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Keywords: animal adaptations habitat webquest
Subject(s): Animation, Writing, Life Science, Podcasting, Technology, Information Skills
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Ramsey Elementary School, Coeur D Alene, ID
Planned By: Erica Lindholdt-Duncan
Original Author: Erica Lindholdt-Duncan, Coeur D Alene

Introduction Page

You have just been hired as a zoo keeper at the Woodland Park Zoo, in Seattle, WA. Zoo keepers take care of their animals and educate people who visit the zoo. You will be responsible for one of the animals in the Arctic exhibit. Taking care of these animals is a big responsibility. You will need to know how they survive in their natural habitat so that you can recreate that habitat at the zoo. To prepare yourself for this job you will journey to the Arctic. Bundle up! It gets VERY cold up there.

Task Page
Now that you have been hired by the Woodland Park Zoo, you must become on expert on the animal in your care. What does your animal need in its enclosure to thrive? How can you educate the public about your animal? Learning about how these creatures survive in their natural habitat in the arctic will help you answer those questions. It will also prepare you to be an ambassador for your animal. Zoo visitors will rely on you to teach them all about your animal. The information you gather will help you take care of your animal, and help you design and create the educational presentation that will be viewed by zoo visitors.

Are you ready to take the plunge?

Process Page

1. Choose one of the following animals.
2. Answer these questions about the needs and adaptations of your arctic animal using the websites and links created for you.
• What does your animal eat? What is its prey?
• What are your animal’s predators? How does this animal avoid being eaten?
• How has your animal adapted to life in the arctic (at least three adaptations)? What specific body parts are used to survive the cold, eat their prey, and not be eaten? What are some of the conditions that make life in the arctic so challenging?
• What are some challenges that this animal is currently facing while living in the wild?
• What are some key things that will need to be included in your animal’s enclosure at the zoo, to simulate their arctic habitat?
3. Keep your facts and data in your science journal. You may want to copy each of the above questions onto a separate page of your science journal. You should also jot down any questions that you have as you research your animal in your science journal. Use your template for planning each slide of you slide show.
4. Create a slide show or animated movie that will teach zoo visitors about your animal, and how you have designed their zoo enclosure to meet their natural habitat needs. You must have at least 5 slides (if you choose the slide show option) and answer all of the questions above. This slide show presentation or animated movie will run on the new monitor in your animal’s enclosure at the zoo, for all zoo visitors to see.
6. Write and record a podcast using your research. This podcast will be posted on the zoo's website.
7. You will present your slide show or animated movie to the Woodland Park Public Education committee for approval before it can be displayed in the enclosure. Make sure you practice your presentation before you present.

Arctic Wolf;
Click here to read about the arctic wolf
Read this short story from a wolf’s perspective about the color of their fur.
Listen to four different wolf howls
this wolf facts game.

Polar Bear
this video about polar bears, by Jeff Corwin
Snowy Owl
this snowy owl video.

Beluga Whale
Facts and photos of beluga whales. Don’t forget to watch the video!
this beluga whale quiz to see how close you are to being a beluga expert.

Read harp seal facts and watch the video!

will be evaluated on your power point and your journal conclusion. The slide show or movie and presentation are worth 24 points. Your science Journal is worth 20 points. To get full credit you must keep careful notes of your research, jot down questions that you cannot find answers for, and answer each of the questions listed on the process page. The “I think…” at the end of your WebQuest is also worth ten points. The podcast will be worth 10 points. Remember to use what you know about animal adaptations now that you have completed this project. Add specific details, diagrams, and labels to express your idea.

Conclusion Page

Nice job! You have successfully learned how your animal survives in the harsh arctic environment. You now have the tools to create and manage your animal’s enclosure at the zoo and educate the public about how special this animal is.

**By now you know that one of the threats to animals living in the arctic is climate change. Should the ice melt, could this animal be relocated to a new habitat? In your science journal I would like you to write an “I think…” about whether or not you think this animal could survive if they were moved to a tropical rainforest or coastal habitat. Is this possible, or is this animal so adapted to life in the arctic that they could not survive elsewhere?

Teacher Page
This WebQuest was designed by Erica Duncan.
[email protected]
This WebQuest was inspired by one of my favorite websites, beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/. I designed this web quest to meet third grade science, technology, and language arts standards simultaneously using in a project based format. I am choosing to have students work independently on this project intentionally. Students have frequent opportunities to work cooperatively during project based lessons and I want to also give them the chance to shine on their own.
Pre-teach: In order for students to be successful with this project they will need to have been previously taught how to create a slide show with power point. They will also need instruction and practice importing images from the internet to their ppt.
Resources; in addition to the websites I have selected, students will have access to their science text book, and any non-fiction related material from our school library. I am requiring that they visit each of the websites selected. Students will also need to have access to our mobile laptop lab for the week. I will be providing a hard copy of the ppt template and the scoring rubric. Students will need support and instruction writing and recording their podcasts until this becomes familiar.
State and district standards addressed in this WebQuest;
Describe the adaptations of plants and animals to their environment.
Discuss how animals are suited to live in different habitats.
Use synchronous and asynchronous digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Communicate, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
• Participate in online projects.
• Share ideas, illustrate concepts, and communicate with others using electronic tools (i.e. electronic presentations, web 2.0 tools, wikis, or blogs)
Language Arts;
Identify cause-effect, compare-contrast, and descriptions that support comprehension
Draw simple conclusions based on information gathered from text.
Pre-write using a graphic organizer, revise and edit a written piece.
Images used in this WebQuest were obtained from Google Images and NSLD.

Date Created: Jan 30, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
By, Erica Lindholdt-Duncan
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Math; map, measure, graph enclosure
This is the final project/presentation for this unit.
Materials: Art Tools, Word Processor, Elementary, Writing, Reading, Flash/USB Drives, Microphones, Mobile Labs, Podcasting, Slideshow, Clip Art, Animation, Sound Libraries, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 1 Tool Factory Movie Maker, $69.95 each, total of $69.95
1 Tool Factory Starter kit, $269.99 each, total of $269.99
1 Tool Factory Workshop Site License, $1999.95 each, total of $1999.95
1 Podcasting Moblie Lab, $3459.95 each, total of $3459.95