How to create a webquest for homeschool

Webquest

 

I’m always looking for new and different ways to introduce subjects in our homeschool.  By keeping things fresh, I feel like the kids are more engaged.  Webquests are often used by teachers in traditional schools, and I think they are a fantastic tool for homeschoolers as well!

A webquest is a power point presentation that directs the students through a specific study using online sources.  The webquest includes links to the specific sites right in the document, so the student doesn’t have to spend time searching for the information.

There are 5 main parts to an ‘official’ webquest which you can choose to include: Introduction, Task, Process, Evaluation, and Conclusion.  EllenFinkelstein.com has a detailed article explaining each of these categories.  As you create each slide guiding the students through the lesson, you would include hyperlinks to the specific website you want them to read.  Be sure that when you create the hyperlink you are linking to the page or post in the site, not just the main URL.  The idea is to have them go immediately to the area you want them to read, not to get distracted by searching through the site.

Here is a quick example of a very basic webquest:

Webquest How To

The sky is the limit for ways you can use these in your homeschool!  Here are just a few:

  • Create a series of webquests for each component of a unit study
  • Create a few to keep for a day you’re not feeling good
  • Have your children create one to show what they’ve learned about a subject.
  • Create a webquest to have the children find the answer to a question they’ve asked you
  • Use it for your younger children as a way for them to study the same topic as your older children
  • Use it for your homeschool planning.  You can create a document that has all the links you need for future use in one place under the appropriate heading

Don’t be intimidated by the ‘real’ way to create a webquest.  Yours does not have to include all the parts if you don’t need them.  Rather, think of them as a fun way to present material to your kids that allows them some independence.  After they complete the webquest, discuss with them the quality of the sites you used.  Kids need to learn how to discern what is factual online versus opinion (or flat-out lie!), and you can point them to the type of things to look for when doing internet research.  (Maybe this would be a great topic for a future webquest!)

If you’d like more information on the reasoning behind and creation of webquests, Bernie Dodge has created a webquest on webquests for teachers.  What ways can you see using this great tool?

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