Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests
Teacher’s Guide to What Causes Air and Water Pollution
This activity cuts across three units in the Third Year Science curriculum: Solutions (Unit 3), Colloids (Unit 4), and Gases (Unit 5). It is designed to help students relate what they have learned about these states of matter to water and air pollution.
The activity covers the following learning competencies:
1. Relate solutions to water pollution caused by toxic substances dissolved in water (heavy metals, pesticides, detergents);
2. Describe the biological and environmental impact of colloids like aerosols sprays, hair gel and smoke;
3. Relate the property of gas mixtures to air pollution; and
4. Relate the properties of gases to air pollution.
Before you conduct the online treasure hunt, do the following:
1. In the computer lab, with the help of the Center Manager download all of the online resources/websites and save these for offline viewing. Make sure that the saved files can be accessed from all of the computers in the lab.
2. Make sure that all computers are working.
3. Load the treasure hunt onto each computer or to the teacher’s PC and make sure it can be accessed from all of the computers in the lab.
4. Print copies of the treasure hunt for your students (one copy per group). (optional)
5. In the classroom, group your students into groups of four members each.
6. Each group computer will be assigned a computer. If you have more groups than computers, you may have to divide your class into two sets, with one set of groups working in the lab on this treasure hunt on Day 1 of this lesson and the other set of groups working on the treasure hunt on Day 2. Prepare a worthwhile classroom activity (seatwork) that is related to the topic for groups that will remain in the classroom on Day 1. On Day 2, the set of students who will remain in the classroom may work on their answer to the Big Question or be given a seatwork as well.
7. Explain the procedure of the online treasure hunt. You may distribute the print copies of the online treasure hunt (one copy per group).
8. Find out whether your students know how to use a computer (keyboard and mouse). If needed, bring your students to the computer laboratory and orient them to its use. Also give them instructions on proper behavior in the computer lab.
During the online treasure hunt, do the following:
1. Lead the groups into the computer lab and get them settled in. When everyone is ready, instruct all groups to start reading the online treasure hunt. (You and the Center Manager may open the treasure hunt file and have it ready for reading before the students enter the lab, or you can ask your students to open the file following oral instructions from you.) There is no need for a motivational activity since students will be motivated enough by the prospect of using the computer lab for this lesson. Also, the introduction to the online treasure serves as motivation.
2. Use the time allotted for your class. Do not borrow the time intended for other subjects. Start on time and end on time. The students should be able to finish answering the small questions in 40 or so minutes. The Big Question is to be done as homework. However, groups can begin answering the Big Question in the time remaining before the end of the period.
3. Move around the room. Observe how each group is doing the activity and write down your observations in a teacher’s log/journal. Assist students as needed.
4. Collect the groups’ answers to the small questions. Remind the class that the answer to Big Question is due the next day. Tell the class that the synthesis for the lesson will be done during the next class meeting.
5. At the end of your workday, complete your personal notes on the conduct of the online treasure hunt in your teacher’s log/journal.
After the online treasure hunt, in your classroom (Day 2 if all of the groups were able to participate in the online treasure hunt on Day 1 because there were enough computers for all groups, or Day 3 if the groups had to work at the computer lab in two batches):
1. Discuss with the class the answers to the treasure hunt questions. Be sure to discuss the answers to all seven questions.
2. Discuss the Big Question. Ask a few members of the class to read aloud their answer to the question, “In your community, what human activities contribute to air and water pollution?” Ask the class to identify what substances are released to the environment during these activities. And then ask a few other members of the class to read aloud their answer to the question, “How can the air and water pollution in your community be reduced?” There may be similar answers. Ask the class to comment on this. Ask them also to take note of any unique answers.
3. Summarize the main points of the lesson.
4. Collect all answers to the Big Question (individual essays).
5. Before dismissing the class, ask your students to comment on the online treasure hunt activity. On a piece of paper, ask them to write:
• what they enjoyed the most,
• what they found difficult, and
• what improvements, if any, they suggest for future activities of this type.
Give the students 5-10 minutes to do this, and then collect the answer sheets.
6. Grade the answers to the Big Question (individual essays). Return the graded essays as soon as possible.
7. Study the students’ assessment of the online treasure hunt and take this and your own notes into account when planning your next online treasure hunt.
Copyright 2004 by the Foundation for IT Education & Development. All rights reserved.