Sailing Through Space: A Study Skills Webquest
If you are a Middle School student aiming for higher grades and looking for an online adventure, then you have come to the right webquest. Study skills are important in your everyday learning in school and at home will be tackled here as you embark on a special mission in outer space. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Blast off!!!
It is the year 3000. You have been chosen by the leaders of the Earth to save your home planet, which has been dying because of the wrong doings of many people. Your mission is to conquer five planets in a nearby galaxy in order to bring back the five special diamonds that will restore the Earth and save your people. Are you up for the challenge? Then put on your spacesuit and your thinking cap, and be prepared to journey through different worlds.
Planets: Summarize Through a Reviewer
You have been sent to Planet S. An alien is waiting for you, holding out a greenish gem. “This is the first special diamond,” he says. He went on to explain the tasks you need to complete first before he can give you the diamond.
Task #1: Read an article about summarizing. This is one important study skill that will help you understand lessons easily and quickly. Make sure to read the example too. Then answer the exercise on writing a summary. If you get a passing score from your teacher, you can move on to the next task. If not, you have to do it again.
Task #2: When summarizing something that you have read, one good way to do this is to use an outline so that you only take note of the important points and details. Read an article that gives you tips on writing an outline. Then read a simple outline and try out the exercise here.
Task #3: Whenever you are studying something, it is good to summarize the lesson by making a reviewer in outline form. This means that you identify the important points and details that you have to remember and put them in a reviewer. Creating your own reviewer helps you remember the lesson better. Now give it a try by choosing one article to read from Student Society for Science. Read it carefully and make an outline by writing two or three major ideas or headings and then picking out the details to be placed under each idea/heading. If your outline is good enough, then you have passed this stage!
“Well done!” the alien exclaimed. “You have proven your worth. You can have this diamond.”
Planet T: Take Notes As You Read and Listen
With a big smile on your face and the first diamond in your pocket, you head on to the next planet--- Planet T. As you land on the weird-looking planet, you are greeted by scary-looking aliens. Their leader steps forward and says, “You! Earthling! Why have you come?” You explain about your mission. He then puts one finger on your head and instantly, you mind is filled with the tasks you need to accomplish.
Task #1: Learn important tips in taking down notes as you read something or as you listen to your teacher in school.
Task #2: It is time to practice note-taking! Look at a sample text with the three different parts of note-taking: paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting an important line or passage. After reviewing the sample, go on to answer the other exercises. You may choose to print them or write your answers on another piece of paper. When you are done with these exercises, read an article about the processing of coffee and take down notes about it. Remember that you do not have to write down everything you read or everything your teacher says! Through lots of practice, you will be able to master how to distinguish the important things from those you can do without.
Upon reviewing your work, the aliens of Planet T decide to hand over the blue gem as your reward. "Congratulations, earthling!" their leader says as you board on your spaceship.
Planet U: Understand Tables, Charts, and Graphs
On Planet U, a big sandstorm welcomed you! You hide for a long time inside your spaceship to protect yourself. You thought it would never end, but finally it did--- after what seemed like one whole day! When the sandstorm settled, a tiny animal that you did not recognize was waiting for you. “I have been waiting,” it whispered. “I want to give you one of our great treasures--- the purple diamond!” You step forward in excitement, thinking you did not have to do more tasks. “But wait!” it said. “You must do something for me first.” Oops! You were wrong…
Task #1: Another important study skill that you must learn is to understand tables, charts, and graphs when you come across such. For instance, if you were reading something in your textbook and you see suddenly a graph that goes with a paragraph, do not ignore it. Do not just glimpse at it. You should take time to study it because it might give you additional information that you will need or that may even be more important than the paragraph itself. Look at a pie graph that shows the reasons kids listen to classic rock. Then answer the questions below:
- Which reason did most kids choose?
- What are the three other reasons kids listen to classic rock?
- Why do you think your answer in number 1 is the top reason?
Task #2: Study two graphs that show data about the Philippines and about Canada. Compare the information from the two graphs by writing about it in at least five sentences.
Task #3: There are many different kinds of tables, charts, and graphs. One common kind is the pictograph, which makes use of pictures or illustrations. Study a worksheet with a pictograph and answer the exercise included. Another kind that is used often is the line graph. View a worksheet about it and answer the exercise included. Please do not peek at the answer keys, or else you will not learn at all.
Becoming familiar with different tables, charts, and graphs will allow you to be able to understand them better. In this way, when you encounter such in a textbook or when your teacher presents one, it will be easy to comprehend and thus will be helpful in your studies. And now that you have finished all the tasks in this planet, the little animal shall give you their treasured diamond.
Your mission continues...
Planet D: Develop Graphic Organizers
Planet D was a beautiful paradise! You wanted to live there, but of course that was impossible. You were made for Planet Earth and you have come here to save your own planet from total destruction. You walk and walk and walk, with no idea where to find their precious silver gem! All of a sudden, a cloud is floating above you. A deep, loud voice boomed from the cloud. “If you are searching for the silver gem, you have come to the right place.” You dropped to your knees in fright! “Yes,” you whispered. The voice said, “Do not be afraid. If you complete the tasks I will ask of you, then you can have the silver gem.”
Task #1: When studying, you can organize the important things you need to learn by using a graphic organizer. There are many different organizers for different purposes. View an example of a concept web showing tips on improving your memory. These tips will also help you remember details when you need to study for a test! Afterwards, study an example of a more complicated concept web showing the benefits of using humor to reduce or lessen stress. Is it easier to study about these topics when you have a graphic organizer to guide you? When you need to compare and contrast two things, the Venn diagram is the best graphic organizer to use. View a sample Venn diagram to learn the similarities and differences of fluent reading and not fluent reading. Also view a sample story map which can assist you not only in understanding a story that you read but also in planning your own story.
Task #2: Become familiar with different graphic organizers! Check out each kind and practice using some of them in studying the different lessons in your textbooks or handouts. To apply your learning, read a news article about the Earth and use two kinds of graphic organizers to sort out the information given.
Your eyes widen in joy as a silver gem drops from the cloud. You pick it up and put it inside your pocket. Now you are off to the last planet!
Planet Y: Yearn for Good Grades
Finally, you have come to the last planet. You touch the four special gems in your pocket--- the diamonds that when put together, shall restore the beauty of the Earth! Planet Y was very dark. You slowly move forward and call out to no one in particular. To your shock, a bright light appeared in front of you, blinding your eyes! “Beware!” the light cried out. “Are you sure you want to go on?” Even though your heart was pounding in fear, you managed to answer, “Yes, I am sure.” The light suddenly flashed on and off and seemed to swirl around and around you! You feel yourself plunging into a deep hole... going further and further down until you were in a deep slumber. In your dream, an alien approaches you and tells you the things you have to do.
Task #1: Now that you have acquired important study skills, you have to go back to why you need them. You have to want good grades, so that you will work hard to achieve this goal. In this way, you can motivate yourself to keep on practicing the study skills you have developed until you master them. Read an article about getting good grades.
Task #2: Draw yourself getting the grades that you want in all the subjects. Then write a description of how you attained these grades and how this achievement made you feel.
You wake up and find yourself lying down inside your spaceship. "What happened?" you wondered out loud. You stand up instantly and look out the window. You vaguely remember landing on Planet Y, seeing a bright light, and dreaming of completing some tasks. You shake your head, puzzled. Then suddenly, you feel a heavy weight in your pocket. You reach inside and bring out a golden diamond--- to your utmost surprise! Excitedly, you get the other gems and press them all together. And right in front of your eyes, they fuse together and transform into a tiny ball that looks exactly like the Planet Earth!