In the Study-
Below are many examples of curriculum-based teleresearch activities.
The Web sites mentioned in Judi Harris's Virtual Architecture are marked with a book icon: .
Please note that the sites are listed in alphabetical order within each section.
Teleresearch Purpose 1: Practice Information-Seeking Skills
Teleresearch Purpose 2: Explore a Topic/Answer a Question
Teleresearch Purpose 3: Review Multiple Perspectives
Teleresearch Purpose 4: Generate Data
Teleresearch Purpose 5: Do Authentic Problem-Solving
Teleresearch Purpose 6: Telepublish/Teleplant Information Resources
Managing Miscellany: When It Isn't an Issue of Quality
Purpose 1: To practice information-seeking skillsCelebrate the Century: 1900s, 1910s, 1920s
Any stamp collectors in your class? Old U.S. stamps provide the inspiration for qu! estions, which students answer after exploring suggested Web sites.
MathForum - Internet Math Hunt
Page 68 of Virtual Architecture
This site provides an archive of math scavenger hunts with which students competed to answer advanced mathematical problems such as: What mathematical relationship did Stradivari use to place the f-holes on his violins? and What is Cartesian geometry and for whom is it named?
ML King Scavenger Hunt
This site is a biography of sorts about Martin Luther King. It is an Internet scavenger hunt that asks questions about him throughout his lifetime and provides links to pages where the answers can be found. In some instances, clever hints are provided. The last two questions of the scavenger hunt are more involved, asking students to write poems, songs, or essays to be published online or asking them to attend a Martin Luther King celebration and submit an online review. There is also a teacher’s section with a PowerPoint presentation and paraphernalia for creating bulletin boards and other displays about Martin Luther King.
Scholastic's Math Hunt
A kid-friendly interface and a wide selection of topics make this activity appealing. Students select a topic (such as "human body"),then are presented mathematical multiple choice questions using the selected topic as a context (e.g., How much time does a kidney patient spend on dialysis weekly?). Students peruse pre-selected websites to find the answer to the question, select their choice, and are given feedback on their correct or incorrect response. Besides reinforcing mathematic principles,this is a good way to introduce students to the art of online navigation.
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Purpose 2: To become informed about a topic and/or answer a questionAll About Frogs
Part of kiddyhouse.com, All About Frogs is an informational site written in language that is understandable for elementary aged kids. The site features diagrams of various frogs plus information on types, sizes, habitats, and the characteristics/behaviors of this variety. Basically—it’s everything there is to know about frogs! Some of the creative elements of the site include lyrics to frog songs sung to the tunes of popular children’s songs, frog poetry, frog crafts (such as an origami jumping frog), frog stories, frog clipart, frog animation, and frog graphics. The teacher page contains many frog lesson plans and activities that have been submitted by a variety of teachers and other sources.
All About Snow
This site contains just about everything you could ever want to learn about snow! It has a question and answer section with answers to questions received about snow; a facts section with interesting tidbits about snow; a glossary full of terms related to snow in its various manifestations; a gallery of historical snow pictures as well as pictures from the National Weather Service; a section on snow removal including the history of how people, particularly those in the snowbelt from Minnesota to Maine, have dealt with snow; links to many other sites about snow; and a link to snow in recent news. There are also two sections for scientists and researchers on snow data and snow science that older students could navigate during a real-world, problem-based learning activity in which they are assigned to role of scientist of researcher.
Banned Books and American Culture
Banned Books and American Culture is a teleresearch site devoted to Mark Twain. Its contents include: books by Twain that have been banned; links to many Mark Twain Associations; criticisms of Twain; essays by Twain and about him; a guide to Huckleberry Finn; Mark Twain’s letters; photos; links to other online collections of Mark Twain’s work; Twain quotations and speeches; study guides; and a link to a site devoted to teaching Twain. A biography of Mark Twain is also included as well as links to extensive bibliographies. Basically, everything you ever wanted to know about Twain can be found through this site!
Black History Month: The Development of Jazz
Students study Jazz by reading (and hearing!) about it in differentwebsites. An accompanying worksheet asks short answer, matching, and essay-type questions.
Even if you've never heard of Martha Ballard, this site will draw you into the fascinating tale of this eighteenth century midwife's life. This site is filled with a rich assortment of primary documents; most impressive is her 10,000-entry diary spanning 27 years. Use it to help yourstudents learn how to piece together the past with primary documents andunderstand what life was like in a post-Revolutionary household on the Mainefrontier. This is an award-winning site that deserves every bit ofrecognition its gotten. Added bonus: A teacher's guide!
How Do We Inherit Marfan Syndrome?
Pages 69-70 of Virtual Architecture
Given a family's case history, students diagnose, predict the occurrence of, and discuss the social/moral implications of Marfan syndrome, froma geneticist's point of view.
In the Time of the Old Ones
Page 68 of Virtual Architecture
Using a pre-selected set of websites, students research Navajo legends and folk art. This WebQuest integrates math, language arts, science, and social studies.
Maintained by the Nemours Foundation Center for Children’s Health Media, this site offers options for parents, kids, and teens. The parent section offers information on all stages of childhood from pregnancy to adolescents. The kids link features a monthly focus on various health issues of concern and/or interest to kids, Daily Brain Questions, and a Health Hunt game. The teen portion of Kids Health addresses Hot Topics—health issues of particular interest to teens—and also features daily facts and quizzes similar to the kids section but dealing with more mature issues. All the information found at Kids Health is reviewed by medical experts, is presented in layman’s terms, and offers practical advice as well as objective information. Careful supervision is highly recommended while students are using this site as the parents' and teens' sections may not be appropriate for younger children.
Activities, maps, teachers guides, and links to external Web sites enrich the study of Lois Lowry's Holocaust-themed novel, Number the Stars.
MathMol K-12 Activity Page
Hypermedia textbooks and digital libraries are packed with interactive activities, gorgeous graphics, readable text, and online quizzes to guide studentson their exploration of molecular modeling and its application to mathematics.
The Sea Project
A great cross-curricular unit on the sea and its creatures. The site includes curriculum information and project ideas in science, math, social studies, language arts, fine arts, and even physical education. Students in the early primary grades spent weeks studying the sea and their teachers incorporated this theme throughout the different curricular areas. The site offers almost 100 different sea-related project ideas that participating teachers and students completed, and provides instructions for and student work examples of each. Be sure to check out the Brainstorming Webs and the Pacific Portholes.
This site is amazingly cool and comprehensive! The home page opens with the Thoreau quotation, “How full of creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire them more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat.” Snow Crystals then details the many facets of snow crystals and the many attempts to understand their formation. There are incredible pictures of real snowflakes taken with a photomiscroscopy apparatus as well as pictures taken by many snow researchers in the past. Included with the photo gallery is a bibliography of books of snowflake photographs and details regarding how pictures of snowflakes are taken. Another section provides information on the classification of snowflakes; there is also information about unusual snowflakes that defy classification and about snow crystal halos. A third section gives students the procedures for making their own snow crystal fossils. The site also discusses the difference between natural snowflakes and designer snowflakes, which are made in laboratories for scientists to conduct controlled studies. Finally, there is a section on snowflake physics and links to many more sites devoted to snow and snow crystals. This is truly an incredible site
Teaching with Historic Places
Maintained by the National Park Service’s National Registry, this site is relevant for history, social studies, geography, and civics classes. Lesson plans are organized by theme, location, time period, or the National Standards for History. Each lesson makes the past real; uses primary sources, photographs, and maps with related questions; provides students with a sense of discovery; asks students to research historical places within their own communities; and promotes an appreciation for cultural resources. The site provides specific guidelines for the strategy of teaching with historic places with additional resources listed such as professional development opportunities, workshops, publications, and a comprehensive bibliography. Teachers also have the option of creating their own lessons using a format designed specifically for the Teaching with Historic Places website.
The Underground Railroad
Students research selected websites an! d answer open-ended and short-answer questions about the Underground Railroad. Primary sources such as census records and personal narratives give students a first-hand look at theimpact of the Underground Railroad.
Weather Watch: Winter Storms
One of the subprojects on Scholastic’s Weather Watch site, Winter Storms deals specifically with snow, sleet, and heavy winds. On the site, students can explore what components are necessary and in which combinations for a winter storm to occur. Students have the opportunity to use the Weather Maker to create their own virtual winter storms. All the major components of a unit—lesson plans, objectives, assessment tools/strategies, extensions, alignment with national curriculum standards, and resources—are provided.
The WebQuest Page
Page 68 of Virtual Architecture
Teachers will find examples, templates, evaluation rubrics, and research articles to help them develop WebQuests, which are focused, task-oriented Internet scavenger hunts that require students to apply the knowledge they find.
“Winter Light” is the title of the feature article found at this URL. The Web site details the history of light according to the Bible, the Greeks, Celtic myth, and other ancient societies as well as the more modern explanations. There is also a description of each of the many holidays with light as a central them. The site provided a collection of five lesson plans, a glossary, and links to helpful sites for teaching about light in your classroom. Winter Light is part of a larger Web site from Riverdeep, Inc. that has links to general academic resources for students, teachers, and parents. The sidebar provides links to other thematic units in each of the listed content areas.
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Purpose 3: To review multiple perspectives on an issueBioDesigns, Incorporated
Students work collaboratively to invent a genetically engineered product and evaluate it from scientific, business, and ethical perspectives. This project has a comprehensive list of links to relevant resources, aswell as guiding questions for students.
Global Perspectives: Quality of Life
Using the United Nations' definition and criteria of the quality oflife as a starting point, students from around the world post their ownthoughts on this topic via essays and a message board. Get a glimpse ofthe ideals, dreams, and expectations that are percolating inside youngminds.
Hello Dolly: A WebQuest
Page 71 of Virtual Architecture
Students take the roles of politicians, scientists, industry executives, and ethicists to find answers to the question: What government policy should be established to regulate cloning? The site contains a wealth of resources, a discussion board, and note-taking templates for students.
The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela: Interviews with Colleagues
Interviews with twenty-three of Nelson Mandela's friends and colleagues provide striking insight and multiple perspectives on the South Africanleader and the abolition of apartheid.
Middle Eastern/American: An Interactive Video Tapestry
To help students better understand global relations and perceptions after September 11, this site provides the interview transcripts of many US adolescents, ages 16-24, of a variety of religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. The interviews asked students to respond to questions about the impact of the events of September 11 on their attitudes toward America and the perceptions of other countries toward America. Currently, only interviews with American adolescents are available. However, the second phase of the project plans to interview young people from Egypt and Israel.
Searching for China
Students study China from business, cultural, religious, human rights, environmental, and political perspectives to answer the question: What actions should the U.S. take in its policy towards China? The technologically sophisticated (and easy to use) dossiers generate reports based on student input.
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Purpose 4: To generate data needed to explore a topicEarthCam for Kids!
Whether you're seeking some innocuous voyeurism or a little scholarly observation, you'll be pleased with this portal. For starters, you and your students can find links to realtime webcams of zoo animals, tourist attractions, weather phenomenon, traffic, and the world famous Chia PetCow! Talk about bringing the real world into the classroom!
Gallery of Interactive Geometry
By manipulating variables and graphics, visitors to this interactive gallery will have hands-on learning of calculus and trigonometry phenomena. For example, the Projective Conics exhibit "includes an interactive application that lets you specify points on a conic" that all! ows students to apply Pascal's theorem in terms of projective geometry.
The GraveNet Project
Grades: 4 - 12
GraveNet “gives students an opportunity to investigate the rich historical value of their community within their local cemeteries. [It] also provides activities that encourages students to study the art, language, and symbolism that is found on older tombstones.” Clear links to the Massachussetts state curriculum standards are provided.
Live From the Hubble Space Telescope
See how students e-mailed experts, designed experiments, and used images from the Hubble Space Telescope to generate data about astronomical phenomena.
Telescopes in Education
By using a special software, a computer, and an Internet connection, students can remotely operate a telescope located in high on a mountain in Southern California. This project, which is supported by NASA andother respected institutions, has helped students observe galaxies andmake real contributions to science.
Weather buffs will love the dozens of real-time outdoor images fromall over the U.S. This is a great way to collect real data and observations, from the comfort of your classroom or home.
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Purpose 5: To solve authentic problemsBlizzard Attack!
This site provides a problem-based learning opportunity in which students are engaged in open-ended, real world problems. Blizzard Attack! establishes a scenario for students in which they are coming face to face with a major winter storm! With the goal of staying safe and arriving at the destination, students will embark on a trip through the storm. Once they have safely arrived, students are asked to write an essay defending the choices they made along their journey. A little twist: students are assigned a new identity and must in “in character” while making the travel decisions, and they have state-of-the-art weather computers called WeatherPads that will provide weather information and updates throughout the trip.
Bullying.org: WhereYou Are NOT Alone!
Do you have a bully in your class? Or perhaps a student who gets picked on incessantly? Take him to this website, where he will be greeted with touching essays, music, pictures, and poems from both bullies and the bullied. This grassroots site provides children with wonderful opportunities to try resolving this pervasive evil in their own ways.
CancerQuest: A Search for Answers
CancerQuest is a project supported by the John Hopkins Medical School that leads students through a step-by-step information gathering process on the background of cancer and the possible carcinogenic nature of the herbicide atrazine. The ultimate goal of the project is for pairs of students to gather data on the question “Is the herbicide atrazine a chemical carcinogen in the environment?” and to determine the validity of the data they collect. The culminating activity of the project is a written position paper presenting the students’ view on the issue. A possible extension project is the CancerQuest Video Conference which can be found at http://www.fastol.com/~renkwitz/cancer_quest_video_confere.htm or via a link on the CancerQuest page. The video conference allows students to join in a consortium with other students around the world who have completed the same CancerQuest project.
Interactive Weather Maker
The Weather Maker is a simple, flash plug-in interactive tool that helps students see their newfound knowledge about weather in action. There are two weather absolutes to be adhered to at all times, but beyond these two rules the rest is left to the students’ imaginations. (Flash download provided if necessary.) Additional weather-related online learning activities are also provided by Scholastic, Inc.
International Symposium on Environmental Issues (WebQuest)
Pages 73-75 of Virtual Architecture
Taking the role of a life, physical, or earth scientist, every student works in teams to study the relationship between depleted ozone and the decline of the penguin population in Antarctica. Student teams then research and present initiatives to help ameliorate the situation.
Look Who's Footing the Bill!
In this "Introductory WebQuest on Democracy and the National Debt,"students assume the roles of number cruncher, fact checker, and budgetdirector to research solutions to the national debt. The site includeslinks to the National Debt Clock, point of view articles, and e-mail addresses to senators so that! students can let their well-researched opinions be known.
Math Careers Projects
Students assume the role of employment agency workers who are developing a portfolio of careers that use mathematics. The site contains links to various colleges, career information, salary charts, and other resources that help students research their topic.
The Real Scoop on Tobacco
In this WebQuest, students work collaboratively to design a campaign to keep a fictional peer from smoking cigarettes.
6 Billion Human Beings
This site is sponsored by two museums in Paris and is available in English or French. 6 Billion Human Beings is an interactive site where students can access quick facts about the world population and its growth rate, or discover personalized information based on input from students such as gender and nationality. The site asks for a student’s age and then calculates the population when he/she was born as well as how much it has grown in his/her lifetime. The site then asks a variety of questions regarding lifestyle, personal desires such as career and family, and cultural beliefs. The site also contains questions for the future, resources about the world’s population, and a discussion on the likelihood of population stabilization occurring. It is advisable to review the site before sharing it with your students to ensure it is appropriate for the climate in which you teach and the maturity levels of your students.
Trees and Forests Internet Project
This site guides students through an investigation of deforestation. Students are expected to read an article on the topic, research pertinent websites, and use multimedia in a variety of ways to further explore and publish their findings.
We the Children
Based on the 1984 Action Plan for Children, the site sets up a scenario placing students as one of four chosen to join the Executive Direction of the United Nation’s Children’s Fund in New York to evaluate its success. Students are charged with researching the plan, evaluating its success, and making recommendations. The assignment page breaks the project into seven manageable chunks and provides links to helpful pages. There are also suggestions for places the students may post their writing online.
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Purpose 6: To publish information overviews for other students to useBest Books: Our Choices
A group of Alberta students have published reviews of their favorite fiction and non-fiction books.
Just Ducky 2001
Students in Canada, the United States, and Australia participated in real and virtual duck raising in their schools. This site contains photos, journal entries, reports, and drawings that students published to celebrate the lifecycle of their feathered friends.
The Human Body
This teacher-created site electronically publishes students' human anatomy research work. An extensive science unit on the human body, the site includes student drawings as they relate to professional anatomical charts, photos of students at work, summaries of visits to the classroom by medical doctors, and a set of student-created games related to anatomy. The site also includes links to otherelementary science resources.
SchoolNet News Network
Page 37 of Virtual Architecture
This professional-looking website features monthly e-zines filled with articles written by kids for kids. Sample topics include school violence, summer jobs, and hockey. A special bonus: The site is in both French and English.
Visual Treasures: Saving Our Townscapes
The Web site for this project focuses on one town: Clinton, Massachusetts. The middle and high school students of Clinton learned about their heritage, the architecture of their city, and the origins of their hometown and then shared their newfound knowledge on the Web through message boards and pictures. Completing this integrated curriculum project (Language Arts, Social Studies, Fine Arts) helped these students gain a greater appreciation for where they live. Such a project could be duplicated in any town or city; some really excellent ideas can be gleaned from the Saving our Townscapes Web site.
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Page 59 of Virtual Architecture
This meta-searching tool will access a number of search engines, including LookSmart, GoTo.com, Thunderstone, Yahoo!, Dogpile Open Directory, About.com, Lycos' Top 5%, InfoSeek, Direct Hit, Lycos and AltaVista.
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When It Isn't an Issue of QualityBlack-footed Ferret Fact Sheet
Page 62 of Virtual Architecture
Here's a fact sheet on the endangered black-footed ferret.
Saving the Black-Footed Ferret
Pages 62-63 of Virtual Architecture
This Thoreau Institute research article documents the plight of theferret and critiques the governmental policies surrounding it.
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Arthur C. Clarke quote:Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is notforesight. Each grows out of the other and we need them all.
Last Updated: September 5, 2005