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WebQuests and Lesson Plans
Whatever you need, from an idea to get you started to a full-blown plan, this section provides you with resources to connect Explore More to your classroom. Do you have a classroom activity to share? Contact us.

WebQuests
Lesson Plans

PBS TeacherSource Lesson Plans

Web Quests
WebQuests are activities that help you make the most out of the best of the World Wide Web. Learn more about WebQuests (http://webquest.sdsu.edu/)

Explore More WebQuests

Subject

Grade

Description

All

6-12

Working Landscapes MiniQuest
This short activity is a great way to get your students familiar with the Explore More: Working Landscapes Web site and prepare them to take the other WebQuests. Students need to explore the site to find the answers.

All

6-12

Explore More News (Short Term)
This WebQuest is a problem-solving exercise. Your students play the role of a newspaper reporter for Explore More News. They research an issue that interests them and write one article. This WebQuest works for any of the four topics (genetic engineering, energy, working landscapes, water quality). Plan on at least two class periods to complete this quest.

WebQuest Assessment Rubric (Short Term)
This WebQuest Assessment Rubric and Guide for the short term WebQuest helps students get organized and record their progress. It includes a checklist to record progress and a rubric to evaluate work. Students will learn about an issue related to one of the Explore More Web sites and create one Explore More News newspaper article.

All

6-12

Explore More News (Long Term)
This WebQuest is a problem-solving exercise. Your students play the role of newspaper reporter for Explore More News. They research an issue that interests them and write five articles. When they are finished, the students should have:

- a general news article
- a human interest article
- an issue article
- an editorial
- a letter to the editor

This WebQuest works for any of the four topics (genetic engineering, energy, working landscapes, water quality). Plan on at least four class periods to complete this quest.

WebQuest Assessment Rubric (Long Term)
This WebQuest Assessment Rubric and Guide for the long term WebQuest helps students get organized and record their progress. It includes a checklist to record progress and a rubric to evaluate their work. Students will learn about an issue related to one of the Explore More Web sites and create an Explore More News newspaper section that contains five types of newspaper articles.

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Related WebQuests from the Web
(Compiled by Bernie Dodge for the WebQuest Page, San Diego State University: http://webquest.sdsu.edu/)

Subject

Grade

Description

Science

6-8

Amazon Food Web Students research Amazonia, identify organisms that exist there, determine the food relationships between those organisms, create an informational website and design a food web poster.
http://www.callunafineflowers.com/memorial_middle_school/WebQuest/index.htm

Science

6-8

Antarctica Scientific and ethical use of Antarctica
http://students.itec.sfsu.edu/itec815_f99/esund_dguenther/index.html

Science

6-8

Earth Alert! Examine global warming, over-population, pollution, and habitat loss. They present findings to class, discuss findings, and look for solutions.
http://www.bsd.k12.ca.us/franklin/pkelly/EA!.html

Science

6-8

Galapagos: Islands Suspended in Time Grapple with the question of whether and how to protect the Galapagos from human encroachment.
http://fs_gorman.tripod.com/galapagos/index.htm

Science

6-8

Lagoon Lament Students must work together to find a way to restore and preserve the ecological balance and beauty of a local waterway threatened by users with conflicting interests.
http://home.cfl.rr.com/mrshebert/Lagoon/index.htm

Science

6-8

Love Canal Debate Would you accept a job that would move your family to Love Canal?
http://www.spa3.k12.sc.us/WebQuests/LoveCanal/index.htm

Science

6-8

To Dredge or Not To Dredge Use the power of the internet to form an opinion about a controversial environmental issue.
http://www.geocities.com/teachbetter/dredge.webquest.html

Science

6-8

Wetlands Under Attack Wetlands are rapidly disappearing. Research the issues that have impacted wetlands in Louisiana and come up with a solution that benefits everyone.
http://www.tttc.org/projects/EFitzgerald/index.htm

Science/Social Studies

6-8

A Forest Forever Decide the fate of a newly designated National Forest.
http://www.teachtheteachers.org/projects/MBergey/index.htm

Science

9-12

Conflict Yellowstone Wolves Analyze issues around the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone.
http://www.powayschools.com/projects/mt&r/ConflictYellowstoneWolf.htm

Science

9-12

Endangered Species Write an article to show what causes endangered species, which species are endangered and how to help/invent species in trouble
http://imet.csus.edu/imet2/dunnagane/especies

Science

9-12

Lagoon Lament Students must work together to find a way to restore and preserve the ecological balance and beauty of a local waterway threatened by users with conflicting interests.
http://home.cfl.rr.com/mrshebert/Lagoon/index.htm

Science

9-12

Love Canal Debate Would you accept a job that would move your family to Love Canal?
http://www.spa3.k12.sc.us/WebQuests/LoveCanal/index.htm

Science

9-12

Rainforest Dilemma Students assume roles of various stakeholders concerned with the fate of a Malaysian rainforest
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/7374/intro.htm

Science

9-12

To Dredge or Not To Dredge Use the power of the internet to form an opinion about a controversial environmental issue.
http://www.geocities.com/teachbetter/dredge.webquest.html

Science

9-12

Water Woes The Indian River Lagoon estuary is facing some serious problems, both in the water and out. Many different types of groups want to use the waterways for a variety of reasons, most of which appear to conflict with each other. Is there a way the groups can work together to preserve both the beauty and recreational pleasures of this unique waterway?
http://home.cfl.rr.com/mrshebert/Lagoon/index.htm

Social Studies, Language Arts

6-8

Grandpa's Mountain Uses historical fiction for understanding issues surrounding government takeovers of private land
http://k12.albemarle.org/RedHill/Staff/White/WebQuests/GPAMtn/home.html

Social Studies

6-8

Location, Location, Location! Choose which Texas city would be the best new location for a manufacturing plant.
http://www.lubbock.k12.tx.us/webquests/TexasQuest/index.htm

Social Studies

6-8

Open up your Business Here in Longwood Persuasive writing to influence businesses to settle in a small town.
http://www.lubbock.k12.tx.us/webquests/TexasQuest/index.htm

Social Studies

6-8

Set Your Sites on Texas Convince a Northern industrialist to relocate his business to your Texas city.
http://www.esc2.net/TIELevel2/projects/texas/

Social Studies

9-12

Gridlock Explore the causes of gridlock in your community. Identify a specific problem; develop a remedy; submit recommendations to an authoritative body.
http://imet.csus.edu/imet2/stanfillj/projects/grid/intro.htm

Social Studies

9-12

The Tinman Project Organize a community service project.
http://www.umeedu.maine.edu/coehd/tinmanst/tinmanintro.htm

Social Studies

9-12

Urban Sprawl or Progress? Study consequences of urban sprawl & develop relevant policies.
http://www.bv229.k12.ks.us/bvideas/resources/urbansprawl/index.htm

Language Arts

6-8

Anthem: A Utopian Society Design a utopian society. Build's on the reading of Ayn Rand's novel.
http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/lewis/anthem/

Art

6-8

Illustrating Endangered Species Design book pages about endangered species in three different artistic styles.
http://www.esc2.net/TIELevel2/projects/art/

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Lesson Plans
Lessons from the Loess Hills

The Iowa Department of Education has created a series of lesson plans related to the Loess Hills of Iowa. Lesson plans include learning about myth, soil composition, the roll of fire on a prairie, where the Loess Hills belongs on a geological, biological, and climatic timeline, and how to debate land use of the hills. (The file takes several minutes to download.)
http://www.state.ia.us/educate/ecese/is/msee/index.html

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PBS TeacherSource Lesson Plans
We have selected resources from the PBS TeacherSource collection of over 3000 teacher guides, lesson plans, activities, and related programs that connect with the theme of Working Landscapes. Visit the PBS TeacherSource site to find out more: http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/

Subject

Grade

Description

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

9-12

American Field Guide - Unit of Inquiry
Economic Use of Natural Areas
Economic Use of Public Natural Areas. How many natural resources are needed to support your lifestyle? What is the impact of the economic use of natural areas on the environment? Examine the issues and form your own opinion on the debate between preservation and utilization.
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/natural_areas/natural_areas_sum.html

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

6-9

American Field Guide - Unit of Inquiry
National Parks and Wilderness - Public Policy
Ecotourism in National Parks and Wilderness - Help find new, non-destructive ways to utilize the resources of our wilderness areas. Research opportunities for ecotourism and design a brochure to attract new tourists to your area.
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/natl_parks/natl_parks_sum.html

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

9-12

American Field Guide - Unit of Inquiry
Native Species Restoration
Native Species Restoration and its Impact on Local Populations. What are the factors controlling the growth and decline of species populations. How do human efforts at reintroduction affect an ecosystem?
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/native_species/native_species_sum.html

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

9-12

American Field Guide - Unit of Inquiry
Non-Native Species
English Ivy - Pretty Houseplant or Deadly Killer? Examine the biodiversity of an ecosystem and discover how non-native plants and animals can take over an area, pushing out native species. http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/non_native/non_native_sum.html

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

6-9

American Field Guide - Unit of Inquiry
Prairie Habitats
The Formation and Value of Temperate Grasslands. Learn more about the climate and organisms of the North American prairie.
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/prairie/prairie_sum.html

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

6-8

American Field Guide - Unit of Inquiry
Threatened Species
Threatened Species and Public Policy. Learn about the Endangered Species Act and its impact on both the natural environment and people.
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/threatened/threatened_sum.html.

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

6-9

American Field Guide - Unit of Inquiry
Salmon vs. Dams
The Dam Removal Debate on the Elwha River. Learn about the debate surrounding the issue of salmon protection and dam removal and participate in a mock council meeting to decide the future of the Elwha River.
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/salmon/salmon_sum.html

Social Studies, Language Arts 7-12

Africa - Eco Challenges
Address two pressing issues confronting continental Africa--the growing desertification and the scarcity of clean water--within the context of Africa's development and the environmental, economic, and personal impact it has upon its citizens.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/africa/tools/eco/goals.html

Social Studies 7-12

American Experience
Hoover Dam

Study how the Hoover Dam and other government projects have affected settlement and land usage in the American West.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/hoover/tguide/index.html

Social Studies 7-12 American Experience
Lost in the Grand Canyon

Discover how government policy and technology changed life around the Colorado River and across the American West.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/canyon/tguide/index.html
Language Arts, Social Studies, Science 6-12 A Falconer's Memoir
Hunter and Prey In The News

Students create mini-documentaries about contemporary environmental controversies.
http://www.pbs.org/falconer/class/hunter_and_prey.htm
Science 6-12 Harriman Expedition
A Field Study of an Integral Species

Compile baseline population information on a local species and design team research/observation projects.
http://www.pbs.org/harriman/education/lessonplans/integral_species.html
Science, Language Arts, Social Studies 5-10 Journey Into Amazonia
The Rainforest, Raw Materials, and You

Learn about sustainable resources and identify products made from rainforest raw materials.
http://www.pbs.org/journeytoamazonia/teacher_raw.html
Science 7-12 Journey Into Amazonia
Soil in the Amazon

Students use models to learn about the composition of rainforest soil and evaluate why slash-and-burn agricultural methods are harmful to the environment.
http://www.pbs.org/journeytoamazonia/teacher_soil.html
Science 5-8 Journey To Planet Earth
Land of Plenty, Land of Want

Agricultural practices in China, France, Zimbabwe, and the United States are the focus of this lesson in economics and conservation.
http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/science_tech/planetearth/landplan.htm
Science 5-8 Journey To Planet Earth
Rivers of Destiny

Learn how human activity has altered the natural course and condition of three famous rivers: the Mekong, the Amazon, and the Mississippi.
http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/science_tech/planetearth/riversplan.htm
Science 5-8 Journey To Planet Earth
Sustainable Agriculture: It All Starts With The Soil

Learn about soil composition and how it might affect agriculture in your area.
http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/science_tech/planetearth/agriculture.htm
Science 5-8 Journey To Planet Earth
The Urban Explosion

Students explore urban planning and pollution problems caused by 20th century urbanization in New York City, Istanbul, Shanghai, and Mexico City.
http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/science_tech/planetearth/urbanplan.htm
Science 5-8

NOVA
Flood! Overflowing the Banks

Investigate how floodwalls cause flooding in smaller tributaries.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/2307_flood.html

Science, Social Studies 5-8 NOVA
The Perfect Pearl

Students look at the science of pearl farming, follows efforts of oyster farmers trying to cope with growing problems of pollution and overcrowding, and considers the shifting sands of dominance within the pearl industry.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/2520_pearl.html
Science 5-8 NOVA
Treasures of the Great Barrier Reef

Students explore the Great Barrier Reef to investigate the diversity and interdependence of the many species of plants and animals that live there.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/2215_reef.html
Science, Social Studies 5-8 NOVA
Wild Wolves

This NOVA program profiles the wolf's diet, habitat, and hunting behavior and examines the connection between wolves and human culture.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/2415_wolves.html
Science 5-8 Nature
Triumph of Life

Explore how our planet came to be filled with the diversity around us, and how the ancient struggle for life is still being fought today.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/pdf/triumph.pdf
Social Studies, Science 8-12 People's Century: 1900-1999
Endangered Planet: 1959-1990

Learn about the worldwide growth of the environmental movement.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/teachers/tgendangered.html
Social Studies 7-12 Point of View
In the Light of Reverence: Sacred Ground or Federal Land?

Role-play members of four teams: the Lakota Sioux, rock climbers, the National Park Service and the courts in a struggle over land usage.
http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2001/inthelightofreverence/lessonplan2.html
Science 6-9 Scientific American Frontiers
Creatures of the Deep: Hidden Depths

Build your own biosphere.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/45_pguides/pguide_604/4564_hidden.html
Science 6-9 Scientific American Frontiers
Galapagos: Backyard Science

Conduct a study to determine plant types and densities in population sampling activities.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/5_cool/galapagos/g52e_ecosystems.html
Science 6-9 Scientific American Frontiers
Going to Extremes: Hidden Depths (Teaching Guide)

In "Going to Extremes: Hidden Depths," scientists explore the middle depths of the ocean and turn up some bizarre species never seen before. The lesson's activity involves students in building a mini-ecosystem.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/45_pguides/pguide_704/4574_hiddeep.html
Science 6-9 Scientific American Frontiers
The New Zoos: Return to the Wild

Role play the duties of zoo designers and administrators and create "ideal habitats" in captivity.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/44_guides/guide_805/4485_return.html
Science 6-9 Scientific American Frontiers
The New Zoos: Tuna in the Tank

Practice tagging and tracking wildlife with this in-school activity.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/44_guides/guide_805/4485_tuna.html
Science 6-9 Scientific American Frontiers
The New Zoos: Zoos as Arks

Graph human population growth, and investigate its impact on other species.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/44_guides/guide_805/4485_ark.html
Science, Social Studies, Language Arts 6-9 Scientific American Frontiers
Science Safari: Ways of the Wild (Teaching Guide)

What happens when wild animals accustomed to living in wide open spaces have to live within restricted boundaries? Frontiers travels to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi and Mkuze Parks in South Africa. Scientists have been dealing with complex issues of water, fire and vegetation problems for over a decade. Their experiences offer lessons in advanced wildlife management and hint at what the future holds for wildlife everywhere. Students role play issues involved in wildlife management.
http://www.pbs.org/safarchive/4_class/45_pguides/pguide_702/4572_wildways.html
Science 5-7 Secrets Of The Ocean Realm
City in the Sea

Discuss threats to coral reefs around the world, and conduct advocacy campaigns.
http://www.pbs.org/oceanrealm/intheschool/school7.html
Science 6-12 Shape of Life
Be a Scientist

Students will assume the characteristics of a functional morphologist, paleontologist, taxonomist or ecologist, take notes on the show, then share their research with the class.
http://www.pbs.org/kcet/shapeoflife/resources/activity7.pdf
Social Studies, Math, Science, Language Arts 7-12 Six Billion And Beyond
Study Guide

Study the environmental and cultural implications of world population growth through international case studies, debates, and community extension activities.
http://www.pbs.org/sixbillion/studyguide/studyguide.html
Social Studies, Science 9-10 The West
The Fragile Western Biome

Discover the impact of American westward expansion, in particular the mining industry, on the ecosystems of the West.
http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/lesson_plans/lesson07.htm
Science 9-12 The West
Water Use: Tragedy in the Owens River Valley

Understand the importance of well-managed water use, while focusing on an historical water use event highlighted in Part Nine of "The West."
http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/lesson_plans/lesson08.htm

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