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Fur Trade Web Quest
An Internet WebQuest on the Fur Trade 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.

Based upon 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 quick exploration.

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 the Fur Trade. 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 topic.

The Task

The Big Quest(ion) is: Should the fur trade be abolished?

You will each be a member of a team as you research different characters from history:

    1-Coureurs de Bois

    2-Filles de Roi


    4-Founder of HBC

You are to research the fur trade through the eyes of these characters

You are to develop:
A letter to the King of France that explains why or why you don't feel that the fur trade should be abolished. This letter will be a long one, and you shall write it as a group. Each of you will be able to give a different perspective based on the characters you research.

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 North America who find the fur trade exciting. 
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 3 course periods, please.)

Use the Internet information linked below to answer the basic questions of who? what? where? when? why? and how? about people in the fur trade. Create a timeline about the major events in the fur trade. Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightfully as you can.

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.