Ang Mga Bag-ong Bayani (The Modern Heroes): A Webquest for 1st and 3rd Year
High School (English and Filipino)
Authored by N. Abucay , E. Jesalva, S. Trangia and P. Arinto
What is a hero? How does one become a hero? Does one have to fight and die in a
battlefield while defending one’s country to be considered a hero?
In today’s world, there are many ways to be a hero. A hero is one who does
something good for the benefit of other people. An example is an individual who
provides scholarships so children from poor families can get an education. Other
examples of heroic acts are: helping a jeepney passenger recover his/her
necklace, wrist watch or earrings from a snatcher, saving a person from getting
drowned, saving an old man /woman from being run over by a vehicle, returning
excess payment to one’s customers, and returning things left in one’s
taxi/tricycle to the concerned passenger. These heroic acts can be done by
ordinary people. You do not have to be a martyr to be a hero.
In this activity, you will try to get to know the heroes around you. You will
also write about them so that others, especially young people like
yourselves, may appreciate these people who “have made a difference” and follow
Your task is to acquire a broader understanding of what a modern hero is by
getting to know the heroes around you and writing biographical essays about
them. You will interview people in your locality who you think have done
something heroic. So that there will be no duplication of biographies, first
year students should interview and write about the heroism of community workers
(such as firemen, policemen, janitors, and garbage collectors), child minders (yayas,
daycare workers), teachers, doctors and other health care workers, and social
workers. Third year students will interview and write about heroes among
agricultural workers, media workers, environmental workers and activists,
government workers (other than teachers, health care workers, and social
workers), and cultural workers (such as art historians, translators, writers and
Working in the fields or professions mentioned above does not make people
heroes. However, some people who do these kinds of work are heroic or perform
heroic deeds. Your task is to find such people in your own community and
neighboring areas, interview them and the people around them, and write about them
or their heroic deeds.
You will work in groups of three. Each group is to come up with only one
biographical essay of one local hero. The biographical essay should include:
· the person’s full name and the name by which he/she is known to people in his
· his/her date and place of birth
· his/her family background
· his/her educational background
· important influences in his/her life
· an account of his/her heroic deed/s
· his/her philosophy or motto in life
· any advice for young people like yourselves
You can choose to arrange the information listed above in any way you like in
your biographical essay. What is important is to begin in a way that will
attract the attention of your readers and persuade them to read the rest of the
essay (for example, you can begin with the story of your subject’s heroic deed
or with his/her statement of his/her motto in life or even his/her advice to
young people) and then to arrange the rest of the information in a logical and
coherent way following how you begin.
1. You will do this activity in groups of three members each. Get together with
your group and decide who will perform the different roles, as follows:
||Will interview the person the group thinks is a hero (or the
subject of the biographical essay)
||Will write the biographical essay
|Photographer and encoder
||Will take an interesting photo of the subject and write a
caption of it; and
Will encode the biographical essay written by the group
2. Once your roles are clear to you, begin the background research using the
online resources listed below (under “Resources”). Reading these websites
carefully will give you an overview of heroism and heroes and biographical essay
You have one week to complete this step.
3. After doing the background research, your group should come up with a
shortlist of three possible subjects for your biographical essay from among the
people you know. If you cannot think of anyone you know who fits your
criteria of heroism, ask your parents or elders (such as the barangay captain or
parish priest) to recommend some people.
The interviewer should then ask the first person on the list for permission to
interview him/her. You must of course explain to the person the reason for the
interview. If the person agrees, there is no need to ask the next person on the
Prepare well for the interview. List down your questions. Prepare pens and a
clean notebook for taking down notes.
During the interview, be polite, speak clearly, and listen attentively. Be sure
to take detailed notes. For more tips on conducting interviews, visit the
following Web pages:
Here is an example of how to interview:
After the interview, the photographer should take a few pictures of the
interviewee, with his/her permission. You can also borrow for scanning a photo
of the interviewee that he/she would like featured in your group’s biographical
essay about him/her. But if you do so, please make sure to return the photo
Be sure to thank the interviewee for granting you the interview. When you get
home, immediately transcribe your notes—that is, write your notes neatly and in
an organized way for the editor of the group to use.
All group members, including the editor, should be present during the interview.
The interviewer will take the lead in this process. But the editor will have a
better understanding of the character of the interviewee that will help him/her
write an insightful biographical essay if he/she is present during the interview
This step should be completed within two weeks.
4. The interviewer should hand over his/her transcribed notes to the editor of
the group. The editor will then write the biographical essay. Be guided by the
rubric for evaluating your essay given under the Evaluation section below.
The editor should complete the draft essay in two days. While the editor is
writing the essay, the photographer should be scanning his/her photos in the
computer lab for insertion in the group’s biographical essay later on.
5. When the editor and photographer have completed step 4 above, meet as a group
to go over the draft biographical essay and make improvements if needed. It is
important that all of you should agree on the final version of the essay as it
will be considered a group essay and not just the work of the editor.
Also go over the photographs chosen by the photographer and decide which
photographs will be included in your essay. You can include up to three photographs
Complete this step in one meeting.
6. The photographer will then encode the final version of your biographical
essay, and insert the scanned photos that you all chose for inclusion in your
final group output.
Review your work using the scoring guide in the
Submit your work to your teacher on the due date.
7. Fill in the self-assessment and peer evaluation forms and submit these to
your teacher on the due date.
A. Of heroes and heroism
http://www.iuinfo.indiana.edu/HomePages/022699/text/groslouis.htm (also an
example of an interview)
http://www.iuinfo.indiana.edu/HomePages/022699/text/remak.htm (also contains
examples of short biographies of heroes)
B. Writing a biographical essay
Your biographical essay will be graded using the scoring guide below. For each
item, you will receive a score from the following scoring range:
||6 = exceeds expectations
||5 = strong
||4 = competent
||3 = developing
||2 = emergent
||1 = not yet
|The essay gives the basic background information
on the subject such as his/her name, when and where he/she was born, and
his/her family and educational background.
||The essay shows rather than tells the reader that the
subject is heroic or that he/she did something heroic by citing concrete
acts by the subject.
||The essay provides a glimpse into what motivates the
subject (or his/her philosophy in life).
||The essay includes pertinent direct quotations from the
subject, especially his/her advice to young people.
||The photographs included complement what the text
communicates about the subject’s character.
||The essay has an effective opening that captures the
||Information is arranged in a logical way and supporting
details are provided.
||The conclusion rounds off the essay very well, providing a
sense of closure.
||The essay observes the appropriate level of conventions such
as sentence structure, grammar (subject-verb agreement, verb tenses), and
||Words are spelled correctly.
||The appropriate words are used.
||The essay is encoded neatly, with correct margins and
spacing between words and lines.
||The photographs are clear, have the correct labels or
captions, and are placed in the appropriate places within the essay.
Add your score for all of the items and then divide it by 13. For example,
if your score for all items is 60, divide this by 13 and you get 4.6. This means
that your work is between competent and strong. Since this is a group project,
all group members will receive the same score for the biographical essay.
You will also get scores for self-assessment and peer evaluation.
In doing this activity, your understanding of the topic, modern-day heroes, is
deepened. Hopefully, you will be inspired by what you find out to try and do
little acts of heroism yourself.
Equally important, you are able to practice your skills in getting information
from the right sources and in writing and revising your own essays. You also
develop your ability to work with other people.
That’s quite an accomplishment!