Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests
Teacherís Guide to The Biological System of Classification
This lesson falls under the unit on biodiversity. One of the two main objectives of the unit is to help students appreciate the existence of diverse forms of living things.
In this lesson, the objective is to help students:
1. Understand how different species of organisms are named and classified; and
2. Appreciate the contributions of some biologists to the systematic recording of biodiversity.
This online treasure hunt can be implemented as a standalone activity for the lesson on the biological classification of living things or in preparation for the webquest on The Flora and Fauna of Lake Lanao.
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 teacherís 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.
9. Look for sources (in the library and the Internet) of scientific names of Philippine plants and animals that the students can refer to when they do the Big Question. The list should be ready for when your students are about to answer the Big Question (you may write the list on the board).
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, the groups can begin filling in part of the table (for example, columns 1 and 3) in the time remaining after they have answered the small questions.
3. Move around the room. Observe how each group is doing the activity and write down your observations in a teacherís log/journal. Assist students as needed.
4. Collect the groupsí answers to the small questions. Distribute the list of sources of scientific names of Philippine plants and animals (one copy for each group) and remind the groups to submit their answer to the Big Question on 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 teacherís 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 eight questions.
2. Ask each group to share with the rest one of their answers to the Big Question. There may be similar answers. Ask the class to comment on this. Ask them also to take note of any unique answers. Ask the groups to share the process they followed in order to be able to answer the Big Question.
3. Summarize the main points of the lesson.
4. Before dismissing the class, ask your students to comment on the online treasure hunt activity. On a piece of paper, ask them to write:
ē what they enjoyed the most,
ē what they found difficult, and
ē 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.
5. Grade the answers to the Big Question. Assign one point for every correct entry in the table. All group members will of course get the same score. You may decide to record the scores under Quizzes. Return the graded answers the next day.
6. Study the studentsí 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.