Chinese Cultural WebQuest
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
- Unit Plan:
- Determine what they already know about China
- Research and find information using technology
- Become expert in one area of research
- Inform other students about their findings
- Develop cooperative skills through working in a group
- Present and share findings from research
- 3–4 forty-minute computer lab periods
- Poster board
- Markers and crayons
- Print out of Chinese flag for each group of four
- Reproducibles provided within the WebQuest
Set Up and Prepare
- The first four lessons require that your class has access to multiple computers, so sign up for computer lab time if necessary.
- Preview the WebQuest. It is important to know what your students are going to look at before you take them to the computer lab.
- Print out and copy the reproducibles from the WebQuest.
Part One: Computer Research
Step 1: Review with students what they have learned about China. Inform them that there are other places to find information. Discuss where this might be. Lead them to conversation about the computer lab or the Internet.
Step 2: Take the group to the computer lab. Direct all students to the WebQuest.
Step 3: Read through the introduction to the WebQuest together. Also read through Task One. Inform the students that today and the next they are going to be researching in all four fields of the WebQuest: geography, history, celebrations, and people.
Step 4: Demonstrate how to navigate around the activity. Model going back and forth to the webpage that lists the websites. Explain that students should record on their reproducibles the information they find in the course of their WebQuest. Make sure the students are completely comfortable with the technology - taking the time to do this now will save you a ton of time later. Also stress the ability to understand what they read. If they cannot tell you what something means, then they shouldn't write it down.
Step 5: Let the research begin! Devote the rest of this period as well as the next period to research and answering the questions from the first reproducible. Review as a class the answers before moving on.
Step 6: During the third day in the computer lab, students will work on one specific topic of research. Have the groups already decided when you get there. Though there are groups of students all researching one topic, they are working independently right now; even though there may be five students all researching geography more in depth, they should not be working together.
Step 7: Distribute a copy of the second reproducible to the class. Make sure everyone knows that they are only looking at one group of websites today. They are going to become an expert in just one area of research. Allow the students to spend time gathering more data for their topic. Allow two periods for this research.
Part Two: Classroom Group Work
Step 8: Organize the students into groups of four. Put one expert of each topic in each group. For example each group should consist of one student who became an expert in geography, one who became an expert in history, one who became an expert in celebrations, and one who became an expert in the people.
Step 9: Explain to the students that they are going to create posters to display their research findings. Share the rubric from the WebQuest with the class. Make sure the requirements are understood. There should be four sections sharing facts about the topic of expertise. They should also include the Chinese flag on their poster (you can provide this or allow the students to draw it).
Step 10: Be sure to stress that this should be thoughtfully done. Everyone has a job and they will have plenty of time to complete the poster, so it should look nice.
Step 11: I usually allow about four class periods for this part. This ensures that they write everything in pencil first and I check it as they go. This also is usually enough time to complete and color the poster.
Step 12: Allow one period for everyone to share their posters. The groups should practice presenting beforehand to help the process run smoothly.
Supporting All Learners
When grouping students, always be aware of learning abilities. Unless you have a class number that is a multiple of four, you will probably have some groups with five people. These are the groups to add an additional support for a struggling learner. Also, discuss skills with the class. Teach the groups to talk about who is strong at which skill. Are there strong artists in the group? Who has neat handwriting to write the final information? Who is most comfortable speaking to the class? This type of discussion leads to learning through Gardner's multiple intelligences.
If it is around the right time of year, you can have a Chinese New Year celebration as a culmination of the students' China research and reading
Invite parents in for the last day to hear all the information the students learned about China. Students are always glad to have an audience, and the parents will truly be impressed with the wealth of knowledge they gained.
- Independent Internet research
- Completed poster with group
Ask questions of yourself and the lesson:
- What went well?
- What didn't?
- Was the computer lab managed appropriately?
- Were the students able to find information that they could read and retain?
- Will I make any adjustments to the reproducibles or any other aspect of the WebQuest next year?
- Did I allow enough time for the completion of this project?
- What could I do to modify the requirements for some of my learners?
- Monitor the class as they work independently in the computer lab
- Ask and monitor for understanding during group projects.
- Rubric the final poster and show all the members of the group.