Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests
Teacherís Guide to Tropical Rainforests
This lesson is part of the series of lessons comprising the unit on ďEcosystemĒ. It is also related to the unit on ďBiodiversityĒ.
The lesson aims to help students appreciate tropical rainforests, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth. After working on this lesson, students should be able to:
1. Describe tropical rainforests;
2. Identify some of the plant and animal adaptations in tropical rainforests;
3. Identify the threats to tropical rainforests; and
4. Explain the importance of preserving tropical rainforests.
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.
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 planning their map (the answer to 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 teacherís log/journal. Assist students as needed.
4. Collect the groupsí answers to the small questions. Remind the class of the need to work on their answer to the Big Question. Tell the class that the synthesis for the lesson will be done after all groups have finished the online treasure hunt.
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. Summarize the main points of the lesson.
3. Remind the class to work on their map (the answer to the Big Question). At this point, they may have questions on how to do the map. Try to show them an example of the kind of map you expect. Set a specific date for submission.
4. Before dismissing the class, ask your students to comment on the online treasure hunt activity. On a piece of paper, ask them 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.
5. 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.
6. Monitor the studentsí work from time to time in the week during which they are to produce the map to make sure that they will be ready to submit something on the due date.
When the answers to the Big Question are due (two weeks after the online treasure hunt):
1. Collect the maps and post these in the classroom for everyone to see and read. Ask the students to go around the room and study the maps.
2. After everyone has seen the maps (this should take about 20-30 minutes), ask the class to share their observations and insights into the tropical rainforests of the Philippines. End the discussion (about 20 minutes) by recalling the main points in the lesson on tropical rainforests.
3. In the last 15 minutes of the period, ask each student to answer the combined self- and peer-assessment form.
4. After the session, grade each map using the scoring guide. Record the scores (group members get the same score) and let students know what their scores are.
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