Richard J. Murphy School Grade 6 Literature

HATCHET by Gary Paulsen

WebQuest created by Ms. Barry, Computer Specialist

A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity
in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web.

Introduction Task Resources Process Evaluation Conclusion


Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is an adventure novel set in the Canadian wilderness. A young boy survives a plane crash in which the pilot dies. He manages to outwit the obstacles he faces during his wilderness challenge. Students will further explore the Canadian wilderness as they create an adventure story with their classmates as their adventure teammates. Several elements and ideas from the novel will guide their exploration.


Using at least two story elements from the novel, Hatchet, create a PowerPoint show of your own survival adventure story. You will work in teams of four, each with a special task. In contrast to Hatchet, all classmates must survive, although you are not limited to four passengers on the plane.
    Team Member Roles—Choose one each:
  1. The Pilot
  2. The Geologist
  3. The Wilderness Expert
  4. The Survival Specialist


  • Classroom Resources


Each team member is responsible for his or her own section of the project. After all task questions are answered, each group will collaborate to develop a survival adventure story using at least two story elements from Hatchet, in which all classmates survive. Students will assist in presenting their team story to the class using PowerPoint.

    The Pilot:
  1. File a “flight plan” with the local airport. Inform your team of the location of the airport where the plane began the journey. Identify the location of the crash, so other team members can quickly begin their work.
  2. Draw or copy a map of the area of your flight plan or crash site. Share it with the Geologist so he/she can continue their work.
  3. Choose an airplane for your adventure; describe it; how did you get it—hire it, buy it; borrow it etc…—How many will it carry? Can it land on water? Describe the details in your story.
  4. Collect a photo of that plane for your slide show.
  5. Offer an explanation of why the plane crashed for your story.
    The Geologist:
  1. Get the map of the flight plan area and pinpoint the crash site.
  2. Make a list describing the general landscape and terrain of the area—mountains, valleys, rivers, streams, lakes, fresh water, desert, and ocean shoreline?
  3. What was the weather the day you crashed? Inform your team of the weather each day.
  4. Identify all of the natural resources available to you and your team in this area—fresh water, shelter, materials for shelter, timber, caves, food sources, etc…
  5. How can you make use of these resources (or lack of resources) in your story?
    Survival Specialist:
  1. Pack a Survival kit for the plane. You are limited to 20 items.
    (hint: One first aid kit can have many items in it and only count as 1 of your survival kit items.)
  2. Food & Water—How much does each person need daily? How much did you bring? What problems may arise around this resource? Is it heavy to carry? Can it get wet? Did all of it survive the crash?
  3. Shelter—What natural resources are available to you? How large do it need to be? Is it portable or do you build it each night? Do you need shelter during the day—why? What is the weather—check with the Geologist. Draw or collect pictures of your shelter(s) for your slide show. Describe the materials you used.
  4. Create 3 “Rules of Survival” to train your teammates using the following guide:
    • Fire—Write out the steps to build a fire; train your team
    • First Aid Kit: What are the essentials? How do you treat a bite?
    • Safety Tips—What to do if you meet wild animals—falls and injuries—exposure to weather…
    • Orienteering—How to use a Compass: Write the steps to using a compass. Draw a compass on your slide show.
    • Signaling for help—what materials can help you signal rescuers for help?
    The Wilderness Expert:
  1. Research Canadian animals.
    Be specific about the animals that live in the area where you crashed or will travel through.
  2. In your story include at least one example of a threatening encounter with a wild animal.
  3. Include at least one example of an animal helping your survival—as food, clothing, shelter, etc...
  4. Collect some illustrations of the animals for the slide show.
    All Team Members:
  1. Make a PowerPoint Slide Show using each team members’ information. It will be a story of your trip, crash and survival. Each person needs at least 3 slides. Show maximum is 15 slides.
  2. Choose at least two Story Elements from Hatchet to include in your story:
    • Setting:--When and where the story takes place
    • Plot:--Main events in the story
    • Conflict:--A problem around which the story centers
    • Climax:--The turning point of a story—point of greatest interest
    • Resolution:--The ending—tells how the problem is solved
    • Theme:--The main message of the story that illustrates a universal truth
    • Characterization:--The way the characters develop—what do they say—what do they do—what are they like


To conclude and evaluate your efforts in creating the final product and participating as a group member, there will be three assessments for your final grade.
  1. A Personal Reflection should be completed by each student.
  2. A Collaborative Work Skills rubric will be used by team members to assess each team member's participation in the group.
  3. A PowerPoint: Hatchet Adventure Slide Shows rubric will allow the teacher to assess the story/slideshow.


You are finished with your adventure project and your team was rescued from the wilderness challenge! Congratulations on successfully completing a project that required you to be an effective member of a team in order to ensure the survival of your team!

Last updated January 26, 2005