WebQuest for Intermediate Level
English as a Foreign Language
by Cristina Dearle Johnson
Do you know ……. ?
what Fat Tuesday is?
what colour you must wear on St. Patrick’s Day?
what will happen if the groundhog sees his shadow?
why people kiss under mistletoe?
Find out many more interesting facts by doing the Celebration WebQuest.
Your group has been acknowledged as one of the most enthusiastic when it comes to promoting the English language and culture. In recognition, you have been chosen to serve on the planning committee for extracurricular activities for the next school year. The committee is counting on you to promote interest in the culture of English speaking nations and to propose activities for everyone to participate in.
During the next school course, you will celebrate three special days or holidays of your choice of Anglo-Saxon culture–one during the autumn term, one during the spring term, and one during the summer term– with a special programme of activities. As there are many interesting holidays and special days, choosing the celebrations is quite a challenge. That is why you will be given the necessary resources, instructions, and sufficient time to work alone and in teams. Congratulations on being chosen to participate in the elaboration of such an important project.
As you embark on your quest, never lose track of your key question: Which special days or holidays should be celebrated during the next school year and why? In order to make a well-informed choice, you will need to research background, factual information on holidays as well as judge the relative importance of these celebrations to the native country – and ideally – to your school. Given the importance and prestige involved in organizing the extra-curricular programme, you must be able to justify your choice.
Due to the limited time you and your colleagues have to organize your presentations, you will first split into 3 groups for each school term: autumn, spring, and summer. To ensure a wider selection of proposals, each group member should focus on a different holiday or special day.
STEP 1: Each student chooses a term to research.
· Meet with other group members to decide which holiday or special day each member will research.
STEP 2: Research your holiday or special day.
· Complete the factual chart using suggested web sites supplemented with other resources as needed.
· Write a convincing explanation of why your group should choose your day by answering the proposal questions.
STEP 3: Your group agrees on two dates.
· Each group member presents their research and proposal.
· The group must reach a consensus on the two dates to be presented and celebrated.
· The group divides into two groups, one for each special date.
STEP 4: Each group agrees on the type of presentation to be made and assigns individual tasks.
· Work with fellow group members to complete your presentation. Remember you are creating a presentation to persuade the class to select your proposal. You need to come up with a presentation that includes examples of the activities that your group proposes for the day in question. Your presentation may be a powerpoint presentation, an oral presentation with visual display, or a written report/proposal with visual display. All presentations must include the information required by the chart and the proposal questions.You may dress thematically, but are not required to. Plan to give the presentation as if you were presenting a proposal to the Head of the Department for Extracurricular Activites or the School Council.
· To create and present a successful group project, you must choose a specified role in your group. You must follow the guidelines given for each role in order to ensure cooperation.
STEP 5: All the group members (class) view and evaluate the groups' presentations.
· Each committee (class) member takes notes on each group´s presentation in order to evaluate them.
· After each presentation, the groups meet briefly to evaluate the presentation.
· Each class member votes on the most deserving proposal. All members hands in a short written paragraph defending his/her vote. This paragraph should explain what aspect of that group´s presentation led them to vote for that proposal.
· The committee chair (teacher) announces the winning proposals (one for each term) to be submitted to the Head of Department for Extracurricular Activities.
You may find the following resources useful for this WebQuest.
Thank you for your help in the elaboration of the extracurricular programme for next course. During the investigation process you have learnt how important it is to organise group work and share information to reach an agreement; how important visual presentation is; and a lot about Anglo-Saxon culture and history, and about how the natives celebrate and have fun! Well done!
Look at the rubric which provides a description of the factors that will be taken into consideration in the evaluation of the task.
Materia: Inglés como Idioma Extranjero, Historia, Música, Cultura y Sociedad
Duración: 6 ó 7 sesiones de una hora
Observaciones: El estudio del inglés a través de contenidos específicos, en este caso las tradiciones y celebraciones en el mundo anglosajón, contribuye no sólo en el desarrollo de competencias lingüísticas y culturales, sino que promueve visiones interdisciplinares, globales y complejas que van más allá de la enseñanza de una lengua extranjera.
Por otro lado, la webquest permite al alumnado familiarizarse de un modo práctico con el uso de las nuevas tecnologías de la información y la comunicación en un contexto real de aplicación.
Cristina Dearle Johnson
This WebQuest was created as part of the requirements for a course on integrating technology across the curriculum, “WEB QUEST, aplicaciones educativas” by the Centro de Información y Comunicación Educativa.
My special thanks to my tutor Araceli Ruiz del Rio, my friends Francisco González González and Irene Real Rodríguez, and last but by no means least, my son Jon Senra Dearle.