Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests
Teacherís Guide to Writing About Cause and Effect
The lesson on cause-and effect compositions is part of a series or group of lessons that aims to enable students to ďproduce different texts types and sub-typesĒ (Secondary English Language Curriculum for 2002, p. 34). Specifically, after working on this lesson, students should be able to:
1. Organize information in texts bearing in mind the overall macro-discourse pattern and generic structure suited to the objective of the written discourse;
2. Utilize alternative forms that may be used with different rhetorical functions and techniques, such as difference micro-discourse signals for cause-and-effect; and
3. Expand ideas in well-constructed paragraphs observing cohesion, coherence, and the appropriate modes of paragraph development.
A week before the online treasure hunt is implemented, do the following:
1. At the computer lab and with the help of the Center Manager, download all of the online resources/ websites and save these for offline viewing. Make sure that the saved files can be accessed from all of the computers in the lab.
2. Make sure that all computers are working.
3. Load the treasure hunt onto each computer or to the teacherís PC and make sure it can be accessed from of the computers in the lab.
4. Load the treasure hunt onto each computer or to the teacherís PC and make sure it can be accessed from all of the computers in the lab.
5. Print copies of the treasure hunt for your students (one copy per group). (optional)
6. In the classroom, group your students into groups of three members each.
7. Each group computer will be assigned a computer. If you have more groups than computers, you may have to divide your class into two sets, with one set of groups working in the lab on this treasure hunt on Day 1 of this lesson and the other set of groups working on the treasure hunt on Day 2. Prepare a worthwhile classroom activity (seatwork) that is related to the topic for groups that will remain in the classroom on Day 1. On Day 2, the set of students who will remain in the classroom may work on their answer to the Big Question or be given a seatwork as well.
8. Explain the procedure of the online treasure hunt. You may distribute the print copies of the online treasure hunt (one copy per group).
9. Find out whether your students know how to use a computer (keyboard and mouse). If needed, bring your students to the computer laboratory and orient them to its use. Also give them instructions on proper behavior in the computer lab.
During the online treasure hunt (Day 1 for the first set of groups and Day 2 for the second set of groups), do the following:
1. Lead the groups into the computer lab and get them settled in. When everyone is ready, instruct all groups to start reading the online treasure hunt. (You and the Center Manager may open the treasure hunt file and have it ready for reading before the students enter the lab, or you can ask your students to open the file following oral instructions from you.) There is no need for a motivational activity since students will be motivated enough by the prospect of using the computer lab for this lesson. Also, the introduction to the online treasure serves as motivation.
2. Use the time allotted for your class. Do not borrow the time intended for other subjects. Start on time and end on time. The students should be able to finish answering the treasure hunt questions in 30 minutes or so. The Big Question is homework so it need not be done during the session.
3. Move around the room. Observe how each group is doing the activity and write down your observations in a teacherís log/journal. Assist students as needed.
4. When all groups have finished answering the treasure hunt questions, conduct a whole class discussion of the answers. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
5. Collect the group answers to the treasure hunt questions and remind the class to answer the Big Question as homework and to submit their homework in the classroom the next day.
6. At the end of your workday, complete your personal notes on the conduct of the online treasure hunt in your teacherís log/journal.
After the online treasure hunt and when all groups are ready with their group essay (this is Day 3 of the lesson but two days after the online treasure hunt of the second set of groups):
1. Get group members to sit together.
2. Have groups exchange group essays (for example, Group 1 should have the essay of Group 2, Group 2 should have the essay of Group 3, and so on). Tell each group to read carefully the essay given to them and then to critique the essay using the rubric for cause-and-effect essays. Be sure to give each group a copy of the rubric. This is an example of a peer assessment activity. It should be completed in 20-30 minutes.
3. Ask students what they learned from reading the cause-and-effect essay of their classmates. What did they find easy and what did they find difficult?
4. Summarize the main points of the lesson on writing cause and effect essays.
5. Collect the group essays and the peer assessments.
6. After the session, grade the group essays using the rubric and then return the graded essays as soon as possible.
Copyright 2004 by the Foundation for IT Education & Development. All rights reserved.