Teacher Tap

tip iconMeaningfulness through WebQuests

Many students need their work to be personally meaningful. Without meaning, some students become distracted and others do mediocre work. Many students have difficulty understanding concepts without concrete examples and a context for learning.


A WebQuest is an inquiry-based approach to learning that provides a meaningful task and quality resources to complete this task. WebQuests generally contain the following elements: an introduction, task, process/resources, guidance, product, evaluation, and conclusion. The key is providing a problem, mission, or assignment that engages learners in meaningful activities that address specific learning goals. For instance, young people might apply algebra when designing a water park for their community or use the scientific method to choose the most environmentally friendly laundry detergent.

A WebQuest can be tailored to provide a variety of resources such as audio, video, visuals, and text. Diverse resources are helpful in addressing varied needs.

Many WebQuests involve team-building and role playing elements. By providing varied roles within the WebQuest, a teacher can meet the diverse needs and interests of students. In a project involving the creation of a podcast, one child might work on writing the script while another student might work on research or technical support.

There are many WebQuests online, so you can probably find an existing project to adapt for your classroom.

webquest logoExplore the following WebQuest examples:
WebQuest.org Matrix
Best WebQuests.com
San Diego WebQuests - Insects
Emints WebQuests
Examine WebQuest Design Patterns.

activateRead and explore Dive Into WebQuests: Reading, Writing, and Web 2.0.
Follow the directions to learn how to explore, adapt, and create your own project.
Skim the Internet Expeditions: Exploring, Using, Adapting, and Creating WebQuests workshop.


go to literature laddersExplore Literature-based WebQuests from Literature Ladders.
Need more ideas? Do a Google search for a book title and add the word WebQuest such as Hatchet WebQuest.


go to teacher tapExplore WebQuest examples at K3, 3-6, Middle/High School.
Explore WebQuests from Teacher Tap.

Although most WebQuests are found in the form of traditional web pages, there are many ways to create a WebQuest. For instance, a word processor such as Microsoft Word can be used to construct a WebQuest. It can be shared on a local area network on a web server. PowerPoint could also be used with separate slides for each phase of the WebQuest process. To download an example template, right-click on the following PowerPoint document and choose Save: PowerQuest Template.

WebQuests and Web 2.0

Incorporate Web 2.0 features such as blogs and wikis into your WebQuests.

Consider building your WebQuest in the wiki format and involving young people in adding to the content and discussion of the wiki. Explore the following examples: Goofy Global News, English Biz, and Banned Books.

You don't have to develop an entire WebQuest to bring meaningfulness to an activity. Use PowerPoint as a tool to present scenarios or pose questions. Then, provide a web resource to provide information. For example, which cat would you choose for your story? Or, what questions do we have about these habitats or historical photographs?

How would you adapt one of the emints WebQuests such as Body Systems?

differentiate activityDifferentiate! Choose an existing WebQuest. Adapt, expand or enhance it in some way. Think about how diverse resources, multiple perspectives, and varied roles can differentiate the learning environment. You might create a list of easier or more challenging website links in Word, build a PowerPoint introduction, or a slide show that poses a problem or shows a few photos. It does NOT need to be much... just a few websites or a couple slides will do. Think of something that will make the project more meaningful for students or address a particular student need.


Review the "big ideas" on this page:

A WebQuest is an inquiry based approach to learning. It generally contains the following elements: an introduction, task, process/resources, guidance, product, evaluation, and conclusion. Many WebQuests involve team-building and role playing elements. While most WebQuests are shared as traditional web pages, they can also be created using wiki tools, word processors, presentation tools, and other software.

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