Tend Your Crops

Crops need nurturing growing environments including soil, water, and sunlight. Children and teenager need meaningful learning environments.

Tend your students by providing a balance of interesting and useful information and activities.

Feed your students. Plants need soil, sun, and water. Your students need more than just information. They'll need to know how the information will be used? How will the activity be structured? Who, will do what? When? Why? With what Result? For example, the site contains a wealth of useful information. However the Government Information Sharing Project site needs the support of a good teacher that will integrate the "real-world" information into a meaningful learning activity that meets a specific curricular need.
Mix facts with fun. Squirrels like strawberries. Rather than spending your time trying to get students to pay attention, use attractive sites to draw their interest. Draw them in with a diversion and hide the real crop. For example, the Food & Drug Administration site starts with a bright page to that entices students. Once inside the site, students will find valuable information.
Make it fun. Rabbits like beets. Give them a row to eat! Place learning in a context. Create a webquest! For example, the
EcoQuest: Desert webquest involves students in the exploration of deserts.
Get outside. Get some sun! Mix on and off computer activities. Share your ideas and projects with others. Conduct a lab experiments, surveys, or take photographs and post them for others to explore. For example, Planet Earth site contains lots of activities that involve students in a variety of activities.

Webquests provide an excellent environment for students to learn. Explore some examples at Bernie Dodge's WebQuest site using the Subject Area WebQuest Matrix page.

  • Does this webquest provide a motivating introduction?
  • Is the task or mission interesting and meaningful for students?
  • Does the webquest make good use of Internet resources?
  • Do students produce a useful product that reflects their learning?

Developed by Annette Lamb, 4/99.