An ESL WebQuest


EDU134 - Teaching ESL to Adults: A course leading to Colorado’s ABEA Certification
Red Rocks Community College, Spring 2016 (Leecy Wise, Instructor)

Getting to Know Colorado's National Parks

CO National Park

Designed by Sarah Folzenlogen
Spring 2016
for High Intermediate to Advanced ESL


Our beautiful state of Colorado is home to many national parks, monuments and historical sites. When we visit these places, we can learn more about our history and the plants and animals that live here. Visiting parks can be a fun and inexpensive vacation for families, and helps keep these beautiful places open for future generations.

During this Web Quest, you will learn about the history of national parks in the United States. You will find out information about four different parks in Colorado. You will also plan a trip for your family to one of our parks.


In this project, you will complete the following tasks:

  1. You will identify important dates in the history of our national parks system.
  2. You will study four different national parks or monuments in Colorado.
  3. You will explore the website of each park to find information about the cost (entrance fee), hours of operation, and special events that are happening.
  4. You will also find the name of two wildlife species (plant or animal) that can be found in the park.
  5. You will create vocabulary flashcards with photos of the plants and animals found in the parks.
  6. You will plan a three day trip for your family to one of the parks.


Step 1: Go to the following websites: 

Read about how our national parks were created. Fill in the timeline to describe what happened during each of these dates in national park history. In MS Word or similar application create and turn the completed chart into the instructor by the next class.


Event in National Parks History

March 1, 1872


January 11, 1908


August 25, 1916


April  1933




October 2, 1968




Step 2: Visit and find the list of national parks and monuments in Colorado. Choose four different parks or monuments that you would like to find out more about. 

Step 3: Click on each park's webpage. Under the "Plan Your Visit" tab. Create the table below in MS Word or a similar applications. Find out the information and complete the first four columns in the chart.

  • Name of Park
  • Hours of Operation
  • Entrance Fees
  • Upcoming Events (list only one)

Name of Park

Hours of Operation

Entrance Fees

Upcoming Events (list one)

Two wildlife species (plants or animals)

























Step 4: On each webpage, click under the "Learn About Your Park" tab and then "Nature." Find the names of two wildlife species (plant or animal) that you could encounter in the park. Complete this information in the last column of the chart. Turn in your completed chart to your instructor by the next class.

Step 5: Using Google images, find a photo of each of the wildlife species. Ask your instructor how to select open-source or Public Domain images so that you don't break copyright laws.

Step 6: Print out or, if you are an artist, draw the photos and attach them to index cards. Put the photo of the wildlife on one side and the name of the wildlife species on the other. There should be eight cards in total. Be sure to use proper spelling.

Step 7: With a partner, share your flashcards and teach each other about the names of plants and animals that you learned about. At the end of class, turn in your flashcards to your instructor.


This Web Quest was created with information provided by the National Parks Service and PBS. All of the websites and resources you need are included in each step of the Web Quest. You may also find this website useful, as you complete your final assignment: 


After learning about some of the different parks in Colorado, you are ready to plan a three day trip for your family! This will be your final homework assignment once you have completed the rest of the Web Quest.

You can submit the assignment in paragraph form or as an outline, but it must answer the following questions. Write your sentences carefully to include correct spelling and punctuation.

  • What park will you visit and why?
  • When do you plan to go, how will you get there, and where will you stay?
  • What activities will you do when you get there?
  • What do you need to budget for food, travels fees, camping fees and entrance fees?

After all the assignments have been completed, each person will share their trip plans with the class to practice our speaking and presentation skills.


Name of Activity

0 points
Not completed

10 point
Meets some criteria

20 points
Meets most criteria

30 points
Meets all criteria


National Parks Timeline

Not turned in

Turned in but missing some information and/or having more than 2 incorrect answers

Turned in with all information completed, but with 1-2 incorrect answers

Turned in with all information completed correctly


Colorado Parks Chart

Not turned in

Turned in but missing 3 or more pieces of information

Turned in but missing 1-2 pieces of information

Turned in with all information completed correctly


Vocabulary Flashcards


Not turned in

Turned in less than 6 vocabulary cards

Turned in 6-7 vocabulary cards

Turned in with all 8 vocabulary cards completed correctly


Planning Your Trip

Not turned in

Turned in but missing the answers to more than 2 questions and/or includes more than 5 errors in spelling and punctuation

Turned in but missing the answers to 1-2 questions and/or includes  4-5 errors in spelling and punctuation.

Turned in answering all questions with only 1-3 errors in spelling or punctuation



  • This Web Quest allows students to engage in various reading, writing and speaking activities. It helps students practice their reading comprehension, as well as their digital literacy skills, as they must navigate various website to find, research, and apply new information. Lesson objectives are student-centered and tied to a real-world context (i.e. planning a fun and affordable outing with our families).
  • To activate prior knowledge, a class discussion could occur prior to having students begin the Web Quest. The discussion would focus on how students enjoy spending their free time with their families. Do students enjoy being outside or going to the park with their families? Why or why not? Do students know that Colorado has many national parks and historic sites? Have they heard of any of the following places: Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, etc.?
  • To engage in some pre-reading activities, the instructor could show the students photographs of some of Colorado's national parks and monuments, and create a list of vocabulary words before students work independently.
  • For most of this Web Quest, students work independently and at their own pace, to accommodate a variety of learning levels. If the instructor wants to encourage more collaborative learning, the students could be paired by ability level and asked to complete the Web Quest together.
  • Additionally, the final assignment (Planning a Trip) could be turned into a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) scenario where the class must work together to create a budget and itinerary for a three-day family trip to one of the parks.


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