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Rainforest Quest

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"Me? Live in a Rainforest?"

Links verified on 11/18/2014

by Bill Byles

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


Introduction

Rainforests are being destroyed and the National Institute for Scientific Research has decided to find out what can be done about it. You and three of your friends have been selected to spend the next year living in a rainforest in South America. You have three weeks to find out how you need to prepare for this adventure. Remember, what you don't know CAN hurt you. You will be living in a place where plants eat animals, snakes are big enough to eat people, and ... well ... I wouldn't want to frighten you away. You will find out more about the rainforest as you proceed on the quest.


The Task

Before you go to the rainforest you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • what is a tropical rainforest, and where are they located;
  • what kind of plants and animals would you see, and how different are they from those in your town;
  • do other people live in the rainforest, and if so, how are they different from people in your neighborhood;
  • what would your day be like if you lived in a rainforest instead of your town;
  • why should you be concerned if part of the rainforest is cleared for farming;
  • what could you do, when you get back to your old neighborhood, to protect tropical rainforests;

You will answer these questions by reporting to your class. Remember, you won't be seeing them for a year. You want to give them a really good idea about where you will be and what will be happening while you are gone. This report could be a multimedia presentation or a web page which your group writes.


The Process

You will work in a team of 4 people to develop a multi-media report. Almost all of your information will be collected from the Internet. Remember, you will be doing a multimedia presentation. Be sure to collect pictures as you make your journey through the Internet. Each student is to specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Geography expert - This person is responsible for finding out location and characteristics of tropical rainforests. One of your jobs is to collect maps and other images which illustrate location or characteristics. Another responsibility you have is to research how destruction of rainforests affects the rest of the world. One source for this would be a page located at Biomes of the World. There are two types of rainforests - the temperate and the tropical. Tropical rainforests are found close to the equator. Temperate Rainforests are found near coastal areas, such as the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Both are endangered!
  • Botany expert - This person is responsible for finding out about the species of plants in a rainforest. A special part of your job is gathering information, and images, about unusual plants found in a rainforest. Plants of the Rainforest has information about nine types of plants common to the Rainforest as well as some good pictures. Blue Planet also has good information about plants in the Rainforest. Don't neglect the Rainforest Canopy Trees as you collect botanical information.
  • Biology expert - This person collects information about the animals in a rainforest. Make sure that you get images of some of the unusual things found here. [Note: this list of animals comes from the Internet Archive known as the Wayback Machine. If the page doesn't load quickly click on Impatient? at the bottom right of the page.]
  • Population expert - This person is is to find out about the people who live in rainforests. Include images in your collection. One place you can start to collect information is Amazon Interactive. This site allows you to explore the geography of the Ecuadorian Amazon through online games and activities. Learn about the rainforest and the Quichua people who call it home. Discover the ways in which the Quichua live off the land. Then try your hand at running a community-based ecotourism project along the Ro Napo.

You may wish to begin your exploration of the rain forest as you Journey into Amazonia with PBS. Start your exploration by becoming an Amazon Explorer.

You may not need to visit all of the links listed for you. Remember what you are looking for and visit some of the sites below:

Reader's Digest presents Manu: Peru's Hidden Rainforest. After you take the tour be sure to take the quiz to see how much you know about the rainforest.

Rainforest Resources is a good source of facts about rainforests and what you can do.

Each member of this team will be responsible for a different portion of your report to the class. Your group will use some multimedia application such as PowerPoint to prepare the report. You may also prepare a web page to summarize your findings. The web page will be in addition to your class report, not in place of it.

Each person in the group is to keep a diary regarding their findings. This is not to be copied and pasted into a word processor, it is to be written on paper. Make special note of things which you find surprising and use those things in a quiz which you prepare for the class.

Written report - Each person in the group will write a report on the following topic:

  • "How my life would be different if I lived in a rainforest." Include in your report the skills which you would have to learn if you lived there rather than in your own neighborhood. You may also include speculation on how you think a rainforest native would make it in your world.
  • In addition to your individual reports, your group will collaborate to produce a quiz which you will give to the class at the end of your report. The quiz can be choral response to questions read from paper, or you may prepare a multimedia quiz. Be creative.


Evaluation

You will receive several grades for this project. The most important will be an overall summary of the project and the following rubric will be used:

Category
4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
0 points

Participation

All group members took part in the report to the class and each person was fully prepared.

Most of the group gave the class report, one person was there but did not participate.

Two people shared responsibility for the class presentation. The other group members were present, but did not participate.

One person gave the entire class report. Other group members were present, but did not take part in the report.

No oral class report was given

Factual content

All information used to support conclusions presented were accurate and were supported with documentation showing where the facts were found

More than half of the facts presented could be supported with documentation showing where the facts were found

Facts were used but no specific documentation could be given to support those claims.

Opinions were given with no factual basis for those opinions.

Nothing was presented.

Graphic Images

Each of the 4 categories of the class report were supported with three or more images from the Internet.

Each of the 4 categories of the class report were supported with two or more images from the Internet.

Each of the 4 categories of the class report were supported with one or more images from the Internet.

Images were used, but not all categories of the report were supported with images.

No images were shown.

Written Record

Each member of the group can show a diary with entries regarding their category and notes on where the information was found

Each member of the group can show a diary with entries regarding their category but did not cite where the information was found

A written diary was kept by 2 or 3 of the group members. They did not show documentation on where the information came from

Only 1 member of the group kept a diary.

No written record was presented.

Quiz

A multimedia quiz was given, the questions were fair, challenging, and kept the attention of the class

An oral quiz was given and the questions were fair, challenging, and kept the attention of the class

A multimedia quiz was given but the questions were not related to the topics, or they were too simple

An oral quiz was given but the questions were not related to the topics, or they were too simple

No quiz was given

To calculate a number grade based on a scale of 100 points, find the sum of points gained in the above table and multiply by five.


Conclusion

We sometimes think that all other places on the earth are pretty much the same as the one we are familiar with. For just a minute, consider the watch on your wrist, or the clock on the classroom wall. Somewhere in the world there are people experiencing every hour represented on your watch!

After this activity you should have a different view of at least one other place on Earth. If you have found any of the information you discovered have caused you to be more concerned about doing something to help the situation, If you have decided that you want to write your congressman about something you discovered, go to Contacting the Congress to find their Email address, web page, or mail address.

Written November 14, 1998
Last updated Nov 18, 2014

Based on a template from The Webquest Page.

Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.
 

  

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