WebQuest: A Tool to Help Students Discover Contributions of African American Women during the Civil War
Herring, Jennifer, Black History Bulletin
May those whose holy task it is, To guide impulsive youth, Fail not to cherish in their souls A reverence for truth; For teachings which the lips impart Must have their source within the heart. --From The Journal of Charlotte L. Forten, published in 1953
Many African American women are recorded as having made a significant impact during the Civil War. However most students learn about only two of them: Harriet Yubman and Sojourner Truth. Despite their omission from the educational curriculum, there were countless others, such as Susan Baker King Taylor, Mary Elizabeth Bowser, Charlotte Forten, and Elizabeth Keckley, who were key figures in the Civil War era. (1) Conducting an exact search on the Internet for these women [putting each of their names in double quotes and the plus (+) sign operator between each name] produced the following results:
Name Number of Search Results Sojourner Truth 1,380,000 Harriett Tubman 50,900 Elizabeth Keckley 50,700 Charlotte Forten 48,700 Mary Elizabeth Bowser 4,410 Susan Baker King Taylor 32
These results indicate a strong need to teach middle and high school students about the importance of reputable Internet research, choosing websites that reflect fact-checked information and the need to publish these results to the Internet as annotated webpages. (2)
In this article, teachers are offered a WebQuest exercise that will teach students to 1) recognize a reputable website, and 2) create an annotated webpage of one of the important, but lesser known, African American women and her role during the Civil War. This is a lesson that could be taught in a social studies or a Web Technology/Web programming course.
Constructing the WebQuest
WebQuests are designed as Internet lessons to extend students' learning opportunities by going on a quest for specific information on the Internet. The WebQuest is usually designed and created by the teacher. WebQuest is a website with specific navigation features, wherein each link leads the student to specific information that is related to the lesson and found on the Internet. These navigation links also provide specific interactive instructions that the student follows, demonstrating to the teacher that the lesson has been learned.
WebQuests may be constructed using software such as MicroSoft Word or by using a template feature provided by WebQuest (located at http://WebQuest.org) Once the WebQuest site opens, click on the link "Create WebQuests" and scroll down that page to the section titled "Webpage Templates." Click on "The Original One-Page Template" (1999). (3) This template is very basic, but it will allow the user to very quickly construct a WebQuest by saving the template page under a new name to the desktop, then editing that WebQuest page using MicroSoft Word. Each area in the WebQuest template can be then highlighted and typed over with the appropriate lesson information.
Each link in the navigation area for this WebQuest template points to a section in the WebQuest: introduction, task, process, evaluation, conclusion, credits, and the teacher page. Each of these areas is highlighted and replaced with the WebQuest content for the lesson, as is shown in figure 1 in the lesson that follows which teaches about African American women and the roles they held during the Civil War.
WebQuests: A Tool to Help Students Discover Contributions of African American Women During the Civil War
By Jennifer Herring
Connections to Middle School
Students may be required to take a computer literacy course at the middle school level, as well as the traditional social studies course. This lesson plan integrates technology and social studies, allowing students to use a WebQuest to search the Internet and learn how to recognize reputable websites that offer factual information about the history of African American women and the roles they filled during the Civil War. As the middle school years lend themselves to interdisciplinary learning, this lesson includes both the National Council for Social Studies Standards and the National Educational Technology Standards.
Students will understand how to recognize reputable Internet information as they build an annotated list of websites on African American women and their roles during the Civil War.
Students will search the Internet for ten reputable websites to build an annotated website list about one African American woman of the Civil War era. Students will utilize WebQuest (see figure 1) to click on assigned web site reference links to learn how to:
* search for a reputable website,
* recognize a reputable website, and
* read and answer questions to learn about the roles African American women held during the Civil War.
The final product will be a webpage listing of ten annotated website links saved as a publishable webpage.
National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) Standards
* Assist learners in developing historical research capabilities that enable them to formulate historical questions, obtain historical data, question historical data, identify the gaps in available records, place records in context, and construct sound historical interpretations.
* Enable learners to develop historical understanding through the avenues of social, political, economic, and cultural history and the history of science and technology.
* Enable learners to analyze and explain the ways groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns.
National Educational Technology Standards
* Students apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
* Students plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
* Students interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
* Students process data and report results.
1. Prior to beginning this lesson, students must be able to access WebQuest (See Figure 1) on the computer. Students must be able to follow the links provided and commit to read the assigned text without being influenced to surf the Internet. Students will need to have multiple documents open on the computer and be able to toggle back and forth from the Internet readings and searches to the open annotation list in a Word document.
2. See Figure 2, Teacher Page, Process.
1. Students will demonstrate mastery of their knowledge of the roles African American women during the Civil War by completing the WebQuest (see Figure 1).
2. Students will be assessed using the evaluation rubric in the WebQuest (see Figure 1, Evaluation).
See Figure 2, Resources Needed.
Figure 1. Six African American Women and their Roles during the Civil War A WebQuest for 8th Grade Social Studies Designed by Jennifer Herring, PhD email@example.com [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Introduction Of the many African American women who have left their mark in history during the American Civil War six stand out: Charlotte Forten, Susan Baker Taylor King, Mary Elizabeth Bowser, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Keckley. Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were both instrumental in working for the abolition of slavery during the Civil War as spies and recruiters of troops. However, very little is known about Charlotte Forten, Susan Baker Taylor King, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser and their roles during the Civil War. In 1862, Susan Baker Taylor King accompanied the army as a laundress. Mary Elizabeth Bowser was a Union spy. Charlotte Forten was a strong proponent of the Anti-Slavery Society, giving lectures and raising money for the cause. Elizabeth Keckley was a seamstress and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln, President Lincoln's wife and organized the Contraband Relief Association. Your quest is to get on the Internet and find more information about these six women. What where their lives like? What other roles did they have? What were their other contributions to the Civil War? The Task You (or you and your partner) have been assigned a number and that number determines which of the six African American women of the Civil War you will be researching on the Internet as below: 1. Charlotte Forten 2. Susan Baker Taylor King 3. Mary Elizabeth Bowser 4. Harriet Tubman 5. Sojourner Truth 6. Elizabeth Keckley Your task is to find ten reputable websites for your assigned African American woman of the Civil War and build an annotated website list. Your final product will be a webpage listing of ten annotated website links saved as a publishable webpage. Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page Figure 2. Six African American Women and their Roles during the Civil War Teacher Page A WebQuest for 8th Grade Social Studies Designed by Jennifer Herring, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Introduction This lesson was developed as part of a project to raise awareness about African American women and the roles they played during the Civil War. This lesson has been designed to supplement social studies lessons about the Civil War, in order to provide additional information to students about less recognized women during this period of American history. Students are able to access the Internet and do research that will be a learning experience for them, as well as develop an annotated list documentation that will be useful to others. Learners This lesson is anchored in eighth grade social studies and involves multicultural education and technology integration. This lesson may be easily extended to other grade levels by increasing the number of annotations students must provide as is suggested for higher grades. Students in the higher grades could be asked to provide annotations for more than one of the African American women, as well as post the annotation listing to the Internet. Prior to beginning this lesson, students must be able to access WebQuest on the computer. Students must be able to follow the links provided and commit to read the assigned text without being influenced to surf the Internet. Students will need to be able to have multiple documents open on the computer and be able to toggle back and forth from the Internet readings and searches to the open annotation list in a Word document. Curriculum Standards As a result of this WebQuest lesson the following social studies standards will be addressed. Social Studies Standards Addressed * Assist learners in developing historical research capabilities that enable them to formulate historical questions, obtain historical data, question historical data, identify the gaps in available records, place records in context, and construct sound historical interpretations. * Enable learners to develop historical understanding through the avenues of social, political, economic, and cultural history and the history of science and technology. * Enable learners to analyze and explain the ways groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns. In addition, several kinds of thinking and communications skills are encouraged by this lesson: critical thinking, observation, categorization, and teamwork. Students will be advised to read and follow through with application of the assigned readings in building the annotated web lists. Students will be advised to use technology skills in opening, typing and saving a Word document. The skills of building an annotated web list will incorporate the ability to analyze a reading and synthesize from what is read. Students learn the skill of building an annotated web list using APA style. Students may work in teams of two, deciding who will be responsible for the tasks for the lesson. Process The lesson can be incorporated as an independent project or assignment, allowing students several sessions on the computer and the Internet over the course of several class periods. As many students may not have consistent and reliable access to technology outside of school, this lesson should be an in-school assignment. As it is designed as a stand-alone WebQuest, students could be assigned to complete the lesson in a computer lab setting, on classroom computers or on a library computer. Before allowing them to access the WebQuest, review the process and requirements of the lesson. To assign students to the six African American women, have students count off from one to six, and assign each one according to their number. Allow students the opportunity to pair up or work individually. Some teacher skills that will be necessary are accessing the Internet; typing, opening and saving a Word file; building an annotated web list; recognizing reputable websites and researching on the Internet using the Google Scholar search engine. Ask students to provide a storage disk or flash drive for saving their files, or provide a folder on the computer or a flash drive to store all student files. Students are to follow the process as shown below. The teacher should practice using the WebQuest as a student so as to be able to trouble shoot and offer assistance if students need help. Step One--Learn how to recognize a high quality website: After you have determined the African American woman you will be researching on the Internet, you must decide which websites offer the most truthful information. What is a reputable website? Following the links below will teach you how to recognize a reputable website. Click on each and read thoroughly about what makes a website a high quality website versus one that is not. --What can the URL tell you? What is the URL? It is the web address of the page that you are reading on the Internet. Looking at the web address can tell you whether or not it is reputable. A reputable web address will have appropriate domain names such as .gov, .mil, .edu, .org. Such domain names indicate that there is a publisher or domain owner representing the reliability of the text. --A high quality website will provide access to the credentials of the author of the website or strong documentation of sources. Step Two--Open a new document to build your annotated website list. Launch MicroSoft Word and open a new or blank document. Type your first and last name, today's date, and your course name on three separate lines each on the left side of the page. Press the enter key twice and using Word Art, insert the title "(Name of African American women)'--Annotated Website List". Press the enter key twice again. Using the bulleted numbering list, you will paste each copied website link on ten separate lines. Copy the website link by highlighting it in the address bar and selecting Edit, Copy. Paste the website link on each line by selecting Edit, Paste. Next to each link, you will type the annotation, using the APA format for annotated bibliographies. See APA format for annotated bibliographies for examples of how to write an annotated bibliography using APA style; use the fifth example [Harvard Project Zero...] for correctly citing each website. Each annotation should be at least seven sentences long, addressing the following questions: 1. What was her life like? 2. What other roles did she have? 3. What were her contributions to the Civil War? 4. For whom is this website intended [audience]? a. What could this website be used for? b. Why is the use of this website important? c. Why is this website a reliable source? To save the file, click on Save As. Save the file as 'Your first and last name-AnnList'. Save the file as a webpage by clicking on the down arrow for Save As Type, selecting 'Web page (*.htm; *.html)'. Click on Save. Leave the file open so that you can go back and forth as you search the Internet and select the ten websites, saving the file each time. When you are done with the file, save it again. Step Three--Search for ten reputable websites about your selected African American woman during the Civil War To further define your search for reputable websites, use Google Scholar. Click on the Internet and in the Internet address box, type in http://scholar.google.com to use the Google Scholar search engine. Once you have the Google Scholar page on your screen, go to the search box and type in your selected African American woman's name. For example, if you are searching for websites on Harriet Tubman, type in 'Harriet Tubman'. One by one click on the links provided from the search. If the website is reputable and provides the following, then add it to the MicroSoft Word file as shown in Step Two. Variations Depending on computer availability and Internet access, this lesson can be designed as a lab assignment, group assignment (no more than two per group), or an independent project.
One social studies, computer or multicultural education teacher can implement this lesson in a single classroom or it can be implemented as a multidisciplinary project, where all three teachers from these areas may collaborate to team-teach. The social studies teacher could offer a lesson on the Civil War; the computer teacher could teach students how to use the Internet and MicroSoft Word; and the multicultural education teacher could offer perspective on African Americans during the Civil War.
In order to implement this lesson, each student will need the following:
* Internet Access--students must be able to click on the links and get to the websites
* A personal computer or Apple computer [individual or team of two]
* MicroSoft Word or a comparable word document software [already loaded on the computer]
* A disk, flash drive or folder space on the computer to save the annotated files.
Below are the specific websites students will be asked to access as they complete the WebQuest. Make sure each link is working and has not been discontinued.
Susan Baker Taylor King--http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/taylor-susan-susie-
Mary Elizabeth Bowser--http://www.gibbsmagazine.com/Eliz.htm
APA format for annotated bibliographies--
Evaluating web pages--
What is a domain name--http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/d/f/domain_name.htm
Exemplary Accomplished Developing 4 3 2 Reputable Ten--Nine Eight--Seven Six--Five Website links are high links are high links are high Links (x 5) quality, up- quality, up-to- quality, up- to-date, date, credible to-date, credible sites. sites. credible sites. Annotated Ten--Nine Eight--Seven Six- Five Website Reputable Reputable Reputable List (x 5) Links Links Provided Links provided Provided Each All seven Six--Five Four--Three Annotation questions questions questions (x 10) answered answered answered grammatically grammatically grammatically and spell- and spell- and spell- checked checked checked Annotation Annotation file saved file saved as N/A N/A (x 5) a webpage (.htm or html) Beginning Score 1 Reputable Four or less Website links are high Links (x 5) quality, up to-date, credible sites. Annotated Four or less Website Reputable List (x 5) Links provided Each Two--One Annotation question (x 10) answered and spell checked Annotation Annotation file saved file saved as (x 5) another file type (.doc).
Even though African American women could not vote or participate in society as others could, suffering from the double indemnity of being African American and women, they were none the less the uncommon foot soldiers in the Civil War. They were on the battlefields spying, attending to the wounded. Many were instrumental in honing their talents as seamstresses, using the money to buy the freedom of other African American slaves or teaching such as in the Civil War's Sea Island Mission as Charlotte Forten did.
Credits & References
The following websites provided the images/information used at the beginning of this WebQuest:
Susan Baker Taylor King--http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/taylor-susan-susie-
Mary Elizabeth Bowser--http://www.gibbsmagazine.com/Eliz.htm
APA format for annotated bibliographies-
Evaluating web pages--
What is a domain name--http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/d/f/domain_name.htm Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page
(1.) Dunn, Peggy. With Hearts on Fire: Women in the Civil War (Illinois: Public Policy High School Initiatives--UIS, 2005.
(2.) APA Format for Annotated Bibliographies (2002). http:// www.lesley.edu/library/guides/citation/APAanno.pdf
(3.) WebQuest.org. http://webquest.org/
Jennifer Herring, Ph.D., holds a doctorate from the University of North Texas and is an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is the Director of Student Teaching and also serves as an instructor for Technology for Teachers and the History and Philosophy of Education courses for pre-service teacher candidates.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: WebQuest: A Tool to Help Students Discover Contributions of African American Women during the Civil War. Contributors: Herring, Jennifer - Author. Magazine title: Black History Bulletin. Volume: 73. Issue: 2 Publication date: Summer-Fall 2010. Page number: 21+. © 2007 Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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