a Web Quest by
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
Sharks have long been thought of as unstoppable killing machines. However, this is not an accurate portrayal of sharks. Sharks are a part of the ocean food web just like any other species. In addition, sharks are unique animals that have evolved over time to adjust to their ocean biome. Understanding the evolved adaptations of sharks helps us to better understand the ocean food web, the process of evolution, and its role in the survival of different species.
In a group, you will use the internet to browse shark web sites to learn all about sharks. More specifically, you will look for adaptations of sharks that allow them to survive. One example is the shape of the shark's body, which allows it to swim quickly and is ideal for hunting fish. You will make a list of five adaptations and how they help sharks survive. In addition, you will make a visual aid of some kind, (poster board, power point, class handouts etc.) After making your list and visual aid, you will give a short presentation to the class, presenting the adaptations you found, and how they allow sharks an advantage to survive. Before beginning the Process, skip down to the Evaluation Rubric so you will know what your grade is based on.
1. First, you will watch the IMAX movie Search for the Great Sharks. While watching the movie, look and listen for adaptations that the scientists talk about.
2. After watching the movie, you will be broken up into groups. Each group will use the following links to learn about sharks, and search for adaptations:
Enchanted Learning Shark Index
Nova Shark Attack
Nova Island of the Sharks
3. Also, if you want to do your own web searches, use the Google search engine. To use a search engine, search for keywords such as "sharks" "adaptations" "shark evolution" etc.
4. As a group, decide what kind of visual aid you want to use in your presentation. You may use pictures, diagrams of shark anatomy, maps, timelines, etc. After you have decided, as a group design and construct your visual aid.
5. Your class presentation needs to be between 5 and 6 minutes long. During the presentation, you will explain your visual aid, present the adaptations of sharks that you found in research, and explain how those adaptations help sharks to survive.
6. Everybody needs to participate in the class presentation, and the preceding research. A small portion of your grade will be based on teamwork and cooperation.
Your grade will be based on the following rubric:
|Oral Presentation Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Group presented 5 shark adaptations, and how the adaptations aid shark survival. Evidence of research||50
|Presentation was well planned and coherent. (Evidence of rehearsal)||10
|Visual Aid (helpful, neat)||10
|Evidence of teamwork and cooperation in research. Every group member played a role.||10|
|Stayed within the time limit. (5 - 6 minutes)||10|
|Communication Skills (eye contact, posture, clear voice, appropriate volume, transitions between speakers smooth, and all members presented)||10
|Total Possible Points||
Note that half of your grade is based on content. The other half is divided among different presentation aspects. Also note that cooperation and teamwork is a part of your grade. If you have any questions on this grading rubric, ask your teacher.
All living creatures have evolved and adapted characteristics that allow them to survive. Sharks are no exception. Sharks are like any other predatory animal, not the killing machines that movies and popular culture makes them out to be. Sharks are an important part of the ocean food web because they help control fish and seal populations. Sharks, like all other species adapt to survive.
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Grade Band: 6 - 12, Science
Tennessee State Curriculum Standards:
6th Grade: Standard Number: 5.0 Diversity and Adaptation Among Living Things
The student will understand that living things have characteristics that enable them to survive in their environment
5.1 Understand how organisms are adapted for surviving in certain environments
6.5.tpi.4 determine specific characteristics of organisms that enable them to survive in certain environments
8th Grade: 8.5.tpi.2 describe the relationship between a given structure of an organism and its function
9-12: Life Science 5.3 infer the types of organisms native to specific major biomes
6.2 interpret various forms of evidence for biological evolution
Biology I 2.4 analyze innate and learned behaviors and relate this to the survival of the organism
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction: Before beginning the Web Quest, the teacher should show the IMAX dvd Search for the Great Sharks (45 mins). The dvd will give the students some background knowledge on sharks, and scientific theories about shark behavior. After the movie, the teacher should help the students with the Web Quest by aiding their internet searches, suggesting keywords for the Google search, and answering any questions they might have. This web quest will probably take at least 3 hours to complete including watching the video and not including group presentation time. The teacher should feel free to alter portions of this web quest to best fit time needs.
Purpose of Web Quest and Learning Improvements: To improve understanding of sharks and their behavior, to promote understanding of food webs and food chains, to promote the understanding of evolution and biological adaptations, to promote the use of the internet as an important research tool, to promote teamwork and group cooperation, to promote oral presentation skills, to reinforce understanding of material through group presentations.
Enchanted Learning. (2004). Shark Index. Retrieved February 10, 2004 from www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/Sharkcontents.htm
Google. (2004). Search Engine. Retrieved February 10, 2004 from http://www.google.com
Nova Online. (2002). Island of the Sharks & Shark Attack! Retrieved February 10, 2004 from www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sharkattack/
Slingshot. (1996). Search for the Great Sharks [dvd}. Toronto, Canada: Imax.
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