Useful information for teachers who want to use this WebQuest
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This lesson was developed as part of West Chester University's EDM 300 course taught by Dr. Penny.
It was designed to teach students about the culture and history of individual Spanish cities. The students must get into groups of 3, pick a city in Spain, and do specialized, individualized research on the city as a travel destination. Each student plays a different role: either anthropologist, historian, or travel agent, based on their personal interests. We have provided a number of websites (at least two per city) that will provide students with information on each distinct city. The students will then get together with their group, share their findings, and compile their information into a PowerPoint presentation to be shared with the class.
This exercise intrinsically addresses several of the multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner. Interpersonal learners have the ability to work in a group and to interact with other members to compile the information into one presentation. They are also comfortable presenting in front of their peers. Verbal-linguistic learners have the to opportunity to create a presentation using words, both on the screen in the actual PowerPoint and in the oral aspect of the presentation. Logical-Mathematical people thrive in the historian role in particular, finding out dates and facts and presenting them in a sequential, logical order. They would also do well with the organization of the PowerPoint. Intrapersonal learners appreciate the opportunity to do the research for their city on their own and to create slides for the presentation by themselves; they work well this way. Visual-spatial learners will love creating the PowerPoint and formatting the font, text, and graphics in the visual sense. Naturalists will also do well; studying a real-life city gives them a sense of connection to their surroundings. They also will like to gather the information and explore the city virtually. The last two intelligences, musical and bodily-kinesthetic, are addressed in the extra credit portion of the assignment. Musical learners will find music from the city they are studying to supplement the presentation. Bodily-kinesthetic learners will be able to cook a certain food from the city or learn a traditional dance for extra credit.
As far as cognitive levels go, a case can be made for each level's presence in this exercise. In the knowledge level, students will learn facts such as where their cities are located and what types of monuments or products are found in that city. The comprehension level comes in when the students begin to compare their city to others to find out similarities and differences. Students apply this information to what they already knew about Spain as a whole and gain a wider perspective of Spanish culture. Students are also asked to identify or give hypotheses about any outside influences from surrounding cultures: this is the analysis stage. Students then compile their individual research together into a unique, original presentation, demonstrating synthesis. In observing the other groups' presentations, students evaluate their personal opinions on their city, other cities, and the country as a whole, and are able to defend these opinions based on their judgment of the material.
This lesson is anchored in seventh grade (or otherwise introductory) Spanish and involves history and anthropology to a lesser extent. This lesson could also be used for higher levels of Spanish, and the presentation and research could be completed in the target language. It could even be extended into a history project with an anthropological slant if desired.
Prior to this lesson, learners will need to know how to use the internet and how to create PowerPoint presentations. They will also need to know how to pick out key information from informative passages and decide what is interesting and unique. Students also need oral presentation skills and organizational skills. They must know how to cooperate and collaborate in a group.
Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures
Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied
Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied
National Education Technology Standards:
NETS-S.4.B> Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
NETS-S.5.A> Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
Reflections on Standards:
After completing the Webquest, students will be able to use the internet to research necessary materials for a presentation using different sources. They will also be able to collaborate with group members to create a PowerPoint presentation which is a great use of technology in the classroom. They will be able to identify the unique aspects of each city's cultural practices and be able to compare them with that of the other cities of Spain. They will outline a brief history of the city and note any influences of other cultures that may have influenced or changed the course of the city and the reasons for its unique style that it maintains still today. In the presentation aspect, students will learn how to organize their ideas with other students and to create a flowing, coherent presentation. They will express their ideas to the class through an oral presentation. Students will also use different types of media in their presentation (such as audio, video, and graphics) to enhance the presentation and help the other students to understand the cultural experience.
In order to complete this project, the school must have access to computers and the internet for each student. These computers must also be equipped with Microsoft PowerPoint software.
The school also needs an overhead projector or SmartBoard that can be connected to a laptop and the internet in order to showcase the PowerPoint presentation.
One teacher in the classroom would be sufficient to complete this lesson.
By having the students present their findings to the class, it shows the teacher that they have used the internet to research the information. They understand their research, and can pick out the most important and unique aspects of the culture of the cities. They can apply it to real-life; the city's culture has become actualized for them. They are also able to compile the information into a PowerPoint presentation in order to make it accessible and comprehensible to the audience of their peers. The PowerPoint and oral presentation will be the main graded portion of the exercise. Students will be evaluated on how well their findings represent the culture of their city. They will also be evaluated technologically, on the organization and appearance of their PowerPoint. They will also be evaluated on the technical aspects, such as grammar and conventions. Their delivery of the oral presentation to the class will also be evaluated based on how well-rehearsed the group is and how they conduct themselves in front of the class.
The content of the students' presentations will indicate their level of knowledge about the city and culture of their particular area. If the information is well-developed and the students explain it well to the class, then the teacher will know that they have learned about their particular city.
Students will also be expected to gain a general knowledge of the basic cultures of all Spanish cities through watching the other students' presentations. The class will be given an objective quiz after the presentations based on the content covered.
Since the responsibilities are delegated between the three group members, and each person is responsible for a specific role, it will be apparent if a student has not contributed to the group or done adequate research on their own. The teacher will also be able to tell the student's input based on his or her individual slides. It will be apparent if there is a problem with collaboration of group members.