This WebQuest is a long-term WebQuest which is to be completed in approximately 20 days. It entails a wide range of different activities which require collaboration and serve to aid students in constructing an understanding of the respective topics. Students create different products that involve the use of technology and rely on collaboration. This WebQuest thus helps students increase their understanding of how geography, history, and economy are related to their personal lives.
Part 1 - Geography
Grade 6 Standards:
Arizona Department of Education, Social Studies Standard Articulated by Grade Level - Sixth Grade: Strand 4: Geography, Concept 5: Environment and Society, PO 1: "Describe ways that human dependence on natural resources influences economic development, settlement, trade, and migration" (Arizona Department of Education, 2006, Sixth Grade, p.6)
Arizona Department of Education, Social Studies Standard Articulated by Grade Level - Sixth Grade: Strand 4: Geography, Concept 6: Geographic Applications, PO 1: "Describe ways geographic features and conditions influenced settlement in various locations [...] throughout different periods of time, places, and regions" (Arizona Department of Education, 2006, Sixth Grade, p.7)
Students will learn about the five themes of geography and how they affect them personally. Students will realize that each theme of geography is directly related to their lives and that the world shapes who they are. By means of research, students will come to the conclusion that geography is an important part of their lives and understand how places, humans, and environments are interrelated.
The activities of the geography part of this WebQuest teach students in a meaningful way that geography is important in every-day life and impacts who we are. Meaningful activities include the use of web-resources, as well as collaborative group work in order to complete the creative task of designing a new country. By means of collaborative group work, students can not only support one another, but increase their social skills at the same time. The creative task of designing a personal country is not only fun but furthermore aids students in applying previously gained knowledge and increases students' understanding of how geographical themes shape human development.
Values and Knowledge:
The geography part of this WebQuest promotes the values of interpersonal relationships as well as the environment and other people. It furthermore teaches students about geography and its themes, as well as their effect on the individual.
Students will have to use a wide range of websites to complete their research, which requires a childlock on each of the students' computers. Students are furthermore in need of scaffolding on the teacher's behalf. The teacher can ask students challenging questions throughout their research activity to lead them into the correct direction. Furthermore, creative ideas for designing students' own countries should be supported and illustrated by students. Students are supposed to have fun in this activity and apply what they have learned in a self-expressive, collaborative manner.
Modifications can be made for students with disabilities, for instance by means of enlarged versions of the material. In addition, ELLs can be accommodated throughout the research phase by being allowed to research sources of their mother tongue. In addition, collaborative groups should be heterogeneous, with strong and weak students supporting one another.
Part 2 - History
Grade 6 Standards:
Arizona Department of Education, Social Studies Standard Articulated by Grade Level - Sixth Grade, Strand 1: American History, Concept 10: Contemporary United States, PO1: "Describe current events using information from class discussions and various resources [...]" (Arizona Department of Education, 2006, Sixth Grade, p.5)
Arizona Department of Education, Social Studies Standard Articulated by Grade Level - Sixth Grade, Strand 1: American History, Concept 10: Contemporary United States, PO3: "Describe how key political, social, and economic events of the late 20th century and early 21st century affected, and continue to affect the United States" (Arizona Department of Education, 2006, Sixth Grade, p.6)
The purpose of part 2 of this WebQuest is to teach students the importance of historical and current events on themselves as well as other individuals. Students will understand that it is important to follow historical and current events in order to understand society and how it shapes us and our interaction with other people.
The activities in this part of the WebQuest foster students' forming of values as well as problem-solving skills. By means of using the web and community as resources, students learn to form their personal opinion on a currently disputed historical event and issue. Students do not only have the chance to research topics on the web and in their direct environment, but furthermore may express their personal opinion by means of an e-mail-journal. This activity allows students to personally connect with the topic and shapes students' decision making skills. The meaningful activity of writing a letter to the government, defending their personal opinion does not only give students purpose but furthermore provides students with ownership and the feeling that their opinion counts.
Values and Knowledge:
Apart from constructing knowledge on the wall between Mexico and the U.S., as well as immigration history, students will extend their knowledge on how to research the web as well as how to write convincing letters in a professional, respectful manner. Furthermore, students will learn how immigration affects them personally and how others are affected by it. Therefore, students will learn to form their personal opinion by conducting research, and will learn to value cultural diversity as well as the opinion 0f other individuals.
The activities require a high amount of web research on behalf of students. Students should be taught how to evaluate sources for their reliability and be allowed to research in their mother tongue in case they are ELLs. It is furthermore important that students are respectful of other opinions and learn how to accept and tolerate values that are not their own. It is therefore recommended that the teacher practices diplomatic discussions before assigning the WebQuest tasks. The journal can be kept over the course of 3 or more days, and should be reinforced by challenging replies on behalf of the teacher. A discussion should evolve and students should become critical thinkers who form their personal opinion about immigration. It is furthermore mandatory that the teacher remains objective at all times, accepting students' different opinions and challenging them individually. Throughout the letter-writing process, the teacher should provide students with diplomatic, previously practiced forms of writing and proofread letters before submitting them.
Part 3 - Economics (Microeconomics)
Grade 5 and 6 Standards:
Arizona Department of Education, Social Studies Standard Articulated by Grade Level - Sixth Grade, Strand 5: Economics, Concept 1: Foundations of Economics, PO2: "Determine how scarcity [...] influence(s) decision-making" (Arizona Department of Education, 2006, Sixth Grade, p.1)
Arizona Department of Education, Social Studies Standard Articulated by Grade Level - Fifth Grade, Strand 5: Economics, Concept 2: Microeconomics, PO 2: "Describe how competition, markets, and prices influence people's behavior" (Arizona Department of Education, 2o06, Fifth Grade, p.2-3)
Students are to understand what effect the economy has on them and that new products are often purchased for a higher price when they first come to the market than when they have been on the market for a long time. Students are to learn the relationships between supply and demand with the example of the Wii Scenario, which they are to solve. This third part of the WebQuest therefore aims at educating students on the importance of economical knowledge as well as how the economy is influenced by and influences their personal decisions.
The Wii scenario presents students with a concrete, real-life experience which they can relate to, since many students possibly possess a Wii system themselves. By interviewing students and collecting data, students are directly involved into the learning process which provides them with ownership and aids them in gathering economic knowledge. Collaborative group work aids students in joining together and discovering the topic of supply and demand together, helping one another to understand links between the two. Responding to the Wii scenario by means of a role-play activity aids students' understanding of the relations between supply and demand, and provides students with ownership at the same time. Students will understand that they are personally involved into the economy and can make a change. After having constructed the knowledge about supply and demand, students will be able to relate to their personal lives and are aided to make more economic decisions in the future.
Values and Knowledge:
Students will extend their knowledge in microeconomics of supply and demand. Students will understand how they are immediately affected by these concepts and that they have a direct effect on the economy as well. This part of the WebQuest will thus make students more aware of their economic decisions and aid them in the decision-making process. Students will be introduced to the values of economic freedom and liberty.
Due to the concrete example provided at the beginning of this part of the WebQuest, students will be able to easily understand supply and demand. However, the teacher should be available to answer students' questions and provide further examples on supply and demand, such as the availability of a new car or cell phone, to deepen students' understanding. When designing the graph, the teacher should ensure that students remember their graph skills from Math instruction, and possibly provide a mini-review on how to design a graph. In addition, the teacher should help students analyze their graph by asking challenging questions. Later, when students answer the questions based on the Wii scenario, the teacher should provide scaffolding to facilitate finding the answers. Students should use their interview and research results to get the answer and engage into a collaborative group discussion, which can be supported by the teacher and help students design the role-play. When designing the mindmap, the teacher should provide a short demonstration on how to use the program SmartDraw, so that students are comfortable with their task.