Entry Form Reference Number 8044

Address: http://ths.sps.lane.edu/biomes/

Fictional Biome Planets

High School ( 103 - 9th graders )

Project Summary:

Our project is an extension of the web pages our 9th grade students did last year in our Bridge Program. The Bridge Program was designed to provide a smoother transition for 9th graders into high school by grouping four sections of students together with common teachers. Science and Literature comprise the two periods of our Bridge all year long. This year the the same two classes formed a block period and the classes each met for two hours every other day. The most unique aspect of our project is the number of students involved. 103 students have worked together to produce the web pages with total cooperation within each group as well as from group to group within each biome.

Students initially did their biome research in their science class. Groups of three to four students each picked a biome, spent three days researching, and one day presenting their findings to their classmates. Internet resources were used extensively in their research, including utilizing the web pages created by the students last year. At the same time, in their literature class, students were learning the mechanics of developing a web page by simulating on paper a web page dealing with their current unit on heroes. They then learned how to use an HTML editor and began choosing their backgrounds, bars, and dots. Scripting followed as students translated their biome research into a creative web page. The web pages created this year had the students taking their biome research and creating new worlds on distant planets. Each class was given one of the following biomes: Rain forest, Desert, Tundra, or Grassland. The illustrations are all student designed.

The success our students had last year and the fact that their web pages were being used by students in Somersville, New York, and Chesterfield County, Virginia, sparked this year's students to work harder and go much further with their knowledge of biomes.

Project Planning:

Our project is a continuation of the project done last year. This year we wanted our students to be able to demonstrate that they could synthesize the research they did on biomes by creating new worlds on distant planets. This project would require the students to use their imaginations, logical thinking, and an understanding of the interlocking components of a biome. Each class of approximately 24-29 students was given a different biome. The students were able to pick their own group members and then they had to choose one item from the following: planet description, vegetation, animals, insects, transportation, shelter, and health/environmental safe-guards.

At first the groans and moans from the students was deafening! But little by little the students started to get excited at the prospect of creating something that had never been done before. The groups were allowed to divide up the work in a way that fit each member's ability or preference i.e. scripting, drawing, design, or layout, although the entire group had to approve the finished web page.

Project goals:

Students will:

  1. Learn how biomes relate plants, animals and climate focusing on diversity and independence.
  2. Learn the basic techniques of designing web pages and to utilize technology to actually create the pages.
  3. Demonstrate their understanding of biomes by creating new worlds on distant planets.
  4. Convey what they have learned by writing script and organizing their information into a clear organizational pattern.
  5. Work together as a team to produce a polished final product.
  6. To challenge students to achieve far beyond their own expectations
Oregon Contents Standards addressed: Goals will be assessed by the successful completion of environments that are unique, habitable, and environmentally sound.

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Instructors of courses for 1998:

Literature: Inez Paulson

Science: Jess Drury

copyright 1997, Thurston High School, Springfield, Oregon