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When you find information on the Internet, how do you know it is true? This WebQuest will give you the skills to answer that question. Consider the following scenario...

Introduction - A tree octopus!

Your Biology teacher has assigned a research paper on a marine animal of your choice. Naturally you choose your favorite -- octopuses! After searching the Internet a while, you come across a fascinating cephalopod, the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (Octopus paxarbolis.)

Wait, don't octopuses live in the ocean, not trees? The web site is well designed and seems full of valid scientific information. Still..

Task - How do you decide if a web site can be trusted?
For a modest amount of money, anyone can put a nice looking web page on the Internet using a computer, an Internet provider and a web authoring program. There are groups that publish legitimate information, and there are those that produce elaborate lies. It's often hard to tell them apart, but this WebQuest will tell you exactly how to do that. Then you can decide if there is such a thing as a tree octopus!

Process - To answer this question do the following:

  1. Work through Four Ways to Investigate a Web Page. When you finish, click on the Process link to bring you back to this section.

  2. Evaluate the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus page
    using the Web Page Evaluation form. This form will be graded according to the points (out of a total of 100) assigned on that form.

Conclusion - What have you learned?

By studying how to investigate a web page, you now know if there is such a creature as a tree octopus. Shhh... don't tell your neighbor. Let them go through this WebQuest and find their own answer.


These pages were developed through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) and made possible by support from the National Science Foundation and Rice University.

Copyright © 2006 by Barbara Christopher
Updated: Thursday, August 31, 2006 7:26 PM