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


Philippine Short Stories in English: A WebQuest for First Year High School (English)

Authored by M. Bordaje, L. Cardenas, and P. Arinto

A long time ago, people did not have television or the movies to entertain themselves. To while away their leisure time, people told stories about how things came into existence.

Story-telling is an ancient art. What has changed is the way stories are told. Where before stories were told orally, today we find them written in books that we have to read.

Unfortunately, in this age of movies, telenovelas, and computer games, few young people appreciate reading in general. And because of our exposure to Western culture, still fewer young people read local literature, reading instead Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, or better yet, watching the film version of these stories.

Not that there is anything wrong with these books. But we need to appreciate as well the stories told by our own Filipino writers. And we need to teach our fellow young people how to value Philippine literature in English, which is an important repository of our cultural heritage.

As part of its campaign to teach young Filipinos to read and appreciate Philippine literature in English, the University of the Philippines Creative Writing Center is requesting you to produce multimedia presentations teaching young people how to analyze a Filipino short story in English.

Each multimedia presentation will consist of a brief analysis of the elements of a story and a profile and photo of the storyís author. The presentations will be made available to young Filipino students all over the country through a website.


Step 1

You will work in groups of four members each. Each group will be assigned a Filipino short story in English to analyze. Moreover, each member will have a role to perform. Get together with your group and decide who among you will play each of the roles. The roles are the following:

Member Number Responsibilities
Member #1 1. Describe the setting and atmosphere and provide an illustration of it. The illustration can be your own drawing or a photo taken (with permission) from a source.
2. Identify the point of view of the story and cite proof/evidence of your claim from the story.
3. Make one slide each for #1 and #2 above.
Member #2 1. Identify at two characters; explain how these characters are related to each other; and provide a characterization of each character (his/her personality traits, why he/she does and says what he/she does).
2. Make one slide presenting the above information for each of the two characters you chose.
Member #3 1. Present the plot via a graph. The graph should show the conflict in the story, the climax, and the resolution of the conflict.
2. State the theme in the form of a saying, quote, or proverb.
3. Make a slide for each of #1 and #2 above.
Member #4 1. Do research on the life and works of the author of the short story assigned to your group by reading at least three published articles in books and/or the Internet.
2. Get a photo of the author.
3. Make a slide presenting the salient aspects of the writer/authorís profile (incorporating the information you obtained from print and online sources) and his/her photo.

Step 2
Once all members of your group know which role to play, your teacher will assign you the short story your group will analyze. Be sure that all members of the group get a copy of the story. Read the story once.

Steps 1 and 2 should be completed in one class meeting. Your teacher will also give you the work schedule for this webquest.

Step 3
Once you are clear about your role and the story assigned to your group, read the Resources given for background information. Your teacher may decide to have you read some of the resources in the context of an online treasure hunt to be held at the computer lab on a designated class period. The rest of the background research you can do on your own.

You must complete the background research within one week.

Step 4

Read carefully the story assigned to your group (more than once if necessary) and do your respective analysis of the elements assigned to you (e.g., setting and point of view). Write your analysis in the form of a list of major points or outline.

The member responsible for the authorís profile should locate and read at least three print and online references/resources on the life of the author. Afterwards, make a list or an outline of key points regarding the authorís life and works. You should also get a photograph of the author.

The output of this step in the process is the content of the slides. But do not make the slides yet. This step should be completed within two weeks.

Step 5
Group members should meet and show each other their respective outline analysis and biography. They should discuss these and make recommendations for improving the drafts. Group members should then make the suggested changes on their draft.

The members should also agree on the presentation design. That is, they should choose font styles and font sizes, the slide color scheme and motif, and even the animation effects they will use. In making these choices, the group should be guided by the criteria for scoring the presentation design given in the rubric (see Evaluation). Group members should take note of the final presentation design agreed upon by the group.

The review of drafts and the decision on presentation design should be completed in one day.

Step 6
Each member of a group should make their respective PowerPoint slides. The group will then meet to go over their entire presentation and make changes if needed.

This should be completed in one week.

Step 7
Each group will show their presentation to the rest of the class on the scheduled date/s of presentation. The group should choose one member to make the presentation to the rest of the class. However, the rest of the group should be ready to assist.

Step 8
Each member will submit a duly accomplished self-assessment and peer evaluation form on the due date.

The resources listed below are on the elements of the short story. Your teacher should give you a list of resources on Philippine literature in English, in addition to your textbook.

Elements of a Short Story

Short Story Elements

Analyzing Theme

Constructing Plot

Point of View

Literary Elements (Character)


Each group output will be rated using the following checklist:
Item Yes
(2 pts.)
(1 pt.)
(0 pt.)
I. Analysis of the Story
A. Setting      
1. Is the setting well described?      
2. Is there a graphic representation of the setting? (e.g., photo, drawing)      
B. Point of View      
1. Is the point of view correctly identified?      
2. Are the proofs well identified?      
C. Characterization      
1. Are there at least two characters identified?      
2. Is the relationship between the characters indicated?      
3. Is the characterization based on the characters' words, thoughts and deeds?      
D. Plot      
1. Is the plot well graphed?      
2. Is the conflict or problem well defined?      
3. Is the climax correctly presented?      
4. Is the resolution well stated?      
E. Theme      
1. Is the theme identified correct?      
2. Is the theme well stated?      
II. Profile of the Author
1. Is the personal background complete and accurate?      
2. Is the photo of the author clear?      
3. Is the educational background of the author given?      
4. Are the works of the author listed?      
a. award-winning works, if any      
b. first publication      
III. PowerPoint Presentation
1. Is the presentation orderly or well organized?      
2. Are the fonts, colors, and other effects used in the slide presentation appropriate to the content?      
3. Is correct grammar observed in the text of the presentation?      
4. Does the presenter have mastery of the content?      
5. Is the presentation interesting or engaging?      

Individual grades for the project will be computed as follows:
Item Percent of Project Grade
1. Group Output 70%
2. Self Assessment 15%
3. Peer Evaluation 15%

In doing this webquest you will have taken the first step to becoming a literary critic! A literary critic is someone who is able to analyze a piece of literature and interpret its meaning. Also, you will have gained skills that will enable you to appreciate fiction better. More important, you will have developed a better appreciation of Filipino short stories in English and of Philippine culture in general.