Narre Warren North Primary School: Groups in Society

The school and its community

Narre Warren North Primary School is one of Victoria's Discovering Democracy Grant Schools. Teacher Christine Trimnell used the opportunity provided by the grant to develop a Webquest for years 3–6, 'Groups in Society', on the role of community volunteers. In order to house the material, she also built the shell of a school website. So successful was she in developing her first Webquest that she was the Victorian winner in the National Learning Quest Challenge sponsored by EdNA. The Webquest may be found at: http://www.narrewarrennorthps.vic.edu.au/

'Groups in Society' used the approach of the 'Good Citizens' investigation from Discovering Democracy through Research. Other Discovering Democracy resources used in the Webquest are:

  • Discovering Democracy Middle Primary Units, Joining In, pp 99–113
  • Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Middle Primary Collection, Good Neighbours, pp 37–44 and the Teacher Guide pp 15–17.
  • Aims of the Webquest

The aims of the Webquest are for students to:

  • establish criteria to define a 'good' citizen
  • identify who is a 'good' citizen
  • research the work of some individual volunteers
  • identify rights and responsibilities of different age groups
  • identify groups within the community
  • research how different groups work
  • compare groups and decide which group students would like to contribute to in the future
  • identify the types of people who contribute to voluntary groups
  • evaluate their own performance as a 'good citizen'.

Learning outcomes addressed

(Victorian Curriculum and Standards Framework)

CSF: SOSE Level 3

3.2 Examine the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups within the Australian community
3.4 Compare different types of work and enterprise in the local community

CSF: SOSE Level 4 – Economy and Society

4.3 Analyse factors that make work at home, school and in the community satisfying, safe and effective

Program outline

The Webquest contains a teacher guide, which not only makes links to learning outcomes and the aims listed above but also contains complete lesson outlines.

The lessons include strategies for engaging students in individual and group research, interviews and surveys, and pre- and post-testing of understanding of what 'good citizenship' entails.

The teacher guide also provides information on skills required by students in Internet usage, using newspapers, developing digital presentations, steps to effective research and information on developing Webquests and assessment rubrics.

Student tasks

Using the range of websites on community volunteers students are asked to:

  • Discover the who, what, where, when, where, how and why of volunteering.
  • Investigate the life of a volunteer.
  • Write a newspaper profile of a volunteer.
  • Develop an electronic presentation about volunteer work.

Volunteer and organisational profiles

The Webquest provides links to a range of community organisations and stories of individual volunteers.

Community and welfare services

  • Red Cross
  • RSPCA
  • Salvation Army

Health and emergency services

  • Volunteer Ambulance Officers – Tasmania
  • CanTeen
  • Guide Dogs Association
  • St John's Ambulance
  • State Emergency Service
  • Country Fire Authority

Environment

  • Clean Up Australia
  • Landcare
  • Keep Australia Beautiful
  • Greenpeace

Sports, recreation and service groups

  • Guides Australia
  • Scouts Australia
  • Little Athletics Association
  • Lions Clubs
  • Apex Clubs of Australia
  • Surf Life Saving Australia

Overseas aid

  • Australian Volunteers Overseas
  • World Vision Australia
  • Australian Youth Ambassadors

Use by other teachers

The Narre Warren Webquest may be used by other teachers as is. In addition it provides information on:

  • resources for developing a Webquest
  • resources for developing a student project on community volunteers
  • a list of online resources on volunteers in the community
  • ideas for developing online inquiry-based projects for students
  • assessment rubrics for Webquest inquiries.