Hatchet Webquest


Imagine being a 13 year old boy traveling all alone by plane over the Canadian wilderness to visit your father for the summer. Now, imagine that the pilot of the small plane you're traveling on has a heart attack midway through the flight. This is the horror that befalls Brian Robeson, the main character in Gary Paulsen's Hatchet

In this Webquest, you will further explore the Canadian wilderness and how to help Brian survive! In order to build background knowledge and to help you understand important ideas while reading Hatchet, you have been assigned to a group, in which you’ll become an “expert” in a certain field. Your objective is to gather as much information as you can on each topic!


Each student will complete a task on the Canadian geography and tasks for their specific field.

The four different fields of expertise you will be researching are the following:

1) The wild life explorer is responsible for information on Canadian wildlife.

2) The pilot is responsible for information on airplanes and flight aviation.

3) The survival specialist is responsible for researching survival skills in the wilderness. 

4) The medic is responsible for researching first aid and important survival kit items.


With your group members, research answers to your assigned questions using the provided links in the resources section below. Begin by jotting down your answers in a Google Doc. Once you have researched everything, make a final copy of answers and pictures into a group presentation. Ideas must be presented in a neat and organized way, while taking into account conventions.  Be creative, and demonstrate higher-level thinking! Practice presenting, as you’ll be sharing your expertise with the class. Have fun...it’s time to research, survival experts!



1) Explore Canada!

* Go to Google Maps. Locate 5 Canadian cities. Include a map of Canada in your notes, then write down the location of 5 cities you found on your map.

*Go to http://www.kids-world-travel-guide.com/canada-facts-for- kids.htmlChoose 5 interesting facts from Canada's history to write down in your notes.


2) Explore your specific areas of expertise and find the necessary information!

A) Wild Life Explorer:

  • Look up what kinds of animals live in Canada. Go to: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/
  • Look up and describe the following animals: Moose, Porcupine, and Wolf. Make sure to include pictures of the animals along with their size and weight, diet, lifespan, and at least 4 facts per animal.

B) Pilot:

  • Check out some airplane information! Go to: https://www.flyaeroguard.com/learning-center/parts-of-an-airplane/

  • Find a picture a Cessna bush plane for your notes and then label the following: Propeller, Fuselage, Rudder, and Landing Gear. Make sure to give a description of the importance of each part in your notes.
  • Write down 4 interesting facts about planes that are important or interesting to know!

C) Survival Specialists:

  • Go to: http://equipped.com/kidsrvl.htm and answer the following questions in your notes:
    • What does S.T.O.P. mean?
    • What should you ALWAYS do if lost?
    • Give two examples of a shelter you could make.
    • How can you attract attention?
    • List three tips given about water.
    • Explain improvisation.

D) Medic:


Once everyone in your group has completed their research, you must work put together a PowerPoint Canadian Survival Guide answering the following scenarios:

  1. While flying, Brian needs to find an airport to make an emergency landing. What Canadian cities may have one?
  2. When traveling, Brian begins to notice something wrong with his plane. What are some of the parts of the plane he should check and what would happen if one of the main parts broke?
  3. Brian crash lands his plane in a wilderness area of Canada. What should he do to improve his chances of survival?
  4. While getting firewood, Brian sprains his wrist and cuts his leg. What should he do?
  5. While hunting for food, Brian notices moose in the area. Does he need to be concerned for his safety? Why or why not?

Make sure to include information from everyone’s field of expertise! The PowerPoint should include at least 5 slides. Ideas must be presented in a neat and organized way. Be creative, and demonstrate higher-level thinking! Practice presenting, as you’ll be sharing your expertise with the class. 

Here is an example of how you can lay out the information for the presentation:

  • The title slide does not count as one of the five and should include a title and the group members names.
  • Slide 1: Everyone helps answer scenario one’s question.
  • Slide 2: Scenario two and use information from the pilot expertise part.
  • Slide 3: Scenario three and use information from the Canadian wildlife part.
  • Slide 4: Scenario four and use information from the survivalist skills part.
  • Slide 5: Scenario five and use Information from the medic expertise part.


The project will be due FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26TH!


In completing this WebQuest, students should have made connections with Brian in the novel, Hatchet, as well have a better understanding of the setting and plot of the novel.

Students should also have practice with their reading, research, and writing skills.

  • The student will read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of informational sources.
  • The student will write in a variety of forms, including narrative, expository, persuasive, and informational.
  • The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.