WebQuest for Grades 9 - 12, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University 


Farmers and ranchers across the United States face daily challenges to raise the animals that produce healthy meats, milk and dairy products, eggs and the co-products that we use daily.  These challenges have included weather, diseases, predators and parasites, fluctuating feed costs, low sale prices, and biology.  Increasingly, animal producers have to deal with new challenges.  These challenges come from individuals and organizations that do not want animals to be used for food and entertainment or kept in zoos or as pets.  These challenges are also being felt by those who rescue abused or abandoned animals, pet breeders, and care for zoo animals.  As we work to ensure that all animals are well cared for, we need to carefully examine the information we are given and understand the ultimate purpose of organizations we may support.


The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmental disaster of unprecedented proportions.  The full impact is almost unimaginable.  Your task is to identify what the largest animal rights group in the United States did to aid the wildlife in this disaster.


Step 1: Form groups of five students and read the case study.


Case Study A Case Study B Case Study C Case Study D

While the country waited to stop the spill and resolve the problem, there are those who worked feverishly to save oil soaked birds, move endangered turtle eggs, prevent oil from reaching beaches or marshes, and cleaning tar balls that have reached shore. Read the critical evaluation of Humane Watch that summarizes what the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) did to aid in the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. HSUS is the largest animal rights organization in the United States, collecting over $100 million each year that is tax-exempt.

Step 2: Work with your group to create either an ad, commercial, blog or newspaper editorial that summarizes your findings and opinion.

Each case study has hyperlinks to select from one of two student organizers.
ORGANIZER A or ORGANIZER B are to assist in organizing information graphically.

Step 3: Share your opinion with the rest of the class and answer any questions your peers or teacher may have.

Step 4: After all groups have completed their presentations and information has been compiled, hold a class discussion that raises opposition to the positions taken.

Congratulations, your research and presentation have given a better understanding of some very complex animal issues.  The next time you are asked to support a cause, make a consumer choice, or vote on an issue you will pause and seek more information to obtain both sides of the issue.  This will enable you to understand the trade-off you are making and perhaps consider that there may be unintended consequences of that choice.




5 points

4 points

2-3 points

0 points

Creative critique

Creatively and effectively criticizes the lack of effort

Provides some criticism on the lack of effort

Critique is weak and lack of effort is unclear

Critique is neither creative nor effective




Information, presented demonstrates a strong understanding of the issue.

Information, presented demonstrates some understanding of the issue.

Information presented demonstrates an incomplete understanding of the issue.

Information, presented demonstrates a complete lack of   understanding.



All sources and graphics properly cited.

Most sources and graphics properly cited.

Some sources and graphics properly cited but not all.

Complete lack of citation.

Response to Opposition

Demonstrated complete understanding of opposition

Able to respond to most opposition

Tried to answer opposition

Not able to answer opposition



Presentation reflects teamwork by all members. 

Presentation reflects teamwork by most members

Presentation reflects some teamwork

Presentation reflects little or no teamwork


This WebQuest was created by teachers participating in Missouri's Agriculture in the Classroom program at Missouri State University through a USDA grant.  The template on this site was adapted from a template from The WebQuest Page and the original was designed by Dr. Lyndon Irwin.  Assistance for this project was provided by Mrs. Barbara Irwin, M.S. and Mrs. Diane Olson, M.S.

This web quest page was created by Elizabeth Wolanyk (Ag Literacy Works) as part of the Missouri Agriculture in the Classroom program and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau under the guidance of Diane Olson, Director of Promotion & Education. Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau.