The Little Things

A WebQuest for 8th Grade (Science, Music, and Physical Education)

Designed by

Chris Barry, Jeremy Drake, Juanita Philyaw, and Kris Weatherman,,,

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Have you ever thought about all the different things that go into a simple activity, like dancing? So many little things go on. The music has individual notes and beats and different instruments that combine to make a groove; your muscles make your arms and legs move while your heart and lungs make sure your body can keep up with the pace; you and your partner share similar thoughts and movements to create an interactive dance. There are many little things that go into our lives to make larger products or wholes. In this WebQuest, you and your group will look at several different ways that parts combine to make wholes - in science, music, and sports. At the end of the Webquest your group will come up with a creative project that will show one answer to our main question: How and why do parts combine to make wholes?

The Task

You will be investigating how parts make a whole in many ways. You will find out how different types of rocks are made of different things and how that relates to the Earth's history. You will also see how notes combine to make melodies in music - and what happens to a familiar tune if those notes are changed! Your group will also look at how individual members of sports teams contribute to the teams' success by attempting to solve challenges as individuals in a group. For the final project of this WebQuest, using all that you've learned about parts making wholes, your group will come up with a unique and creative way to show the class another example of parts making wholes. (This project can be practically anything - a PowerPoint presentation, a skit, a musical presentation, a work of art - you name it!)

The Process

You will be randomly assigned into groups of four, each with an equal part to play in the WebQuest. Your group will work together on four separate challenges:

Challenge One - Science
Challenge Two - Music
Challenge Three - Sports
Challenge Four - The Final Project
Each challenge page will contain instructions on what is to be done, how it is to be presented, and the individual processes.


Your group will be evaluated on the correct completion of the assignments, your interaction and cooperation as a group, and your final project.
Parts are unassembled

0-5 pts.

Sputtering, parts flying off . . .

6-10 pts.

A few loose parts - but still running!

11-15 pts.

You're a whole!

16-20 pts.

Group Interaction


Lack of respect and idea-sharing among group members; work is not done.
One or two members of the group do most of the work; ideas are not shared.
Group members cooperate somewhat, work is done by most but not all members.
Group members cooperate, share ideas respectfully, and play an equal part in completion of the assignments.
Science Activity and Table


Table inaccurate, giving the wrong definitions for the rock, and characteristics are either not there or incorrect. 
Table unorganized, definitions partially correct.  No extra reseach present in explanation of characteristics, and no examples present.
Definitions correct, but not as detailed. Table accurate giving good examples of the rocks and giving some examples and explanation of the characteristics.
Definitions correct with thorough explaination and research. Table neat and correct giving accurate examples and detailed explanations of the characteristics of each rock.
Music Worksheet


"Mary" incorrect; melody incomplete; unable to perform either.
"Mary" partially correct; incomplete or repetitive melody; performance of both.
"Mary" mostly correct; cohesive original melody; performance of both.
"Mary" correctly put together; well-thought-out and creative original melody; performance of both.
Sports/Teamwork Activities


#1 - The groups cannot completely get inside of the hoop. 
#2 - The group cannot fold the tarp enough and fall off of the tarp.
#1 - The groups can get inside the hoop but very slowly, often falling out of the hoop. 
#2 - The group members can fold the tarp but do not work together and slightly step on the floor. 
#1 - The groups can stay inside the hoop but cannot compete against their opponent because they are too slow. 
#2 - The group members can fold the tarp but it takes a lot of time and they do not work together.
#1 - The two groups can compete while staying within the rules set by the teacher. 
#2 - The group can successfully fold the tarp and stay on it without falling off within the time limit and by using teamwork. 
Final Project
Group does not cooperate in project; part-whole relationship is not shown.
Project does not involves all group members, repeats a part-whole relationship from one of the challenges.
Creative project that involves all members, repeats a part-whole relationship from one of the challenges.
Creative project that involves all group members, shows a new way parts make a whole, and brings together what you have learned about parts and wholes.


In so many ways, parts and smaller things combine to make wholes or larger things. You've seen just three or four of the millions of ways this happens. As you continue with school now, we hope you can begin to see the little things, the elements, that make larger things - activities, thoughts, processes - possible.

Credits & References

The "Foxtrot" image is courtesy of www.arthurmurraysanjose/_borders/Foxtrot.jpg.
The rock cycle diagram in Challenge 1 is courtesy of
The image of Peter Schickele (a.k.a. PDQ Bach) on the Challenge 2 page is courtesy of 3/humor/schickele.jpg.
Elaine Ernst Schneider's and Joanne Mikola's music notation review page ( is copyrighted (2001) by Ms. Schneider.
Michael Furstner's music notation review page ( is copyrighted (2000) by Mr. Furstner.
The "Michael Jordan" quote and picture on the Challenge 3 page are courtesy of
The website is copyrighted (1996-2001) by PE Central.
The website is copyrighted (1998-2001) by Sundance Experiential.
The image of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" on the Challenge 4 page is courtesy of bilder/store/s00939.jpeg

Last updated on November 5, 2001. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page