Hello Down There: A Subterranean Township
This webquest is written for students who have some proficiency
in computer research both within a network of databases and on the internet.
This project may be conducted through the sixth grade Language Arts
class, but should be monitored and assisted by the science teacher and
LMS. All students have should have basic, grade level appropriate experience
o using the computer for research using network programs, CD ROM,
electronic databases, and bookmarked internet sites
o composition of reports, projects, and
data collection using Microsoft Word and Excel.
o creation of tables, graphs, and PowerPoint
o selection and location of appropriate
materials from their library and classroom resources.
o Bibliographic citation of sources
Small groups will work together to create a township “master
plan” including living arrangements, food production, city ordinances,
health regulations/provisions, and a governing council for a subterranean
city. The groups will choose a presentation medium from an approved
list and present to the class.
Using the available resources including electronic databases, approved
internet search methods, library and classroom resources and working
in small groups of three to four, the students will:
1. Select a minimum of six sources, using them to identify and record
pertinent information on their assigned topics based on individual
and group roles including farming, government, health, and architecture,
with 100% accuracy.
2. Analyze the needs of the “subterranean
population” and list a minimum of ten things (materials or policies)
the township must have for long term survival, titled, ”Community
Requirements” completed in a
Word document with 95% accuracy.
3. Compose weekly research journals that
detail their information collection neatly and chronologically while
citing sources that may later be used for a bibliography with 100
4. Design a “township master plan”
in a word document that details living arrangements, food supply,
governmental policies, and health precautions for the members of their
township with 95% accuracy.
5. Choose a presentation method to summarize
the groups’ decisions on all points of the project, laws, food
supply, health provisions, architecture, and relations with separate
“towns” and creatures, and
present to the class using one of the
following with 95% accuracy:
A. a PowerPoint presentation
6. Collect and arrange all materials used in the creation of the project
for a portfolio which includes a bibliography of sources with 90%
B. a 3-d model and narrative document
C. a performance play that demonstrates
all aspects of the project within a student developed script.
7. Work with all members in the cooperative
group to complete all tasks on time and generate a project that follows
all given requirements with 90% accuracy.
response. The student expresses and supports responses to various
types of texts. The student is expected to:
(A) offer observations, make connections, react, speculate, interpret,
and raise questions in response to texts (4-8);
(B) interpret text ideas through such varied means as journal
writing, discussion, enactment, and media (4-8);
(C) support responses by referring to relevant aspects of text
and his/her own experiences (4-8); and
(D) connect, compare, and contrast ideas, themes, and issues across
Reading/inquiry/research. The student inquires and conducts research
using a variety of sources. The student is expected to:
(A) form and revise questions for investigations, including questions
arising from readings, assignments, and units of study (6-8);
(B) use text organizers, including headings, graphic features,
and tables of contents, to locate and organize information (4-8);
(C) use multiple sources, including electronic texts, experts,
and print resources, to locate information relevant to research
(D) interpret and use graphic sources of information such as maps,
graphs, timelines, or tables to address research questions (4-8);
(E) summarize and organize information from multiple sources by
taking notes, outlining ideas, and making charts (4-8);
(F) produce research projects and reports in effective formats
for various audiences (4-8)
Throughout the research and learning process, students will address
these levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension,
application, and analysis. By the project’s completion and
presentation, groups should reach the synthesis level. Some groups
may reach the evaluation level.
Students will be working primarily in the cognitive and psychomotor
domains, using understanding of concepts and application of knowledge,
and skill based experiences to complete the project requirements.
A few students may rely on affective domain characteristics when
evaluating group roles and discussing learning within their group.
Introducing the project:
Students should have read/heard at least 1/3 of the novel, Gregor
the Overlander before beginning this project. The LMS or teacher
may begin by asking students to put themselves in the place of
the main character, who has fallen beneath New York to find that
a strange breed of human beings live amid talking creatures and
dangerous landscapes. He is desperate to escape, but unable to
find a way back to the surface. Students are actively engaged
with the reading through discussion, illustrating their ideas
and thoughts, and Readers’ Theater.
with a quote to encourage a work ethic that relates to the main characters’
"To steal a person's struggle is to steal his
Ask the students to decide what they would do if left in the situation
in which Gregor finds himself. Encourage discussion of students’
main concerns and fears in such a circumstance. Channel the discussion
into solving problems with research and group cooperation.
Show a PPT presentation explaining the assignment including the hypothetical
situation and group roles. The PPT will should show pictures and graphics
related to the assignment including caves, agriculture, legislation,
health care, and communities. At the conclusion of the PPT the teacher
“Your group of five has fallen into a strange world under
the surface of the earth known to the inhabitants as “Underland”
and found many small bands of your own kind, “Overlanders”,
trying to survive. Your quest, Overlanders, is to design a functioning
township for the group of humans who have been unable to find a way
home. The town should develop secure, functional living quarters, a
way to produce food, rules regarding health and safety, and promote
a peaceful existence with surrounding townships under a democratic style
of government. “
Specific roles to be assigned by teacher:
Your job is to review and draft laws
for your fellow townsfolk that will encourage prosperity and peace
within your new town. You must also put the citizens at ease in their
new environment. How, as the township leader, can you create a sense
of safety and community and encourage others in their roles?
Using the resources and materials available,
what immediate structures can be created for warmth and protection?
What are some natural resources available for home and town structures?
Can you offer any suggestions on “defense” to the Head
Detail for the City Council what measures
they should take to insure the health of the citizens in the absence
of light and varied food sources. What steps can you take to insure
the health of citizens in this environment? What basics needs must
be met? Can you offer any suggestions to the food production team?
Using what you know about the Underland,
what sources might be used or grown in an area with an absence of
light? The struggling township will need to be fed for an unknown
time to come, how can you plan ahead to avert a food crisis? Can you
offer any suggestions for the architect on food growth areas?
Your responsibility will be to the citizens
of your new town, and to all citizens of the Underland who want to
live peacefully. How can you extend a hand of friendship to the other
creatures around you? What are your policies on the local water, rocks
or plants, and openings to the Overland when disputes arise? Your
role will also be negotiating consensus among your group members when
To maximize learning and productivity, students will actively research
their roles, discuss information at group meetings, record new information
in research journals, inform the teacher of tutorial needs, and present
their findings at the project conclusion.
Handouts of research resources should accompany group assignments including
approved websites, database passwords, and location of previously selected
materials in the library and classroom, bibliographic citation, a rubric
on which the project will be graded, and suggestions for further research.