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MY HERO Scavenger Hunt
by Jerrilyn Jacobs , Taft High School
(Woodland Hills, CA)

Subject Area:    Art/Music, English/Language Arts, Social Science, Technology/Media Literacy

Grade Level:    5-8, 9-12

Overview/Purpose:

The scavenger hunt is a good way to introduce a Web site, as it requires students to explore and search for answers.

Planning for a scavenger hunt is simple. The teacher determines what is important to know in order to use the site effectively and get students interested. Questions are chosen or designed to obtain the desired information. Like all scavenger hunts, the student is asked to go out and find small things, in this case pieces of information, but the process of getting that information is the real lesson.

The sample questions start the student thinking about:

  1. What information can one find on MY HERO?
  2. How is that information generally organized?
  3. What are the main navigation elements?
  4. How are the stories organized?
  5. What are the standard parts of every story?
  6. What kind of variety exists in the story content?
(e.g., Where are the stories from? Who writes them? Why are people recognized as heroes? What kinds of things are important to heroes? What value choices do heroes make?)

Your Scavenger Hunt can be simple or extensive based on the amount of computer time available.

Students with minimal reading or Internet skills can be guided through the process, using simpler stories and questions. Choose stories in which the content illustrates that MY HERO is a global Internet project, featuring heroes around the world from all walks of life. Encourage students to join this international community by submitting their own hero stories.

Objectives:

Students will develop an understanding of the purpose and content of the MY HERO Website.

They will learn how the hero stories are organized and how to access information on the site.

To motivate students to contribute their own stories to the MY HERO Web site.

Resources/Materials:

Access to enough Internet-connected computers to comfortably accommodate your class.

Teacher-developed handout of questions about the MY HERO website for students to answer.

Activities and Procedures:

Step One: Preparing the Handout of Questions


Create a form with space
for short answers to questions about the
main elements and content of the MY HERO
site. Use your own questions or choose from
the following to get started. Note that
some questions are very basic and the answers
easily found, while others require actually
scanning or reading stories for the answers.


Adapt the level of questions
to match your students’ computer literacy
skills.


Choose the number of questions
based on the amount of time you have to
spend on the computer looking for the answers.


Choose a mix of easy-to-answer
questions and ones that require scanning
or reading stories to find the answers.


SAMPLE QUESTIONS:


A. General information questions:



  • What is the URL of the
    home page?

  • Does the site have a
    motto, and if so, what is it? (answer:
    Anyone can be a hero!)

  • List ALL of the links
    on the home page.

  • How many search engines
    can be accessed from the home page? (answer:
    2)


    •  How are they
      different?



  • What elements do all
    hero stories have in common? (answer:
    category of hero, name of hero, author
    of story, credits, related links, other
    heroes in the same category)

  • What is the Create link
    for, and who can use it? (answer: to upload
    your story onto the MY HERO Website and
    create your own Web page honoring your
    hero; anyone can use it)

  • What are the first two
    boxes you need to fill in to sign the
    Guestbook?

  • What are the main categories
    of heroes?


B. Specific content questions



  • In what category of
    hero can you find:


    • Sherlock Holmes
      (answer: literary)

    • Dorothea Lange (answer:
      artist)

    • Sylvia Earle (answer:
      explorer)

    • Ray Anderson (answer:
      business)

    • Olara Otunnu (answer:
      lifesaver)



  • What hero did Annmarie
    Williams write about in the Guestbook?
    What are the names of the two organizations
    her hero founded? (answer: Her hero, Craig
    Kielberger founded Free the Children and
    Leaders Today, organizations devoted to
    children’s rights.)

  • What is the title of
    the story written by AP Newswriter Coralie
    Carlson about some rescued and released
    mammals? (answer: "Rescued Pilot
    Whales Released")

  • According to the mission
    statement, how does MY HERO make a profit?
    (answer: It doesn’t. It’s
    a not-for-profit project.)

  • Who wrote the Forum
    essay, “How Do We Choose Our Heroes?”
    (answer: The Reverend Charles F. Harper;
    Note: the student must go to the Forum
    page first, then find the “Previous
    Forum Topic” link at the bottom
    of the page.)

  • Give a quote from Mattie
    Stepanek.

  • What movie is based
    on the life of Ron Kovic? To whom did
    he address a speech on July 15, 1976?

  • Who is Aung San Suu
    Kyi and why has she been in jail?

  • Who is Kofi Annan and
    what is the URL of his Website? (answer:
    Secretary General of the United Nations,
    http://www.un.org/News/ossg/sg/)

  • What country is Ibrahim
    Alex Bangura from and what is he trying
    to do?


C. Open-ended questions
that aren’t part of the Hunt:



  • Look at one category
    and list three stories that you’d
    like to read and why they interest you.

  • Follow your interests
    to three stories and record the name and
    category of the hero and why they are
    considered a hero.

  • List the names of interesting
    heroes you find as you explore the site.





Step
Two: The Hunt is On!



Students log on to www.myhero.com
and search for the answers to the Scavenger
Hunt questions, filling in the handout as
they go along.




Step
Three: Discussing the answers



You can have a straightforward
question/answer session or you can turn
it into a game as follows: (The game requires
that there be more questions in the Scavenger
Hunt, so that every student in the class
has an opportunity to answer at least one
question.)


If you have Internet-connected
computers in the room, open up the MY HERO
website. Otherwise you may want to copy
several MY HERO pages to show the class
what the pages contain and how the site
is used. The most useful pages to copy include
the home page, the main pages for Search,
Create and the Directory, along with a sample
story.


A. Number students 1-2-3-4,
and have them divide into groups.



B. Ask each group in turn, calling on a
different person in that group each time,
to read the answer they found to a specific
question. If the answer is correct, group
gets 1 point.


If the answer is incorrect
and no one else in the group can answer
the question, it goes to the next group.
Whichever group answers the question correctly
gets the point. After the correct answer
has been given, discuss why there was a
problem arriving at the answer, highlighting
the process the winning individual went
through to find the correct answer.


C. The team with the most
points wins. To reward the winning team,
use the heroes they found interesting as
the first MY HERO stories to read together
as a class.

Assessment:

 
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