Ways to Reach the Top
The Song of the Harpy Eagle is designed so teachers have some flexibility when taking their students on the adventure. The following approaches suggest different ways to get to the top.
Boost and Let Go
Teachers who have little classtime to spend on the adventure may wish to give their students a boost and then let them complete the journey on their own. Read over the Orientation Page before class so that you can quickly explain how the site is organized to your students. In class, read Mr. F's Dream but skip the other introductory pages, explaining to students what they contain so students may refer to them on their own later. Then go directly to the beginning of the adventure. Click through the first few pages with your students until you come to The Song of the Armadillo. Explain the Interactive Activities to the students and then tell them 'Your on your own in the rain forest,' challenging them to reach the top of the kapok tree and learn 'The Secret of the Forest Protector.' The rest of the adventure follows the same pattern as the first few pages you clicked through. Let your students complete the journey independently in class or at home. Leave students to decide which Interactive Activities they will complete - or assign specific ones.
Straight to the Top
For a quick trip, you may bypass the Introductory and Activity Pages, visiting only the Adventure Pages which contain the poetry, photos and songs. If your computer downloads at a reasonable rate, you can complete the adventure (including listening to all eleven songs) in a total of 45 minutes. You could divide the journey into segments of time you feel would best work with your class.
One a Day
During your rain forest unit, a fun way to use The Song of the Harpy Eagle is to progress through the adventure as a class as you progress through your unit. The site can conveniently be divided into twelve parts - the Introductory Pages acting as Part One and each encounter with an animal acting as another part (there are eleven animals). Plan a forty minute lesson for each part. You will need one notebook which will serve as the class's Travel Log. For each lesson, you may assign a 'secretary' to record entries in the class Travel Log as prescribed by the Activity Pages you choose to visit. We recommend that, before taking your students on the adventure, you visit the Activity Pages and decide which ones you will use in class based on your curricular objectives and time constraints.
On Day One, visit and read the page that introduces Mr. Figinblossom, the adventures fictitious tour guide (a fifth grade teacher). Have your class take Mr. F's Survey and read Mr. F's Dream. Click forward to the pages that introduce Mr. Figinblossom's students, fictitious characters that will be going on the journey with your students. Read one or two of these, then click through the rest telling your students they can read them on their own time if they wish. Finally, visit and read the Orientation Page so your students understand how the site is organized and explain to students that you will begin the journey the next day.
On the next day, remind students of their 'quest' and go directly to the first Adventure Page. Click through, reading and listening to the poetry that begins the adventure, until you have heard The Song of the Armadillo. Visit the Activity Pages you have selected beforehand and have your students complete the activities as a class with your guidance.
Follow the same pattern on the remaining days until your class has completed the adventure.
Note: Some of the activities will take just a few minutes of class time, while other will require larger blocks of time. Some of the math puzzlers, for example, are much more complex than others. The Scientific Wonders activities require that students do some research. Plan accordingly or skip specific activities where necessary. In some cases, you may be able to use the activities as the basis for separate lessons.
A variation on One a Day (above) is to have students keep their own Travel Logs. You might lead them through the Adventure Pages (15 min./ day) and have them complete pre-chosen Activity Pages on their own time. Or, allow students to complete the adventure and designated activities as extra credit.
Another variation (see One a Day above) is to divide the class into teams, challenging each group to use teamwork to complete the activities you have pre-chosen and to fulfill the journey's 'quest.' In this case, each team keeps one Travel Log.