Save the Salmon!

A WebQuest for 5th Grade Students (Science)

Designed by:
Gemma Huntbach and
Nina Minhas


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


"Where's the salmon?," cried the fisherman.  "My family is hungry and there is very little fish in the ocean to feed them.  This is the first salmon I've caught in weeks!  Why is there so few salmon left?" 

There are fewer and fewer salmon in the ocean.  You have just been hired by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans to help save the depleting salmon stocks.  Your specific job is to find causes contributing to the decline in salmon stocks and to help come up with a plan to help save the salmon.

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The Task

You will work in partners to come up with a solution for one of the contributing factors that you researched leading to the depleting salmon stocks.

Your solution can be presented in the form of a poster, a skit, an informational pamphlet, a Powerpoint presentation or a video. These, when completed, will be presented to the rest of the class.

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The Process

Step 1:  You are to first go to the following websites to refresh your memory on basic salmon facts and the lifecycle of the salmon:

Salmon Lifecycle

Basic Facts About Salmon Species

Step 2 In partners, use the Inspiration software to create a concept map of factors that you think are causing certain salmon species to become endangered.  This concept map will be marked by the teacher so do a good job and remember to hand it in!

If you have Inspiration software click here and complete the concept map.

If you do not have Inspiration software, you may simply print the following sample and add your information to it or create your own concept map on a separate piece of paper.  Click to see an  example

Step 3: Once you have completed step 2, it is you and your partner's job to research various sources of information and to collect actual factors contributing to the decline of salmon.   Remember to print out the worksheet, organize your data on it, and hand it in!

 You may use the following links to help collect more specific and detailed information.


Hatcheries:  Friend or Foe?

Northwest Salmon:  Causes of Salmon Decline

Salmon Role in the Pacific Northwest

Problems for Wild Salmon

Canada Bear Killings Raise Environmental Alarm

You may also want to visit your school library or local library, the local Marine Biological Station, or an office of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans for more information.

Step 4:  Now that you have collected and organized your information, it is your job as an employee of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to develop a solution to solve the Salmon Crisis.   Choose one issue contributing to the salmon decline and design some solutions to help solve that particular problem.

Step 5:  You've now come up with some possible solutions to the salmon crisis.  You are to now organize your information and create a presentation for the class. (Remember you will be marked as a group for this assignment so it is important for both of you to contribute).  Please see the task section of this webquest for some presentation ideas. You will have approximately 10-15 min per group.  Your presentation should be well organized and informative.  Also remember to include in your presentation how you got your information.

 * For information on how you will be marked, please see the evaluation section of this webquest. 

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For this project you will be evaluated according to the following rubric.  Your teacher will make judgments based on observations of your groupwork, your concept map, your worksheet and your presentation.  There are five categories with a possible of four marks each.  This will give each project a total mark out of twenty.  For this project both partners will be marked together, so it is important for each person to contribute.  If you are having serious problems with this please ask your teacher for help.












Your presentation does not show much originality.  You included all the requirements but nothing which really makes it stand out. You've started using some original ideas that draw attention to your presentation.  These may be pictures or extra facts. Your presentation does show some creativity and you have created something original and effective. Your presentation is one of a kind!  Your group has come up with an original idea and you've  gone beyond what was required to  create something that you can be proud of.  




You've included most of the basic required information but are lacking in detail.  There are grammatical or spelling errors and/or writing problems. You've included all of the required information with some detail.  There may be some grammatical errors or writing problems. You've included all of the required information with lots of detail.  You've written your information in a clear and easy to read format. Your information is complete and well written.  You've also included extra information which you found relevant to your presentation.   
Your presentation includes everything required but is rather plain in appearance.  You have started to use colour and illustrations to make your presentation more attractive.  However, you could still benefit from more organization. Your presentation includes helpful illustrations and colour, and is well organized.  It is easy to read and interesting to look at. Your project is  an attention grabber!  You've used colour and illustrations well, making it interesting for your audience. Good balance between appearance and information.  




Your presentation was poorly organized and you did not appear to understand the information you had included in your project. You appeared to have an understanding of the information in your presentation but you still need more organization. Your presenters were well informed and your presentation well organized. Your presentation was creative and interesting.  You were well informed and well organized.   



Your group failed to work well together.  Either it appeared that one person did most of the work or that one person didn't do any of the work. Your group showed the beginnings of strong cooperative work.  Each of you contributed but  one of you still put in more work than the other. Your group worked well together.  Each of you contributed and the project seems balanced.  Next time try to really work off each other's strengths. It obvious that your group worked well together.  Your finished project uses the talents of both of you in the group without making any one person the star.  

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Congratulations!  You have completed this webquest and your duty as an employee of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Hopefully, this webquest has helped you learn more about the importance of saving the salmon and of different ways in which to go about this task.  What information did you find the most helpful?  Where would you direct someone who wanted to learn more about factors contributing to the decline in salmon?   How do you think your fellow students will react to your presentation?  What sort of comments do you think you and your partner will receive?  Do you think your project will help convince people how important a resource salmon are?  Why?

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Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page