Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests

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Teacher’s Guide to Pollution-Free Alburquerque

Subject Area & Year Level
Science 3

Learning Objectives/Competencies
This activity cuts across three units in the Third Year Science curriculum: Solutions (Unit III), Colloids (Unit IV), and Gases (Unit V). 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:

Unit III
2.2 Relate solutions to water pollution caused by toxic substances dissolved in water (heavy metals, pesticides, detergents)

Unit IV
2.3 Describe the biological and environmental impact of colloids like aerosols sprays, hair gel and smoke;
2.4 Relate the property of gas mixtures to air pollution

Unit V
3.4 Relate the properties of gases to air pollution.

Aside from air and water pollution, the webquest covers land and noise pollution.

The webquest also aims to teach students how to:
1. Use the World Wide Web as a learning resource;
2. Use email to connect with experts;
3. Write a report;
4. Work cooperatively and collaboratively in order to produce quality student output; and
5. Assess their own work and those of their peers.

Duration
2-3 weeks

The webquest should be conducted after the lessons in Unit V have been completed. This is because the webquest is a specific application of what has been learned in this unit as well as in Units III and IV.

Procedure

Before starting on the webquest:
1. Make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with all of the components of the webquest.
2. Prepare a work plan, in which you indicate the inclusive dates for the various steps in the webquest process. The time allotment for each step in the webquest process is indicated in the Process section. But you need to identify the actual dates covered. Your schedule should be such that the webquest is completed in two-three consecutive weeks, not spread out over a long period. This is to ensure a focused interest in the project.
3. Identify the barangays that you will assign groups to study. Do not include farflung barangays. Choose those that are easily accessible to students. You will assign one barangay per group. The assignment can be random (e.g., having group representatives draw lots). Then communicate with the barangay leaders to request them to accommodate your students during their field research in Step 3 of the project. In your letter (or personal visit), explain the objectives of the webquest and be specific about the kind of information you and your students need from them.
4. Prepare the materials you will need to distribute to students during the orientation session, such as copies of the webquest (print the printer-friendly version of the webquest, which is marked with a printer icon on the webquest index page of the sourcebook).
5. Coordinate with the Center Manager the use of the computer center (this is one reason why a work plan is needed) and let him/her know of any technical assistance you might need (especially for Step 2).

For every step in the webquest, here are the things you need to do:

Step 1
Orient your class to the webquest. It is recommended that you give a print copy of the webquest to each group. You can also do the orientation in the computer center, where groups can read the electronic or soft copy of the webquest on a computer assigned to them.

Carefully go over the Task and Evaluation sections of the webquest with your students. And then go over the Process. Encourage students to ask clarificatory questions and be ready to provide answers.

Form groups of five members each using the grouping method you decided on prior to starting the webquest. Make sure that there is a mix of abilities in each group.

Give the groups time to decide among themselves on the distribution of roles among. Make sure that the assignment of roles is by consensus among the group members. No one member should decide which roles the other members will play, to ensure that all members will be motivated to participate in the activity.

You may need to devote an entire class meeting to this step. It is important that you give students a thorough orientation to the webquest.

Step 2
Bring your class to the computer center during a class session soon after the orientation to the webquest to give them an opportunity to access the websites listed for this step. In addition, you can implement the online treasure hunt titled, “What Causes Air and Water Pollution?” with your class as part of this step in the webquest. (see the Teacher’s Guide to “What Causes Air and Water Pollution?”)

Remind the students to complete their background research within one week.

Step 3
You might need to get the principal and parents’ permission for your students to visit the barangay assigned to them. By this time, you should have made the necessary arrangements with the barangay officials about your students’ visit. Before they visit the barangays, make sure the students are ready to do their interviews and brief them on appropriate behavior during the barangay visits. Remind them to be careful and to watch out for each other.

Step 4
Remind students to do this step immediately after the field trip, when the data is fresh in their minds. Collect all collages on the due date and put these on display around the room.

If you can, evaluate the collages using the rubric in the Evaluation section prior to displaying them so that students can see their scores. Or you can invite some people (e.g., co-teachers, some students from other sections, your department head) to serve as panel of judges, have them score the collages posted around the room using the rubric, and then announce the results at the end of the week.

Step 5
Immediately after the group outputs have been submitted, distribute copies of the self-assessment and peer evaluation forms for students to fill in. This is individual work. Each student should therefore have a copy of the forms. An alternative is to write out each form on a piece of manila paper and post these in the classroom for students to copy. The students can simply write their answers to the forms on a piece of paper.

After the webquest (when all group outputs and accomplished student self-assessment and peer evaluation forms have been submitted):
1. Evaluate the group outputs using the rubric (if you did not do so earlier), assign points to the self-assessment and peer evaluation, and compute each student’s final grade or score for the webquest.
2. Let everyone know his/her score for the project.
3. Do a brief (10-15 minutes) synthesis of the webquest project (its target outcomes and the actual results in relation to the lesson).
 
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