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A Fifth Grade Cells and Microorganism WebQuest

Click the tumbleweed to move ahead



We are looking for employees to track down fugitive microorganisms that are currently at large. Some of these guys are harmful while others are helpful, but it is important that all of them are found. We need your help!


Dr. Trackumdown

The Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Click the tumbleweed to continue


    If you accept this job, the CDC will be counting on you to track down several very important microorganisms who are missing. In order to locate them you will have to know how they think and where they live. Tracking down fugitives of any kind is a difficult job. You will need to employ the help of citizens to find these rascals.



  • As employees of the CDC, you must create an advertisement that will aid in the location and/or apprehension of the missing microorganisms. Wanted posters, as seen in our ad for help, are great ways to communicate important information to a larger audience. You will design a wanted poster that will grab the attention of community members to make this search efficient and effective.
  • Your wanted poster will include, but is not limited to, the answers for the following statements:
  • Tell the name of one of the missing microorganisms.
  • Identify if it is harmful or beneficial.
  • Describe an event in which this microorganism was last seen.
    • Give a detailed description of the events that occurred to make it a crime or heroic act.
  • Give some remarks on how to handle the microorganism if located or apprehended.
  • We have some extra funds available, so you may offer a reward to gain more attention.




In this commission you will be working together with one other CDC new hire. Each pair will complete the Task. As a member of the group you will explore WebPages from people all over the world who know about the microorganisms. Because these are real WebPages we're tapping into, not things made just for schools, the reading level might challenge you. Feel free to use the online Webster dictionary or one in your classroom.  **Do not forget to keep a log of all the websites visited on the form provided.

Start and complete part 1. When you finish move on to part 2. When you finish that move on to part 3.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

process part 1
Process-Part 1

You must first meet with your CDC coworker. With your coworker, brainstorm any information you know about microorganisms. This can include types, where it they are usually found, their names, symptoms, usefulness, or any other facts you may know. This will help you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of microorganisms and just how much information you and your coworker may already know. Next, review some overview information on microorganisms by clicking on the CDC database button below. When you are finished with the information close the browser page to return to work. Discuss which microorganism you and your coworker would like to hunt down. Make sure you have included a first, second and third choice. Submit a proposal with the above information to the microorganism manager.

CDC Microorganism Database


instant message
Instant Message

A report on one of our villains has just come across the wire….click here to see the breaking news.


process part 2
Process-Part 2

After discussing information you already know about microorganisms divide the work load with the roles below.  Please remember this is a group decision. These roles include:

Quality Controller - You are the facilitator of the team.  Make a notebook from 7 sheets of notebook paper and 2 pieces of construction paper. Staple together. Make sure that you both stay on task, keep a record of the resources used in your search, and keep a record of all the information gathered at the end of each work day in the notebook you made.

Researcher - You are responsible for discovering and explaining to your partner your microorganisms purpose and function. What does it do? Where does it live?  Is it harmful or beneficial? Why?

Advertisement Designer –You are responsible for researching wanted poster layouts and sketching out a design for your poster. Make sure you include all necessary information from the task at hand. Share, discuss, and modify if necessary with your coworker.

Advertisement Producer – Create your wanted poster from the sketched plan. Make the poster attention getting and appealing using a poster board that is at least 12” x 24” in size.


process part 3
Process-Part 3

Use the following web sites to investigate your microorganisms.  They should help you gather facts and information to complete your task of creating an advertisement that will help to track down and locate your organism.

Also make use of other resources including encyclopedias, science textbooks, and library books located in the room as well as in your local media center.

the good guys
The Good Guys
  • Reward: Penicillin
  • Reward: Penicillin
  • Reward: Bacteria
  • Reward: Yeast
  • Reward: Protozoa



the bad guys
Wanted: Salmonella

Wanted: E. Coli

Wanted: Strep Throat

Wanted: Strep Throat

Wanted: Virus

(Click Meet the Microbes > Virus)

Wanted: The Flu

Wanted: Mold

How can you protect yourself?(Click Prevention Convention)

The Bad Guys



process part 4
Process-Part 4

Follow the bullets below to first create your sketch and then to create the Wanted Poster.

  • Poster title
  • Name of one of the missing microorganisms
  • Picture of the missing microorganism (sketched or copied)
  • Identify if it is harmful or beneficial
  • Describe an event in which this microorganism was last seen.
    • Give a detailed description of the events that occurred to make it a crime or heroic act.
  • Give some remarks on how to handle the microorganism if located or apprehended.



process part 5
Process – Part 5

Present your poster to the other members of the CDC staff. Share the information you have learned about the microorganism you are trying to track down.







Now, how do we get the word out to a greater amount of citizens?


For your next assignment, put on your digital media hat and create a newscast, special bulletin, or commercial. You may use your wanted posters and Movie Maker to create a captivating program that will spread your message!