That's a Possibility: UFOs--An Internet WebQuest on UFO's



Introduction

Do UFOs really exist? Have people really been abducted by extraterrestrials? Is there life on other planets?

You and your classmates are presented with the task of organizing a debate about whether UFOs exist or not. But instead of looking for a group of outside experts, you are each going to become an expert. Each of you will develop a different point of view and present it in the debate.

Based upon what each of you learn, you will organize thedebate. What's the truth? That will be for you to discover.

But be careful because when we use the Internet for our research because many people post their personal opinions or only know a little bit of the whole story. In the following WebQuest, you will use the power of teamwork and the abundant resources on the Internet to learn all about UFOs. Each person on your team will learn one piece of the puzzle and then you will come together to get a better understanding of the topic.

Continue on to Instructions.

Instructions

In this WebQuest you will be working together with a group of students in class. Each group will prepare their part of the debate. As a member of the group you will explore WebPages from people all over the world who have an opinion about UFOs.

You'll begin with everyone in your group getting some background before dividing into roles where people on your team become experts on one part of the topic.

Continue on to General Background Information.

General Background Information

Use the Internet information linked below to answer these basic questions about UFOs.

1. Where have they been seen?
2. Have people really been kidnapped?
3. What happened at Roswell?

Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightfully as you can. Then share your answer with the class.

Links:
Unnatural Museum--Hall of UFO Mysteries - http://www.unmuseum.org/ufo.htm
Kidnapped by UFOs? - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/aliens/
Roswell Declassified- http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1281546.html

When you finish the general discussion, continue on to Group Work.

Group Work

1. Divide your class into teams to explore one of the roles below. Your role might not reflect your true point of view, but you will have to imagine you are part of the group that you represent.

2. Read through the files linked to your group. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.

Note: Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you can quickly go back to it if you need to to prove your point.

3. Find facts, images, quotes, etc. that support your point of view. You can use these during the class debate. The Groups are:

Group 1: Believers in UFOs, members of MUFON
Group 2: Scientists who don't believe in UFOs
Group 3: Members of the SETI Project
Group 4: Alien abductees

Visit your group's information for Internet links and focus questions.

Group 1: Believers in UFOs, members of MUFON

Your group believes UFOs exist and you know people who have seen UFOs. Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to to your goup:

1. What is MUFON?
2. What should you do if you see a UFO?
3. Read about some recent sightings from the Reporting Center. What happened in each one? Pretend you were the person who made the sighting. Be prepared to tell your story.

MUFON: The Mutual UFO Network - http://mufon.com/
National UFO Reporting Center - http://www.ufocenter.com/
Center for UFO Studies - http://www.cufos.org/

When you finish your research, continue on the The Debate.

Group 2: Scientists who don't believe in UFOs

Your group consists of scientists who are dedicated to showing UFOs do not exist. Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to your group. Be prepared to defend your position and attack the false ideas of other groups with the truth.

1. How do people make fake UFO pictures?
2. What does Carl Sagan say about UFOs and abductions?
3. What did the Air Force say about Roswell?

The Unmuseum--UFO Hoaxes - http://www.unmuseum.org/ufohoax.htm
Interview with Carl Sagan - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/aliens/carlsagan.html
The Roswell Report: Case Closed - http://www.af.mil/library/roswell/

When you finish your research, continue on the The Debate.

Group 3: Members of the SETI Project

Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to the SETI Project. You believe there is life on other planets, but you don't necessarily believe in UFOs.

1. What is SETI?
2. Check out the FAQ's on the SETI Institute page (they're at the bottom).
3. What is the possibility that there is life on other worlds?
4. What is extraterrestrial migration?

SETI Institute Online - http://www.seti-inst.edu/
An Ear to the Stars - http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=0007E2F3-2454-1D9A-815A809EC5880000&catID=2
The Columbus Optical SETI Observatory - http://www.coseti.org/
An Interview with Brian McConnell -http://www.oreilly.com/news/mcconnell_0401.html

When you finish your research, continue on the The Debate.

Group 4: Alien abductees

Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to your group. You not only believe in UFOs, you also are convinced you have been abducted by aliens and have visited their ships.

1. Read some of the abduction stories and be pretend you have been abducted. Be sure to know exactly what happened to you.
2. What is the Abductee questionnaire?
3. What is PEER?
4. What do the scientists from PEER think about abductions?

Alien Abduction Experience and Research - http://www.abduct.com/
Alien Alley Abduction Artwork - http://www.alienalley.com/
Alien Abductions, How to Prevent - http://www.metatech.org/preventing_alien_abductions.html

When you finish your research, continue on the The Debate.

The Debate

You have all learned about a aspect of UFOs. Now the groups come back to the larger WebQuest team with expertise gained by searching from one perspective. You must all now answer debate the existence of UFOs in the classroom. Each group will bring a certain viewpoint to the answer: some of you will agree and others disagree. Use information, pictures, movies, facts, opinions, etc. from the WebPages you explored to convince your teammates that your viewpoint is correct. Appoint a moderator and timekeeper to help organize your debate. You might want to set up some general rules for everyone to follow as well.

When you have finished, weigh each argument. Which one do you really agree with?

After the debate, continue on to Real World Feedback.

Real World Feedback

You and your teammates have learned a lot by dividing up into different roles. Now's the time to put your learning into a letter you'll send out for real world feedback. Together you will write a letter that contains opinions, information, and perspectives that you've gained. Follow one of the two following processes: Each group can write a letter stating their own ideas:

1. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing your message to this particular person or organization.

2. Give background information that shows you understand the topic.

3. Write a paragraph that gives two good reasons supporting the group's opinion. Make sure to be specific in both the information (like where you got it from on the Web) and the reasoning (why the information proves your group's point).

4. Have each person on the team proofread the message. Use correct letter format and make sure you have correctly addressed the email message. Use the link below to make contact. Send your message and make sure your teacher gets a copy.

Your Contact is: SETI-A Yahoo group. Just join to post - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/seti2/

OR

The class as a whole can collaborate on the letter.

1. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing your message to this particular person or organization.

2. Give background information that shows you understand the topic. Here you can describe your town meeting and the various opinions that were represented.

3. Finish your letter with a paragraph that gives two good reasons supporting the entire group's conclusion. Make sure to be specific in both the information (like where you got it from on the Web) and the reasoning (why the information proves your group's point).

4. Have each person on the team proofread the message. Use correct letter format and make sure you have correctly addressed the email message. Use the link below to make contact. Send your message and make sure your teacher gets a copy.

Your Contact is: SETI-A Yahoo group. Just join to post - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/seti2/


Teacher's Notes

LEVEL: Upper Intermediate to Advanced

A WebQuest presents student groups with a challenging task, scenario, or problem to solve. It should be done in groups and ideally will involve a lot of interaction in the groups and among the different groups.

This WebQuest is based on an interesting topic:UFOs and organized around a class debate, where different interest groups present their opinions and a general discussion might lead to a consensus.

Present the activities in this order:

Introduction: This presents the general scenario. Go over it with the students.

Instructions: This page explains what the students will be doing and why.

General Background: In order to carry out the group tasks easily, all students begin by learning some common background knowledge. The website they visit will give them this knowledge. Discuss the answers to the questions with the whole class.

Group Work Instructions: This page will help you divide the students into groups so they can investigate the aspect they will be presenting in the class debate. There are four groups: Believers in UFOs, Scientists who don't believe in UFOs, Members of SETI, and Alien Abductees. Each group has their own webpage which supplies links they can use to find information.

Debate: In the debate, each group should present their ideas, supporting them with facts (they can use power point, video, charts, etc. to present the facts). They must try to convince the other students their ideas are the correct ones. It is a good idea to set up some debate rules and perhaps put one student in charge keeping time and calling on speakers. After each presentation is made, a general discussion should follow. Students can then change sides, agree with other groups, or continue supporting their ideas.

Real Life Feedback: In this section, students must synthesize their learning by completing a summarizing act, in this case, writing a letter and sending it to a real world expert on the topic. They can either do this in their original groups or, if the town meeting came to a consensus, write one letter from the whole group. Specific instructions are on the students' page.

       
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