What is a webquest?
Bernie Dodge, the original designer, describes
a webquest as
"an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information
used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners'
time well, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and
to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation."
A webquest typically includes the following elements: An Introduction, a
presentation of the Task, a list of Resources, a step-by-step description
of the Process, a form or rubric for Evaluation, and a Conclusion that summarizes
what students have learned.
WebQuests were designed to bring together the most effective
instructional practices into one integrated student activity which emphasizes
critical thinking, constructivism, cooperative learning, authentic assessment,
and technology integration.
Examples of Specific Webquests
for Students in Grades 3-4
and the Chocolate Factory is an interesting
webquest in which the online tasks are very much embedded into the more
traditional reading/discussion/journaling process.
- Cinco de Mayo: a website that explores the history and festivities surrounding this Mexican holiday
the Trickster provides students an opportunity
to compare and contrast the coyotes found in Native American trickster
tales with those found in non-fiction and reference materials posted
on the Internet.
Court: Finding Justice in Fairy Tales for
students in grades 3-6 explores the "bad bullies" in fairy
tales and has kids take the bullies to court with classmates as the
- A Day in the Life of Harry Potter: students explore the world of Harry Potter and the other characters in J.K. Rowling's books.
- Thanksgiving Fact and Fiction: allows students to explore the first Thanksgiving and also to learn about Thanksgiving celebrations for other cultures.
Hundreds of innovative teachers are
busily creating new Webquests every day and loading them up onto the Internet.
In order to find the latest and greatest regarding your special topic, you'll
be much better off using a good search engine to find one yourself. Follow
the directions below to quickly locate a webquest related to your classroom
themes and curriculum topics.
for Locating a Webquest
- Begin with a good search engine for teachers like
Northern Light or
- Click in the empty white search box (not the address
bar at the top of the screen). In Northern Light, it's inside the yellow
box near the blue Search button; in Dogpile, it's near the top next
to the Fetch button.)
- Type your topic with a plus sign (+) directly in
front of it.
e.g. +bears or +whales
The plus sign forces the computer to look for this term.
- If your topic is a phrase (more than one word),
use quotation marks around the phrase and put a plus sign in front of
e.g. +"Ancient Egypt"
The quotes force the computer to only search for the entire phrase,
not just one of the words in the phrase.
- Type a space and then type +webquest.
e.g. +bears +Webquest
e.g. +"Ancient Egypt" +webquest
- Click on the search button next to the search box.
In Northern Light, it's a blue button that says "Search";
in Dogpile, it's a grey button that says "Fetch".
- Your search results should include a few or many
Webquests about that topic. If there's a webquest
about it, you'll be able to find it if you follow these steps. If there's
none available, you may just be inspired to create one yourself. If
that's the case, look no further than this resource on Internet
Webquests to get you started.
This page last updated June, 2007.