created by Dennis Hando
Introduction | The Task | The Process & Resources | Conclusion | HyperText Dictionary
Picture this: You are a Supreme Court justice appointed to interpret the constitution. Or that you are a historian who must catalog the important features of the constitutional convention. Or perhaps you must search the constitution to find what important clues it may hold to helping our government be as efficient as possible.
Based upon what each of you learned, You may think that the constitution is just an old boring document. However it protects all the freedoms you enjoy today and dictates why and how our government will change our lives. Yet how can we find out what parts of the constitution really affect our everyday lives. How can it change to meet the new needs of government. Where do we look for information?
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 Constitution. 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.
How does the constitution effect our everyday lives?
How can it change to meet modern needs?
In this WebQuest you will be working together with a group of students in class. Each group will answer the Task or Quest(ion). As a member of the group you will explore Webpages from people all over the world who care about The Constitution. Because these are real Webpages we're tapping into, not things made just for schools, the reading level might challenge you. Feel free to use the online Webster dictionary or one in your classroom.
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.
Use the Internet information linked below to answer the basic questions of who? what? where? when? why? and how? Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightfully as you can.
- The United States Constitution - This is the United States Constitution
1. Individuals or pairs from your larger WebQuest team will explore one of the roles below.
2. Read through the files linked to your group. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.
3. Note: Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you can quickly go back to it if you need to to prove your point.
4. Be prepared to focus what you've learned into one main opinion that answers the Big Quest(ion) or Task based on what you have learned from the links for your role.
Supreme Court JudgeUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to Supreme Court Judge:
1. How and why does the constitution provide for the independance of the Supreme Court?
- Constitution Society - THe page is dedicated to understanding what is and what is not constitutional.
- The Constitution Center - This site is the official website of the Museum of the Constitution. Varies links allow for you to purchase constitutional stuff or research articles.
- Constitution Facts - This site offers many fascinating facts about the Constitution and the Supreme Court
Constitutional LawyerUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to Constitutional Lawyer:
1. How does the constitution address our personal freedoms and our rights to free speech? Are we truly free to say ANYTHING we want?
Constitutional HistorianUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to Constitutional Historian:
1. How did the Founding Fathers come to agree on the Constitution despite many differences of opinion.
- The Reader's Companion to American History - This site offers facts about the constitutional Convention.
- Farrand's Records - Farrand's records were taken during the convention and offer a direct insight on the constructing arguements of the constitution's founders.
- American Memory - This site offers rare books and notes and broadsides pertaining to the Constitution.
- The Founding Fathers - This site offers many biographical Details on the Founding Fathers.
role, job or perspective #4Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to role, job or perspective #4:
You have all learned about a different aspects of The Constitution. Now group members come back to the larger WebQuest team with expertise gained by searching from one perspective. You must all now answer the Task / Quest(ion) as a group. Each of you will bring a certain viewpoint to the answer: some of you will agree and others disagree. Use information, pictures, movies, facts, opinions, etc. from the Webpages you explored to convince your teammates that your viewpoint is important and should be part of your team's answer to the Task / Quest(ion). Your WebQuest team should write out an answer that everyone on the team can live with.
You and your teammates have learned a lot by dividing up into different roles. Now's the time to put your learning into a letter you'll send out for real world feedback. Together you will write a letter that contains opinions, information, and perspectives that you've gained. Here's the process:
1. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing your message to this particular person or organization.
2. Give background information that shows you understand the topic.
STATE THE TASK / QUEST(ION) AND YOUR GROUP'S ANSWER.
3. Each person in your group should write a paragraph that gives two good reasons supporting the group's opinion. Make sure to be specific in both the information (like where you got it from on the Web) and the reasoning (why the information proves your group's point).
4. Have each person on the team proofread the message. Use correct letter format and make sure you have correctly addressed the email message. Use the link below to make contact. Send your message and make sure your teacher gets a copy.
Your Contact is: Dennis Hando
How does it feel to really play the role of these different members of our government. Did you find that it was easy to discover the important sections of the constitution? It's the same for understanding a topic as broad or complex as The Constitution: when you only know part of the picture, you only know part of the picture. Now you all know a lot more. Nice work. You should be proud of yourselves! How can you use what you've learned to see beyond the black and white of a topic and into the grayer areas? What other parts of The Constitution could still be explored? Remember, learning never stops.
Content by Dennis Hando, Haplo127@aol.com
Last revised Mon Dec 8 8:34:28 US/Pacific 2003