This lesson arose from a decision taken by the fourth grade team at Escuela Campo Alegre to teach part of our social studies unit on the Renaissance as a biographical study of twelve significant European figures from the era. Students were asked to choose four Renaissance figures from the twelve on which they would conduct research or activity-based project work. Stations were created at which students would engage in an activity designed to introduce the chosen figure to the student.
This webquest is the activity designed to acquaint the students with the figure of Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli. Briefly, this activity asks the students to imagine themselves in the rôle of an art gallery curator. It is intended as a group activity (ideally, three students per group), but could be run as a quest for individuals if preferred.
The art gallery in question has been planning an exhibition of the works of Sandro Botticelli for some time. Letters were sent to famous galleries across the world requesting the loan of Botticelli's works (a suggested extension activity is for the students to pen such a letter). Now the paintings have all arrived, but there is a big problem. None of the name plates, or signs, normally fixed to the wall beside the gallery's paintings was sent! The curator, not being a Botticelli expert, has no idea which painting is which - let alone when each was painted or where it comes from!
The students' job is to identify the paintings by name, date and gallery of origin. Depending on the level of the students, for some pictures extra information could be required (such as identifying all the allegorical figures in La Primavera or Calumny). All this information can be found in the selection of Botticelli sites selected from t he many on the Worldwide Web and stored on the fourth grade web board at Escuela Campo Alegre. Essentially, therefore, this webquest exists as an encouragement to read, as well as an introduction to the life and works of Sandro Botticelli.
The final product of the quest will be a document in another application (I suggest using Hyperstudio, PowerPoint or PrintShop Deluxe, but this can be left up to the individual teacher or student). Because the webquest is intended for student-centred learning, no answers can be included within its pages, but the competent teacher will demand that the student teams include in their final document a record of where the information for each painting was found. For the same reason, the teachers' pages have been kept to a minimum and the entire quest has been designed to be as easy as possible for a fourth grader to navigate around.
It follows that the task and process pages for the students serve as the teachers' task and process pages as well. I have included no rubric for evaluation purposes, but the standard rubric template available from The Webquest Page, or indeed from any of the webquests currently held on the homepage of Escuela Campo Alegre, will serve as the model for creating an evaluation rubric for this webquest should the teacher so desire. The standards and benchmarks which have informed my design may be found by clicking here and following the hyperlink to the Evaluation page (one click away!).