Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests


Fiestas of Negros Oriental: A WebQuest for Second Year High School (English)

Authored by K. Lasola with P. Arinto

Those of us who live in the province of Negros Oriental pride ourselves in her beauty and serenity. Comprised of five cities and 20 towns, the province is rich in natural resources, a beautiful countryside, colorful festivals, as well as a warm and friendly populace.

But not everyone knows about Negros Oriental and the local Department of Tourism has asked for our assistance in inviting local and foreign tourists to the province.

Heeding this call for assistance, we will design a brochure promoting Negros Oriental through the local fiestas. Fiestas showcase the best of a locality because they feature various aspects of local culture, such as food, religious and other icons, and various customs and traditions.

You will collect information on the fiestas celebrated in Negros Oriental from print and online resources as well as local experts, and create a brochure featuring these fiestas. Your brochure will include:

· descriptive text of how the fiesta is celebrated
· a historical note (origin of the fiesta and its significance)
· a map (of the town where the fiesta is celebrated)
· photographs (of the fiesta celebration)

To carry out your task, you will work in groups of four. Each group will be assigned a city or town. Together the group will gather information and create their brochure (one brochure per group).

In addition, each member of the group will keep a process journal throughout the duration of this project. In this journal, you will record at least twice a week the tasks you performed, questions that occur to you as you do the project, your observations and insights into the data-gathering process, the information your are collecting, working with your group mates—in short, all project-related experiences.


Step 1
Within your assigned group of four members, decide on who will perform each of the following tasks:

a. provide a background of the town, including where it is located, its land area, when it was founded, and the size of the population
b. identify and describe the major local fiesta (or fiestas, if there is more than one major festival), including the date, purpose, provenance (origin), special features of the celebration (including preparations made), and persons in charge
c. provide a map of the town
d. provide photos (with captions) of the town (special features such as scenic or historical sites) and of the fiesta being described
e. lay out the entire brochure, complete with the text (background and description of the fiesta) and the map and photos

Note that tasks a-d require the use of various sources of information, including reading printed sources and websites if any, and interviewing town officials and townsfolk.

Since there are four of you in the group, perhaps one member can take on tasks a and c and the other three members can take one each of the remaining tasks.

Step 2
Once you have agreed on who will do which tasks, do your research work.

a. Read the Web resources/websites listed under the Resources section.
b. Read print materials on Negros Oriental and the city or town assigned to your group. These can be found at:

the Provincial Capitol
the city or municipal hall (of the town assigned to you)
local museums
university and school libraries
private collections (for example, those owned by local historians)
government offices like the Provincial and City Tourism Offices and the National Statistics Office

c. Interview local experts such as the town mayor, town elders, and other residents.

To do letter b and c above, you may have to pay a visit to the town assigned to you. Be sure to go as a group. Communicate ahead (send a formal letter) to the town mayor if you are planning to interview him/her or any local resident. Pick a date that is convenient for both yourselves and the people you will interview (most likely, you will visit on a Saturday).

Each member should record all information gathered in a notebook. Photographs and drawings (e.g., the map) collected should be kept in an envelope. If you have pictures from online resources, be sure to save these in diskettes. Be sure to keep a back-up copy of your electronic files.

You should complete your research (Steps 2a-2c above) within three weeks.

Step 3
Sort the information you have collected, selecting the important stuff and discarding the rest. Then write the text of your brochure and the captions for the photos.

Each of you will have a writing task: Member #1 will write the background of the town; Member 2 will write the description of the fiesta and its historical significance; and Member 3 will write the captions to the photographs. Member #4 should be making designs for the brochure—that is, drawing up plans for where to put the text and pictures, and deciding on what design elements (for example, font sizes and colors) to use.

Remember that the purpose of your brochure is to persuade people to visit Negros Oriental, especially the town assigned to you. You need to convey the information you have collected in a persuasive manner. Persuasive language includes lots of detailed descriptions, action verbs, and imaginative phrases. For further examples of persuasive/or descriptive essays, you can refer to the following websites: http://www.exampleessays.com/ and http://www.essaysite.com/

All drafts should be done as document files using a computer so that it is easy to put together the online brochure later on. Member #3 should scan the photos he/she thinks should be included and save these as electronic files. Be sure to label your files properly and keep back-up copies.

You have one week to write your drafts.

Step 4
Once all rough drafts have been written, turn these and the captioned photos over to Member 4. Using the electronic files of all drafts, he/she will lay out the brochure. When the brochure is completed, all group members should review it and together make whatever improvements should be made before submitting the final version to the teacher.

You have one week to complete this step.

Step 5
Submit a printout and electronic copy of the final version of your online brochure on the due date.

Step 6
Make a final/concluding entry in your process journal (you can summarize your experience of the project) and then submit it with your individual project portfolios on the due date. Each group member should have a portfolio. The portfolio includes the following:

· your notes
· a complete list of sources used (including interviews—record of the name of the person interviewed, the time and date, and the place)
· your drafts
· your process journal

Points will be assigned to these, as well as to your group brochure. Refer to the Evaluation section for details.

The websites below will provide you with an idea of what’s on the Web regarding the province of Negros Oriental and fiestas in the Philippines. The information is very limited, as you will see. There is practically nothing on the Web about how we in Negros Oriental celebrate our fiestas. This is why your work in this webquest is so important. Read the Web resources listed below to get ideas for your brochures.

About Negros Oriental

Festivals of Dumaguete

Philippine Festivals (click on the links in the following websites)
http://www.globalpinoy.com/festivities/GPfiesta-Nov.htm (This website has no links but it lists fiestas in the Philippines by month. The Tanjay and Dumaguete fiestas are listed under November.)
http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/Cynthia/festivals/philippine_festivals_fs.htm (This  is an example of a description of a festival and its significance.)

The Essence of Fiestas
(This is really about the 4th Minuluan Festival but it is a good example of a descriptive essay about a fiesta.)

An Editorial about Fiestas

Spanish Fiestas and Festeros
(This is about Spanish fiestas but it shows where we got the tradition and it is good for comparing and contrasting with the way Filipinos celebrate fiestas.)

Your group brochure will be graded according to the following rubric:

Very Good
(5 points)
(3 points)
Needs Improvement
(1 point)
Completeness All information required is provided. Some of the required information is missing. Most of the required information is missing.

The sequence of information as presented is logical or easy to follow. The sequence of information is mostly logical; there are a few misplaced bits of information.
Many items are misplaced; the sequencing is confusing.
Quality of the text components (essays)

The text is written grammatically and there is proper use of punctuation. Correct spelling is observed. There are some errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
There are many errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
The pictures/
Several pictures are included and all make the town seem an interesting place to visit. The captions are appropriate. Few pictures are included and/or some photos do not contribute to the purpose of the brochure, which is to attract visitors to the town. Only one photo is included or all photos taken are uninteresting and/or inappropriate.
Brochure design
The brochure is visually appealing and easy to read due to correct choices of color, font style and size, and mix of text and photos/graphic elements. The brochure is generally attractive and readable except for a few instances of improper use of color, font style and/or size, etc. Visual appeal and readability is weak because of clashing colors and font styles, etc.

The perfect score for the group brochure is 25 points. All members will receive the same score for the brochure. However, individual grades will differ depending on the scores for the individual portfolios.

The process journal will be graded in terms of:

frequency and regularity of entries

5 points
level of insight in the entries 5 points
mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation) 5 points

You will also receive 5 points each for your notes and drafts. This brings the perfect score for the individual project portfolios to 25. Adding the perfect scores for the group brochure and individual project portfolio, we have a total project score of 50 points.

In completing this webquest, you have worked together as a group to obtain a deeper understanding of our cultural heritage. You have also honed your research skills, your computer skills, and your writing skills.

Three cheers for a job well done!