some careful planning and time, the fish that once lived there will be replenished.
1. First, you will watch the IMAX dvd Lost Worlds Life in the Balance (35 mins). The movie will give you some background knowledge on how our heath and the environment are related, as well as introduce you to some environmental problems.
2. After the movie, you will be broken down into groups of no more than 5. Each group is responsible for choosing their own environmental problem to research in full. Below are two websites to get you started. Browse each site for potential topics and then decide what you want to do. Also, if you already have a topic in mind, then use the Google Search Engine to complete your own internet searches.
Natural Resources Defense Council
Environment News Service
Environmental Organization Web Directory
3. After you have picked out your topic, use the information on the above websites to help research your topic further using the Search Engine. Remember what you are looking for: Problem, Cause, Effect, Potential Solution.
4. Research your topic in full. After you have found the problem, causes and effects, get together with your group and brainstorm solutions. Pick one and develop it out fully. Answer the following questions: how will your solution fix the problem? What is the cost (time, money, energy, etc.)? Could there be any unintended side effects?
5. Create some sort of visual aid (handout, power point, poster board, etc.) to help present your policy proposal.
6. Present your policy proposal to the class, answering all the questions asked above. Make sure that each group member has a role in the presentation, and that you stay within time limits.
Your grade will be based on the following evaluation rubric:
|Oral Presentation Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Identification of Environmental Problem: Causes and Effects||25|
|Complete, logical policy proposal, answers all questions.||25|
|Visual Aid (helpful, neat)||10
|Teamwork and Cooperation||10|
|Stayed within the time limit. (8 to 10 minutes)||10|
|Communication Skills (eye contact, posture, clear voice, appropriate volume, transitions between speakers smooth, and all members presented)||20
|Total Possible Points||
Note that half your grade is based on the content. The other half is based on your presentation. If you have any questions regarding your grade, ask your teacher for clarification.
All of our environments are interrelated. To protect ourselves, we must protect our environment, and all life forms within. Other civilizations have passed away into obscurity because they overextended and overused their resources. Protecting the environment begins with identifying problems, and using critical thinking to solve them. In this project, you had to learn about a problem and come up with a plan of action. The same problems are faced by our leaders and maintaining our way of life requires the same problem solving skills.
Grade Band: 9 - 12, Environmental Science
Tennessee State Curriculum Standards:
6.2 Recognize rights and responsibilities as a citizen in maintaining a healthy environment
Level 3: develop an action plan for addressing an environmental issue and participate thoughtfully and effectively in environmental decision making
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction: Before beginning this web quest, the teacher should show the IMAX dvd "Lost Worlds" (35 minutes). The movie is available for purchase at www.amazon.com The dvd will give students some background knowledge on the environment, past civilizations, and the importance of conserving our environment. After the movie, the teacher should break students up into groups of no more than 5. Allow the students to work as a team, but be prepared to help them with the internet research. Before beginning the web quest, you might want to go over key word searches on Google to prepare the students for the internet research. After the process is completed, the teacher might want to have an informal class discussion instead of oral presentations.
Purpose of Web Quest and Learning Improvements: The purpose of this web quest is to introduce students to important environmental problems, to promote an understanding of the relation between health and environment, to promote critical thinking skills through problem solving, to promote team work skills through group activities, to promote oral presentation skills through a final presentation, to reinforce the learned information through oral reports. The student will also learn how to use the internet as a valuable research tool and how to complete research to solve a problem.
Slingshot, 2001. Lost Worlds - Life in the Balance [dvd]. Toronto, Canada: IMAX.
Natural Resources Defense Council. 2004. Clean Air and Energy. Retrieved March 4, 2004 from http://www.nrdc.org/air/default.asp
Environmental News Wire. 2004. Daily Newswire. Retrieved March 4, 2004 from http://www.ens-newswire.com/
Environmental Web Directory. 2004. Search Engine. Retrieved March 4, 2004 from http://www.webdirectory.com/
Google. 2004. Search Engine. Retrieved March 4, 2004 from http://www.google.com