Purpose of the Quest
The purpose of this WebQuest is multi-faceted. It can be used to help foster both individual research tactics, and cooperation in a team effort. The design allows the Quest to cover a wide range of curriculum. Social Studies, History, Art, English, and Speech are just a few of the possibilities for its use. While it has been designed with grades 8 and 9 in mind, with minor adjustments to the depth of research and the expected end result, you could conceivably cover from grades 7 through 12.
Time necessary for completion is highly variable depending for one upon how many different curriculum you allow it to cover. If one subject is attached to the exercise, it may take approximately 9 classes to finish.
Number of classes Task covered
1 Group research
2 Individual research
1 or 2 Group design
2 Model building
1 Report writing
It would also be possible to use this project under the direction of a team of instructors, each with a different subject. If the project is to cover a range of subjects, each class could be used to coincide with that particular section. For instance, research may work with reading or computer technique, design and model building with art, report with English, and presentation with speech.
This project is expected to be done as a multimedia experience. While the websites in the Resources section will give a wide range of background and visual stimulation to the effort, at the minimum it is recommended to have available access to the school or local library. There are many very good books on the market that deal with the subject of architectural history. Quite a few can be found in all but the smallest public libraries. A more practical alternative would be for the instructor to assemble a sampling of the proper books to be on hand in the classroom. These could be borrowed from the public library by the teacher, and in that way they are available at any time from one area. Since most libraries lend for two to three weeks, the time can be adjusted to fit the need. Some highly recommended books to consider are:
A Field Guide to American Houses, by Lee and Virginia McAlester. Published in 1985 by Alfred A. Knopf, New York
A Guide to Old American Houses- 1700 to 1900, by Henry Lionel Williams and Ottalie K Williams. Published in 1962 by A.S. Barnes, New York
Early American Architecture, by Hugh Morrison. Published in 1952 by Oxford University Press, New York
Many more are available, but at least the top two of these should be sought.
The suggested result of this Quest is a small scale model and a written or oral report. To accommodate other circumstances, these could just as easily be changed to a line drawing of the house plan, and a written or oral report. If an oral report is chosen, the teacher could considered the Head Commissioner, and the other students as the council. If the project is completed in different subjects, given by several instructors, the team of commissioners could be the teachers of the various classes.
This site was last updated May 3, 2001
The Quest was designed by Gary Durborow as part of the EDU450.2 class at Penn State- Harrisburg Campus
Comments about the website should be directed to the author at GaryD@paonline.com
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