With in the past year or two I’ve written a number of web quests for various sites that I have done with my students. The ones I’m probably best known for are the found at Quaver Music Blog , This week I thought I would share what I think about when writing them. I have been writing web quests for a while now and found a couple more that were sharable (this weeks post is like a cereal box with a prize at the bottom of the box! :))
Usually you find Web quests as research project directions. They guide students around a series of websites to complete activities or research on a certain topic. I write web quests for my elementary school students as a “mission” staying on one website and providing a “to do” list of activities that focus on one concept that they might be working on. Making these web quests take some thought. You have to really know every inch of the site you want the students to go on and be able to get creative with each of the steps. Here’s an outline I use for writing them:
Concept: I try to keep it broad, gives me more options for steps.
Website: Choose a site with a lot of components so you have plenty of options for steps.
Introduction: I sometimes have one and sometimes I don’t depending on the quest. When I do have one it tends to be silly, over the top, and engaging for the students to draw them in to the quest.
Step 1: It is the simplest step out of all 3. This one I will make a simple find the answer or play a quick game. Really think about the level of your students through each step. Not only their level with the concept but also the level they are at with a computer. The inability to use a trackpad very well can really slow a student’s progress.
Step 2: I usually tend to make this step some sort of reading or building block to step 3. It sets the bridge from easiest to most difficult steps.
Step 3: This is the test to see if they have understood everything. For me, I usually write this step as directions to create their own music that covers the concept. This is the most time consuming step but usually provides a result the students will be proud of.
After you are done: The last step is just incase you have a few students who whizz right through everything. Usually a game or a higher level of musical composition difficulty (If you’ve read my Quaver quests I haven’t put these in. I usually write these on the board later in the lesson after I’ve gaged where students are. I don’t want to throw too much at my little guys!)
I’ve got a bunch of quests in a nice library, have your own and want to share? Post yours in the comments! I’d love to eventually build a little library of them for everyone.
…Want a little extra? Here are 3 never before seen web quests I’ve written for you!!
1.) I was a child star, I started playing and writing music before I turned 6. I wrote over 600 pieces before I passed away at the age of 35. One of my famous pieces is The Magic Flute..who am I?
2.) I started learning to play the piano from my family before writing music. My most famous work is all about animals..who am I?
3.) I was in the Air Force before studying at Julliard and UCLA. I spent time as a jazz pianist before starting my work as a film composer. Some movies that have my works in the include: Harry Potter, Jaws, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars..who am I?
4.) Lets go play some Baseball! Join some of your favorite composers in a game of Beethoven’s Baseball!
Music does not always have to include instruments you know. Did you know your voice is an instrument too? Some songs only have voices in them, we like to call those songs Accapella
1.) Watch the video of the Accapella group Straight No Chaser . How many different voices do you hear? Do they all sound different?
2.) Build a song without the main melodies in pink and purple. With just the building blocks playing is it still a song? Can you compose a beat that you could sing with that?
3.) Now it’s time to really build your group and get going. Use any of the dudes you want and share with Miss Dwinal afterward, can you beatbox alongwith these gentlemen?
Debussy, Vivaldi, and Beethoven decided to throw a party while the shop was closed last night, those rascals! Now they have disappeared from their posts and are hiding some where in Quaver’s world. Can you help find them?
1.) Debussy‘s piano teacher thought he was a genius when it came to playing piano, while in school he failed many piano tests but when he switched his focus Debussy found he excelled at composition. Where would Debussy be hiding where he could compose at the piano? When you find it help him write 2 measures to start of his next masterpiece!
2.) Vivaldi is quite a character, his personality most certainly reflected in his music with so much contrast . Where can you go to learn more about him and his music? He must be hiding back in his own time! Find him and read more about his wacky personality in his book!
3.) We all know Beethoven lost his hearing when he got older, my hunch is he is trying to retrain those ears. Where will you find him? Go there and play some of the games with poor deaf Beethoven.
4.) Wow, you found all three of our friends! Reward yourself with a hidden composer slide puzzle in the shop.