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step away from the textbook…

Unit Plan, Exemplar, etc. 3rd Grade Webquest

on January 4, 2015

Yes, my third graders did this on their own, with minimal help. I had directions for each section of the lesson, for each week on the Smartboard so they could refer to the written instructions. I also had students who completed sections ahead of others, help their peers. It was an 8 week project for us, because as a their tech teacher, I see each half  of the class  once a week. Also, powerpoint presentations are my least favorite media, however, principals say they need to learn how to use them…..and then we can move on to Haiku Deck, Storybird, etc….

**IMPORTANT NOTE – the links for each webquest topic can be found at, OR if you are like me, you can find your own links for your students to choose from and share it to their desktops for them to access. If you are doing this as a project to be completed at home, then just add them to a hard copy with instructions or better yet, share them via school email, QR code, school website etc. The links I used are provided in the lesson plan here.**

Tiered Unit Plan- 3rd grade Core Curriculum Web Quest– 8  week Unit PlanOverview/Objectives – Students will learn to navigate a website to interpret, gather and record information presented in a digital format by going on a Web Quest. Students will present their information in a power point presentation that includes text and images. Tech skills will include, downloading, saving, bookmarking, opening new tabs to navigate between websites and creating a presentation with Microsoft Power Point software. *This Web Quest has been adapted from, it has been simplified to use as an introduction to web quests and power point presentations. Most components have been changed.*

Each webquest is tiered for differentiated learners –

Animals Alive! – approaching grade level

A Drop of Water – at grade level

All Aboard! – beyond grade level

Essential Question – How can I use the information I gather on the internet to learn about something? What can I do with this information?

CC Standards – CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Tech Standards – Technology Research Tools, Technology Communications Tools.

Teacher Prep – Cut topic strips out, place in individual envelopes. Download web quest files to desktops for easy access to links and instructions.

Introduction – What is a Web Quest?

A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented online tool for learning, says workshop expert Bernie Dodge 1. This means it is a classroom-based lesson in which most or all of the information that students explore and evaluate comes from the World Wide Web. Beyond that, WebQuests:

  • can be as short as a single class period or as long as a month-long unit;

  • usually (though not always) involve group work, with division of labor among students who take on specific roles or perspectives;

  • are built around resources that are pre-selected by the teacher. Students spend their time USING information, not LOOKING for it.

*Each student must have a copy of their own web quest topic to access the links provided.*

          Assessment – week two – tech skills assessment – checklist, week three – exit slip. Final assessment – Project Assessment Rubric. Hardcopies attached.


 Week one – You will receive an envelope from your teacher. In this envelope you will find the subject of your “mission”. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, (and you must :), is to create a slideshow using the information you find on your webquest. *You can describe this using any analogy, i.e they are directors making a “movie” about their topic, they’re on a secret mission to discover vital information about their subject, etc.*

Once everyone has their “mission”, they will open the web quest document on their desktops and locate their subject. Click on the link provided for your subject and open the webpage for your web quest then, bookmark the link. **see attached instructions for bookmarking a URL**

This is a good time to explain plagiarism and the importance of not copying and citing sources. This site has an age appropriate article you can read together –

Week two– Read the Introduction and Task section of your web quest, then begin the Process section. Use the fact sheet* (hardcopy) provided to record your data.

Assessment – tech skills checklist

Week three/four – Once they have completed their fact sheets, they are ready to begin creating their power point presentations.

Assessment – exit slip

Week five/six– Introduce and explain the tools available in Microsoft Power Point. Have students follow your lead to add a slide, insert text, insert clipart and save a sample slideshow. This unit only requires the students to work with text and images. Students will use the questions on their fact sheet as titles and the information they recorded will be their text. Transitions, backgrounds etc. can be addressed and incorporated according to the class’ skill level.


Week seven/eight– Assessment – Complete power point and post on school website or publish on school blog. Slideshows can also be emailed to parents. Slideshows can also be imported into applications like Prezi,  Glogster and Checkthis. You can also sign up for a free account at sites like  (free private listing feature) or to share your presentation. These sites make it possible for anyone who does not have Power Point to view slideshows. *See attached guide to convert .ppt file to a movie file that you can upload to youtube. Applies only to Power Point 2010.*


Animals Alive!

INTRODUCTION – You are creating a new habitat for your animal at the Zoo. Make sure you know what they like to eat, where they are coming from and how they would be most comfortable in their new home.

TASK – Learn all you can about your animals diet and social behavior to create an environment where your animal will feel safe and secure. Describe how you would make their new habitat as close as possible to their natural habitat.


1. Choose an animal from the list below.

2. Now that you have your animal you will need to learn everything that you can about  your animal using the websites provided.  Research their habitat and their eating habits.

3. After you have researched, then organized and recorded all of the information you need on your Fact Sheet, you will be ready to create your Power Point slide show.

ANIMALS to choose from and LINKS to help you RESEARCH your animal –





A Drop of Water

INTRODUCTION – Where does water come from? Did you know that water from millions of years ago is the same water we have on our planet today? How does nature recycle water?

TASK – Our planet needs water to survive. Plants, animals and people need water to live and grow. You will find out how the water cycle keeps our planet supplied with the water it needs to keep things growing and alive. You will also understand how water has been recycled on our planet for millions of years. After you research, record and organize your information on your fact sheet, you will create a power point presentation explaining how the water cycle works.


1. Go to –

Read and follow the directions to understand how the water cycle works.

2  . Use this link to help you understand and describe parts of the water cycle.  This page has the definitions of the water cycle vocabulary.

DO NOT COPY AND PASTE!!!  Your descriptions must be in your own words.

3.  Once you have completed researching, organizing and recording your information on your fact sheet, you are ready to begin creating your power point.

All Aboard!

INTRODUCTION – There was a time in the United States when people were treated differently because of the color of their skin. They were slaves, who did not get to enjoy the freedom that other citizens had. This was a terrible part of our country’s history. There were however, many people who helped the slaves find a way to freedom, by participating in the Underground Railroad. The journey was a dangerous one for the passengers and the conductors, but they helped to change our nation’s history. You will create a power point presentation to teach your class about the Underground Railroad.

TASK – You will use the website  to answer the questions.

PROCESS – Before you begin, use this link to learn the definitions of some of the words you will be introduced to during your research –

Next step in the process – Go to and read through the slideshow.

You will find the answers to the questions below as you go through this slideshow. Organize and record your information on your fact sheet.

  1. What was the Underground Railroad?

  2. How did the slaves “travel” on the Railroad?

  3. Where were the slaves escaping to? Why?

  4. What was the “worse danger” a runaway slave faced?

Once you have finished organizing and recording your information, you can begin creating your power point presentation.


Tech Skills checklist



Exit Slip –

Name -_______________________    Web Quest Topic – ____________________


What, in your opinion, was the most interesting fact you learned about your topic?





Exit Slip –

Name -_______________________    Web Quest Topic -_____________________


What, in your opinion, was the most interesting fact you learned about your topic?






HOW  TO BOOKMARK A WEBSITE –  for Google Chrome and Firefox

  1. Navigate to the desired website

  2. Click on the star at the end of the address bar.

  3. Choose your bookmark destination from the dropdown menu

  1. I usually have the students choose “bookmarks toolbar”, for easy access.

  1. Star will turn yellow and you are done!

Here are some suggestions for social bookmarking sites that you can access from anywhere and share. Diigo has an educator account option.

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