The Web of Life
Sabino Canyon
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Ecology WebQuest - Teacher Page

The WebQuest found on this site is intended as an inquiry-oriented Web-facilitated learning experience for students. After participating in the Quest, students can demonstrate their learning in one of the suggested products/presentations or in any way you feel appropriate. Giving students a framework for their inquiry is important. I use the Big6 Approach developed by Michael Eisenberg and Robert Berkowitz.

A WebQuest addresses AASL's Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. It is one electronic learning experience that can also thoroughly address technology standards for students as outlined by the NETS (International Society for Technology in Education - ISTE) and the Arizona Department of Education standards.

This WebQuest is designed to address these major environmental education topics: water, land use, plants, and animals. These strands interrelate in the ecology of Sabino Canyon. It is recommended that students work in partners or small groups to complete this WebQuest. For the purpose of addressing the problem presented in the introduction, students (groups) will focus on just one of these four areas: water, land use, plants, and animals.

You may chose to introduce the WebQuest by visiting Sabino Canyon and/or by reading a selection of children's literature about the Sonoran Desert and/or ecology. Some suggested titles are:


Cactus Café: A Story of the Sonoran Desert by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Cactus Hotel by Brenda Guiberson, illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Cactus Poems
by Frank Asch, illustrated by Ted Lewin
A Desert Scrapbook by Virginia Wright-Fierson
The Desert is Theirs by Byrd Baylor, illustrated by Peter Parnall
Desert Trip by Barbara Steiner, illustrated by Ron Himler
A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History by Lynne Cherry
Our Endangered Planet: Life on Land by Mary Hoff and Mary M. Rodgers

For more titles with a Southwest or Sonoran Desert focus, visit the Southwest Children's Literature Web Site.

Each team of students will web what they already know about their topic. (Teams can be formed around topics of interest first, or the whole class can create a web of what they know before they divide into teams.)

Teams will begin to record their questions. These questions will focus their inquiry. These questions may change over the course of the inquiry. Students will use the Internet resources provided in the WebQuest Resources as well as the resources you provide. Experts in the field would be a most valuable addition to print and electronic resources.

Teams of students will negotiate and select the audience for their findings and think about their presentation before, during, and after their research process. At the conclusion of their research, students may present their work to the entire class, to another class, to parents and families, and/or if possible to the actual udience selected for their presentation. You can find the addresses of the suggested audiences on the Ecology WebQuest Conclusion Page as well as on the the Sabino Canyon: The Web of Life Resources Page.

It is recommended that you and your students develop a rubric for evaluating this learning experience before students begin to conduct their research. Halfway through the process, revisit your rubric and revise it as necessary. Students can be asked to self-reflect on their process as well as their final product.

Last updated: 26 July 2012

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