Teacher-Page for Human Migration Web Quest

Human Migration Web Quest Teacher PageEngaged Learning w/ WebQuests

Background of Web Quest

This lesson plan is developed for seventh-grade English language learners (ELLs) at Canton Middle School in Streamwood, IL (Illinois School District U-46). All students receiving this lesson are ELLs at English language proficiency (ELP) level three (developing) or level four (expanding) as established by the state of Illinois and by the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium (2008b), of which Illinois is a member. Students are in a bilingual sheltered instructional content class for social studies. The Geography content curriculum for the lesson comes from the Illinois School District U-46 curriculum pacing guide for seventh-grade social studies (Illinois School District U-46 [U-46], 2008).

Goals and Curriculum Fit

Illinois State Learning Standards

English Language Arts-Research-Middle School

5.A.3a Identify appropriate resources to solve problems or answer questions through research.
5.A.3b Design a project related to contemporary issues (e.g., real-world math, career development, community service) using multiple sources.
5.B.3a Choose and analyze information sources for individual, academic and functional purposes.
5.B.3b Identify, evaluate and cite primary sources.5.C.3a Plan, compose, edit and revise documents that synthesize new meaning gleaned from multiple sources.
5.C.3b Prepare and orally present original work (e.g., poems, monologues, reports, plays, stories) supported by research.
5.C.3c Take notes, conduct interviews, organize and report information in oral, visual and electronic formats (Illinois State Board of Education [ISBE], 2008a).

English Language Proficiency Standards

Level three--developing

Locate, select, order information from oral descriptions (listening).
Follow multi-step oral directions (listening).
Categorize or sequence oral information using pictures, objects (listening).
Formulate hypotheses, make predictions (speaking).
Describe processes, procedures (speaking).
Retell stories or events (speaking).
Sequence pictures, events, processes (reading).
Identify main ideas (reading).
Use context clues to determine meaning of words (reading).
Produce bare-bones expository or narrative texts (writing).
Compare/ contrast information (writing).
Describe events, people, processes, procedures (writing).

Level four—expanding

Compare and contrast functions, relationships from oral information (listening).
Analyze and apply oral information (listening).
Identify cause and effect from oral discourse (listening).
Discuss stories, issues, and concepts (speaking).
Give speeches, oral reports (speaking).
Offer creative solutions to issues, problems (speaking).
Interpret information or data (reading).
Find details that support main ideas (reading).
Summarize information from graphics or notes (writing).
Edit and revise writing (writing).
Create original ideas or detailed responses (writing)
(World-class Instructional Designand Assessment [WIDA] Consortium, 2008a, p. RG-58).

Social Science-Geography-Middle School

17.C.3a Explain how human activity is affected by geographic factors.
17.C.3b Explain how patterns of resources are used throughout the world.
17.C.3c Analyze how human processes influence settlement patterns including migration and population growth.17.D.3a Explain how and why spatial patterns of settlement change over time.
17.D.3b Explain how interactions of geo-graphic factors have shaped present conditions (ISBE, 2008b).

Social-Emotional Learning – Middle School

1C.3a. Set a short-term goal and make a plan for achieving it.
1C.3b. Analyze why one achieved or did not achieve a goal.2C.3a. Analyze ways to establish positive relationships with others.
2C.3b. Demonstrate cooperation and teamwork to promote group effectiveness3C.3a. Evaluate one’s participation in efforts to address an identified school need (ISBE, 2008c).

School District U-46 Curriculum Roadmap for Seventh Grade Social Studies

This Web Quest project fits under the Unit One—Geography and is for the first 30 days of school. (Go to http://social-science-drm.wikispaces.com/7th-SocStud-U-46 for details.)

Project Level--Bloom's Taxonomy

This project addresses multiple levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and clusters most activity at the Apply, Analyze, Synthesize, and Evaluate levels. Students are learning new concepts and connecting them to their families’ life experiences. They are asked to make the connections explicit and to create integrated presentations of their families’ stories using primary source documents. They will tie their families’ experiences to the global experience of migration and will communicate their concepts verbally and in writing—in both their native language and English (as appropriate).

Essential Questions

What makes people move from one place to another?

This question is explored from the point of view of their own families’ experiences and from the perspective of the global human migrations documented in the National Geographic Genome Project. Students interview family members about their motivation and background for their migration from one country or city to another. National Geographic reports causes of global human migration from an historical perspective supported by DNA research.

Rationale for assessment

Rubrics will be used for the assessment. Rubrics include assessment of individual work, collaborative work, response to peer review, and response to formative feedback from teacher. The overall assessment will be based on a combination of all of the above.

Student conceptual readiness

Students will engage in a vocabulary building exercise to develop working definitions of the words needed for the Web Quest. The purpose of this web quest is to have the students explore the concepts related to human migration patterns and to connect them to their family’s experience.

Student technical skill level and Internet literacy

Mini-lessons will be provided for any students who are challenged by the technical skills required.

Adapting and Transforming Levels of Use of Technology

Students will engage with the technology and collaborate together using Wikispaces. They will be actively constructing knowledge and meaning and will be sharing this knowledge in the form of a recorded family migration story and a Wikispaces web page connecting their story to the overall concepts of human migration.


This web quest is an anchor activity for a unit which requires 30 class periods to complete. The actual time for this activity is approximately six class periods, not in sequence.


Materials will be added later.


Students will be grouped by the languages they speak at home (L1). Students with the same L1 can capture their families’ stories and share them in their groups. Recordings can be in both their L1 and English (L2).

Background information

Joel Montgomery, Canton Middle School, Illinois School District U-46

Last updated August 8, 2008
Copyright © Joel R. Montgomery 2008-
WebQuest Templates used with permission.


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