Middle, Secondary, Business and Tertiary WebQuests can have Higher Order Thinking Skills encouraged in their tasks but what about Primary WebQuests?
Have a look at this outstanding Primary/Elementary WebQuest: Where has all the water gone?
|Key Learning Areas: HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies
|Key Competencies: Collecting, analysing and organising information; Communicating Ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Solving problems; Using technology; Working in a team
|Tasks: Analytical; Compilation; Design; Persuasion; Research; Science
|Grade Levels: Primary / Elementary; Middle
Designed for students in Years 6 - 7 (Queensland, Australia; or, Years 5 - 6 in most other Australian States).
Students are given the following scenario: "Our town is running out of water. Our Mayor has approached our school for some creative ideas to come up with for a long term solution to our town's water problems. As a member of this taskforce your team will investigate the issue and design a plan that will seek to resolve the water issues in our town. The Mayor has asked our school teams to present their plans to the local council using a ten minute multimedia presentation that will quickly and easily make your plans understood to all council members. There will then be a five minute time allocation for questions from the councilors. Your team will need to look at a lot of competing interests and different points of view, in order to come up with a plan that gives everyone enough water now and in the future. You will share your research with others on your team to develop a plan, but you will need data to support your plan. The solution does not have to be one that is currently used. Think creatively; original ideas are encourage. Good luck with your challenge, our town is counting on you."
Students, in groups of four, are to take on the roles of different Hydrologists: Hydrologist 1 is to investigate alternative sources of water supply; Hydrologist 2 is to investigate alternative water solutions; Hydrologist 3 is to investigate creative ways for reducing the use of water consumption; and, Hydrologist 4 is to investigate alternative products used to help create a sustainable water supply for the future.
They are to individually analyse the data for their particular area of expertise and report back to their taskforce group. Together, they are to create a multimedia presentation in which they are to present their ideas on how to save the town's water supply. Using DeBono's six thinking hats, students are to evaluate their action plan (multimedia presentation) before giving their 5 minute presentation.
Resources: while this is a generic problem throughout most of Australia, the comprehensive resources given are specifically for Queensland. Evaluation rubric is provided along with peer assessment rubric. Conclusion asks students to complete two activities: "Your team is to design a water audit plan to be distributed to students in your school. They will have one week to complete their home audit and return the survey to you. Once you have collated all your data you will write a report analysing the results. These results will then be published in the school newsletter. Your group will then design a poster showing water saving ideas that can be photocopied and placed around the community." Teacher's Guide is comprehensive and contains Curriculum Standards [Learning Outcomes]; some Implementation Advice, and, Duration: 90 minutes/week for 10 weeks. Design and Layout: simple and easy to use navigation; and, lots of images to aid learning. Last updated 2009.
Any problem or issue that is authentic and messy [having multiple viewpoints] can be made into a WebQuest and encourage Higher Order Thinking Skills regardless of age! WebQuest Direct & other WQ Directories have thousands of Primary WebQuests with HOTS in their tasks.
Make the benchmark higher and see the results of your students thinking!!!