Lesson Plans

The WebQuest, as written, is expected to take all or part of ten class periods using a combination of classroom and lab time. A shortened version of the WebQuest (oral report instead of PowerPoint) can be completed in six class periods.

For additional information about WebQuests visit webquest.org(http://www.webquest.org/index.php).


  • Assign students to groups of four.
  • Prepare documents - Rubric, Role Descriptions, Instrument Family Notes, Instrument Notes.
  • Make copies.
  • Make sure that musical examples will play on the computers students will be using (check media player).
  • Optional: create PowerPoint template for slides students will work on individually.
  • Optional: locate images and put them in a shared folder (or on disc) for student use.


Day 1: Day 1Introduction, Task, Process Step 1 (Classroom)
Using a computer with projector or large screen monitor, introduce the WebQuest. Provide an overview of the entire process so that students are introduced to the complete project. Meet with students who have the same role (Navigator, Scribe, etc.) to go over duties. It may be helpful to fill out one page of Instrument Family Notes as practice; perhaps keyboard family on the dsokids website. When groups decide who will take each role, I suggest that they take advantage of the different types of skills group members have.

Day 2: Day 2Process Step 2 - Research Instrument Families (Computer Lab)
Working in their groups, students will research the four instrument families. Groups will complete a total of four Instrument Family Notes pages, one for each family. If time is an issue, groups could be divided in half with each half researching two families. If there is time remaining at the end of class, group members can trade pages, check each other’s work, and add more facts.

Day 3: Day 3Process Step 3 - Research Instruments (Computer Lab)
Working individually, students will research four instruments. They will complete Instrument Notes pages (one for each instrument) as they go along. Students should click on the sound buttons so that they can hear what the instruments sound like. Unlike the roles (scribe, etc.) researching instruments will not require any particular skill sets. Within each group, I have had students choose families at random (pick from a cup) to see who does what. It is quick, easy, and eliminates disagreements.

Day 4: Day 4Process Step 4 - Share Information and Choose Instruments (Classroom or Lab)
Working in their groups, students will share information about the instruments they researched. Each group will decide which of the sixteen instruments discussed should be purchased. If there are computers available, students can show images and play sound files on the websites linked on the Process page.

Day 5: Day 5Process Step 5 - Final Choices (Computer Lab)
Working in their groups, each group will use one computer to add data to a purchase order spreadsheet. Groups will decide how many of each instrument to purchase and why, taking advantage of spreadsheet formulas to do the computations. The total is not to exceed $10.000 (no charge for shipping). Each group will write a bulleted list which explains the instruments and quantities they chose and why. If you want to reduce the time needed to complete this WebQuest, stop here. Students can give a brief oral presentation of their purchase order and tell classmates why they chose the instruments they did.

Day 6: Day 6Process Step 6 - The Proposal/PowerPoint (Computer Lab)
Students will each make five PowerPoint slides. Students will have five pages of notes to help them as they add information to their slides: Instrument Family Notes page (1) for their family, Instrument Notes pages for each instruments researched (4 total). I would recommend making copies of each student's PowerPoint file - a copy for you to grade and a copy for the Digital Specialist to edit.

Day 7: Day 7Process Step 7 - Compile Slides (Classroom)
Digital Specialists compile slides from all group members and select layout, font and colors. If there is time, images from desktop or shared folder can be added. Digital Specialists can take turns using computers in the classroom while others work on an alternate assignment.

Day 8: Day 8Process Step 8 - Edit Slides (Classroom)
Editors make final revisions to group members' slides. Editors can take turns using computers in the classroom while others work on an alternate assignment.

Day 9: Day 9Practice for Presentations (Classroom)
Groups practice for the presentation. PowerPoint slides can be printed, with multiple slides per page, so that students can practice in class. Remaining portion of the class period to be spent on alternate activity.

Day 10: Day 10Presentations (Classroom)
Groups touch base and review presentation (5 minutes). In advance, download all the PowerPoint files to the computer that will be used for the presentation. Following the presentations, take time for discussion (Conclusions page of WebQuest).

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