Mount Saint Helens
a Web Quest by
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
On May 18, 1980, the volcano Mt. Saint Helens erupted for the first time in more than 100 years. The explosion blew ash, gas and pumice miles into the air, and destroyed the green forests and beautiful landscape of the surrounding area. In addition to the environmental destruction, many people lost their lives. Today, the trees are coming back and the landscape is transforming itself slowly. Understanding this natural disaster can teach scientists about changes in ecosystem, and the adaptabily of different environments.
You will be divided into groups. Your group will be assigned a time frame for the volcano: History of Mt. Saint Helens, Before the eruption, During the Eruption, Aftermath, and Mt. Saint Helens today. Your group will research your time frame via the internet, and then give a five minute presentation on your time frame. In addition, you will use posterboard to create a visual aid showing the Volcano in your time frame. When everyone is finished, the cycle of destruction and regrowth will be completed.
1) Your teacher will assign groups.
2) Follow the links to research your time frame for the volcano.
3) You are trying to describe the mountain in your time frame to the class. Look for descriptions and pictures to help with your visual aid.
4) Do your own searches using the search engine to find additional information on Mt. Saint Helens.
5) Teamwork will be a part of your grade. Work well together, and make sure every student has a role.
6) Remember that your class presentation should be at least 5 minutes long, and your goal is to teach the class about Mt. Saint Helens during your time frame.
Links for Research:
History of Mount Saint Helens
Mt. Saint Helens before the eruption
Mt. Saint Helens during the eruption
Mt. Saint Helens after the eruption
Mt. Saint Helens 20 years later
You will be evaluated based on the following oral presentation rubric:
|Oral Presentation Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Provided depth in coverage of topic time frame. Clearly covered all points.||40
|Presentation was well planned and coherent. (Evidence of rehearsal)||10
|Teamwork (worked well together, everyone had a part)||10
|Stayed within the time limit (5-6 mins)||10|
|Communication Skills (eye contact, posture, clear voice, appropriate volume, transitions between speakers smooth, and all members presented)||10
|Visual Aid (helpful, neat, illustrative of time frame)||10|
|Total Possible Points||
Notice that forty percent of your grade is on the depth of your presentation. In essesnce, don't let your visual aid become your presentation. You need to talk about more than you show. If you have any questions concerning your grade, ask your teacher.
Although the eruption of Mount Saint Helens destroyed thousands of acres of forest, in a sense, the eruption rejuvinated the land. Trees and animals are starting to come back, and the cycle of life has been refreshed in the area. Volcanos are one of many different geological features that shape our earth and our environments. Understanding how and why they erupt is one step in understanding the earth.
Grade Band: 6 - 8 Earth Science
Tennessee Curriculum Standards: Middle School Earth Science - 8.9.2 Describe the forces and processes that shape the earth.
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction: Before beginning this Web Quest, the teacher should show the IMAX DVD The Eruption of Mount Saint Helens(28 mins). The DVD will give the student some background on Mount Saint Helens, it's history, and it's recovery. This Web Quest will take between 1 and 2 hours to complete, not including presentation time or video time. Research time is adjustable. If desired, this webquest may be researched at home, and presented in class to save time. The teacher may double up on some group topics to create smaller groups if desired. After the video, it is important to assist the students in their internet research by helping them navigate. This may or may not be the first time a student has used Google search engine for research. They might need some help understanding what key words or phrases to use. This topic can be combined with geography, geology, plate tectonics, volcanos, ecosystem change, natural disasters, and the ring of fire.
Purpose: To educate the student about the events surrounding the 1980 disaster of Mount Saint Helens, to encourage oral presenation skills, to encourage internet research skills, to promote teamwork among peers working toward a common goal, to connect changes in environment with volcanos and other geological activity.
Learning Improvements: The student will learn to use the internet as an effecient and effective research tool. Also, the student will learn to make connections between environmental causes and effects. The student will ultimately learn about the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens while also learning how to find what they need online.
Slingshot. (1990). The Eruption of Mount St. Helens. [DVD]. Toronto, Canada: IMAX.
Mount St. Helens Website. (2000). Biological History. Retrieved November 24, 2003, from http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/msh/ov/ovb/ovbbh.html
Mount St. Helens Website. (2000). During the Eruption. Retrieved November 24, 2003, from http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/msh/ov/ovd/ovd.html
Mount St. Helens Website. (2000). Ash Eruptions. Retrieved November 24, 2003, from http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/msh/ov/ova/ovaaa.html
VanNatta Forestry and Logging. (2001). Mount St. Helens 20 Years Later. Retrieved November 24, 2003, from http://www.vannattabros.com/helens2.html
Search Engine. (2003). Google. Retrieved November 24, 2003, from http://www.google.com
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