Internet WebQuest on First Nations for Students
Picture this: you
and a team of learners are presented with the task of describing an
elephant. But instead of looking to an encyclopedia or a zoo exhibit,
you are each blindfolded and guided to a real elephant. Each of you
touches a different part of the animal: one, the soft and delicate tip
of the elephant's trunk; another, the hard tusk of ivory; and a third,
the wrinkled hide around the elephant's belly.
what each of you learned, one thinks an elephant is smooth and soft,
another would say an elephant is smooth and hard, while the last would
conclude that elephants are rough and soft. What's the truth? When we
study complex topics, we are often like the elephant examiners: there's
usually a lot more to a topic that we don't learn about after only a
This is particularly true
when we use the Internet for our research because many people post their
personal opinions or only know a sliver of the whole story. In the
following WebQuest, you will use the power of teamwork and the abundant
resources on the Internet to learn all about First Nations. Each person
on your team will learn one piece of the puzzle and then you will come
together to get a better understanding of the
The Big Quest(ion) is: What were the similarities and differences between the lives of the members of two First Nations?
You will each be a member of a team:
You are to research both First Nations listed below:
You are to develop:
- Games that the children would play,
- A one day menu showing
the foods usually eaten by each group.
- Models of the shelters in
which the groups lived.
- A description of the clothes usually worn by
The documents and models you create will form your study material for this unit of the course.
The Process and Resources
In this WebQuest
you will be working together with the other students in our class. You will develop answers for the Task or Quest(ion). As a member of the group you
will explore Webpages from people all over the world who care about
You'll begin with everyone in your group getting
some background before dividing into roles where people on your team
become experts on one part of the topic.
Phase 1 - Background:
Something for Everyone (No more than 2 course periods, please.)
Use the Internet
information linked below to answer the basic questions of who? what?
where? when? why? and how? about both the Iroquois and the Algonquins. Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightfully as you
This constitutes your initial research. Your findings should be handed in to me as soon as they are completed. They are worth 20 marks for your group. Each member must complete the research in order for the group to get marks.
- Canadian Museum of Civilization
- The CMC's
collections are especially rich in cultural artifacts created by many
generations of Canada's First Nations. The CMC Web site offers a
unique opportunity to access a sample of these artifacts illustrating
their diversity, ingenuity and beauty.
- Homes of the Past: The Archaeology of an Iroquoian Longhouse Where people live can give us great insight into the lives of the people who lived there. This site from the Royal Ontario Museum will let you explore an Iroquoian village and all of its components.
- First Nations in
Canada - The
first chapter of this book describes the six major cultural regions of
First Nations in Canada. These are: the Woodland First Nations, the
Iroquoian First Nations of southeastern Ontario, the Plains First
Nations, the Plateau First Nations, the First Nations of the Pacific
Coast and the First Nations of the Mackenzie and Yukon River
- First Nations Histories
- This site includes detailed histories of over 40 First Nations in North America. It is filled with interesting details including: sub-nations, current bands, history, location, population, language, culture...
Phase 2 - Looking Deeper
from Different Perspectives (No more than 2 class periods, please.)
from your larger WebQuest team will explore one of the roles
2. Read through the files
linked to your group. If you print out the files, underline the passages
that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the
computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse
across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or
other writing software.
3. Note: Remember to write
down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you
can quickly go back to it if you need to to prove your point.
4. Be prepared to focus
what you've learned into one main opinion that answers the Big
Quest(ion) based on what you have learned from the links for
This section is worth 60 Marks for the group. In order to receive full marks, each member must complete his or her section.
1.As a Shaman,
you will describe and illustrate the clothes usually worn by
1. As an Elder,
you will choose foods and prepare a menu for the:
1.As a Youth,
you are to develop a game that the children would play
1.As a Clan
Mother you are to develop a model of the shelter in which they
Phase 3 - Debating,
Discussing, and Reaching Consensus
You have all
learned about a different part of the First Nations. Now group members
come back to the larger WebQuest team with expertise gained by searching
from one perspective. You must all now answer the Quest(ion) as a
group. Each of you will bring a certain viewpoint to the answer: some of
you will agree and others disagree. Use information, pictures, movies,
facts, opinions, etc. from the Webpages you explored to convince your
teammates that your viewpoint is important and should be part of your
team's answer to the Quest(ion). Your WebQuest team should write
out an answer that everyone on the team can live with.
This section is worth 20 marks for your group.
So is an elephant
smooth, rough, soft, or hard? Well, when you're blindfolded and only
*looking* at one part, it's easy to come up with an answer that may not
be completely right. It's the same for understanding a topic as broad or
complex as First Nations: when you only know part of the picture, you
only know part of the picture. Now you all know a lot more. Nice work.
You should be proud of yourselves! How can you use what you've learned
to see beyond the black and white of a topic and into the grayer areas?
What other parts of First Nations could still be explored? Remember,
learning never stops.