Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests
Teacherís Guide to What Makes a Good Story
This lesson introduces students to the elements of the short story. In keeping with the focus on Philippine literature in first year English, the elements are discussed in the context of short stories in English by Filipino authors.
After doing this lesson, students are expected to be able to:
1. Appreciate short stories in English written by Filipino authors as a means of gaining a better understanding of their identity and cultural heritage
2. Identify and discuss the elements of a short story:
2.1 Describe the setting and atmosphere
2.2 Identify the characters of the story and infer motives, attitudes and values of a character from what he/she does (action/manner) and says, and what others say about him/her
2.3 Single out events that form the plot of the story and anticipate events and outcomes from a series of details or acts
2.4 Determine the conflict/s and how it is/are resolved
2.5 Abstract the theme of a story from the relationship between plot and character as well as other elements
This online treasure hunt can be implemented as a standalone activity for the lesson on the elements of the short story, or as part of the webquest, Philippine Short Stories in English.
Before you conduct the online treasure hunt, do the following:
1. In the computer lab, 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 all of the computers in the lab.
4. Print copies of the treasure hunt for your students (one copy per group). (optional)
5. In the classroom, group your students into groups of four members each.
6. 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.
7. Explain the procedure of the online treasure hunt. You may distribute the print copies of the online treasure hunt (one copy per group).
8. 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, 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 30-40 minutes. 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. Do this step in the computer lab with the first set of groups on Day 1 and with the second set of groups on Day 2óthat is, if not all groups can do the online treasure hunt at the same time.
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 after two days.
6. At the end of your workday, complete your personal notes on the conduct of the online treasure hunt in your teacherís log/journal.
Two days after the online treasure hunt:
1. Collect the group answers to the Big Question.
2. Lead a class discussion of the answers to each item in the Big Question.
3. Summarize the main points of the lesson. If you conducted the online treasure hunt as part of the webquest, remind your class of the webquest task and procedures and tell them that they are now ready to do Step 3 of the webquest.
4. Before dismissing the class, ask your students to comment on the online treasure hunt activity. On a piece of paper, ask them to write:
ē what they enjoyed the most,
ē what they found difficult, and
ē what improvements, if any, they suggest for future activities of this type.
Give the students 5-10 minutes to do this, and then collect the answer sheets.
5. Grade the answers to the Big Question. Decide how many points to give every correct answer (maybe 2 points or 3) and then score each groupís answer. You may choose to assign partial points. All group members will of course get the same score. Record the scores and return the graded answers the next day.
6. Study the studentsí assessment of the online treasure hunt and take this and your own notes into account when planning your next online treasure hunt.
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