WEBQUEST

MY FIRST THANKSGIVING DINNER

WEBQUEST FOR UPPER INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

ENGLISH

By María África Molina

 maria(arroba)mariaafrica.net

 

 

Introduction | Tasks | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Didactic guide


 

       

INTRODUCTION

You and your friends are living in the USA for a few months. You live in a stately mansion with students from different countries. Your new family is arriving on Thursday, just before Thanksgiving Dinner, but the chefs and waiters of the house are on holidays this week. You want to prepare Thanksgiving Dinner for your American parents (Joey and Michelle), your brother (Peter), and your sister (Monica). This is the first time you will celebrate the feast, so you have some research job to do first.

First, you will find information about the origins of Thanksgiving. Next, you will read menus and recipes. You will select your preferences and cook your favourite dishes.In a few days you will have everything ready for the special night. Finally, you will write your English teacher to tell him/her about the experience.

top | introduction | tasks

 

       

TASKS

You will search the Net in order to find information which helps you answer the following questions:

TASK 1

a) Where did the first Thanksgiving Dinner take place? When? What was the reason for it?

b) Which US president declared that day a National Day?

c) Find the dates for Thanksgiving in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

d) Find out the different dates for Thanksgiving in the USA and Canada.

TASK 2

a) Name at least three foods which were and were not on the first menus.

b) Read at least three Thanksgiving menus. The vocabulary that you do not understand should be looked up in your dictionary.

TASK 3

Choose an appetizer, a main course (do not forget to include the turkey), a drink, a side dish and a dessert, and create your own menu (in groups, if possible).

TASK 4

Read some recipes so that you learn how to cook the dishes you chose. Now you are ready to prepare dinner. Enjoy it!

TASK 5

After your first Thanksgiving Dinner as chefs and guests, write an e-mail to your English teacher in your country to tell him/her about the experience. Include anecdotes, if possible.Your final job will be an e-mail in which you will include the following information: your name, level, city where you are living in the USA, reason to write the email, menu, number of people attending the Dinner, dishes on the menu, time, anecdotes, and the description of your special night. An optional Thanksgiving e-mail card could be sent, too.

introduction | tasks | process


 

       
 

PROCESS

 
Group organization Groups of 3 to 4 students. All the students do all the tasks, negotiate, reach agreements and write a final e-mail.
Number of sessions Between 4 and 5.
Definition of special profile Adult students.

TASKS

DESCRIPTION

RESOURCES (go to links)

1. The origins of Thanksgiving Dinner The students look for information about the origins of Thanksgiving, the first Thanksgiving dinners, the reasons, the characteristics, the dates.

  Web pages in English.

  On-line dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

2. Typical Thanksgiving menus The students search the Net to find typical Thanksgiving menus, analyze them and select the dishes they like best for their Dinner.

    Web pages in English.

    On-line dictionaries.

3. Our special menu The students create the menu they are going to prepare for their first Thanksgiving Dinner in the USA.

     On line dictionaries and translators.

     Talk Any’ Resource on line to check the pronunciation of new words.

4. Recipes The students find recipes on the Net, select the most appropriate ones for the dishes they are going to cook. They can modify recipes and add pictures.

     Web pages in English.

     On line dictionaries.

     Online Pictures editor.

     Texts’ editor.

5. An e-mail to summarize the experience. The students will learn new tips about e-mail writing. They will write an e-mail to their teacher(s) to tell them about their first Thanksgiving Dinner in the USA and other relevant information (traditions, anecdotes, etc.)

     Web pages in English.

     On-line dictionaries.

     On-line correctors (punctuation, grammar and spelling).

tasks | process | resources

 

RESOURCES

     

 

TASK 1. The origins of Thanksgiving Dinner

The students look for information about the origins of Thanksgiving, the first Thanksgiving dinners, the reasons, the characteristics, the dates.

Where & When? President?: http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=60820&display_order=3&mini_id=1083

Reason: http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=872&display_order=1&mini_id=1083

Calendar: http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=876&display_order=4&mini_id=1083

Different dates in Canada and the USA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

 

TASK 2. Typical Thanksgiving menus

The students read at least three Thanksgiving menus and check the meaning of the most common words.

First Thanksgiving menus: http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=873&display_order=1&sub_display_order=2&mini_id=1083

Present-day Thanksgiving menus:

- 3 Thanksgiving menus (click on plan the feast to see the menus): http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/thanksgiving/

- a typical Thanksgiving menu: http://centros2.pntic.mec.es/cp.pio.baroja3/thanksmenu.htm

- a vegetarian Thanksgiving menu: http://www.theveggietable.com/recipes/thanksgiving.html

 

TASK 3. Our special menu

The students create the menu they are going to prepare for their first Thanksgiving Dinner in The States. They select the dishes that best suit their tastes. On the menu they should include: an appetizer, a main course (the turkey is quite important), a side dish, a dessert, and drinks. Finally, they create their own menu (in groups, if possible).

- drinks: http://www.daybydayinspirations.com/tgdrinks.html

- appetizers: http://www.daybydayinspirations.com/tgappetizers.html

- turkey & stuffing: http://www.daybydayinspirations.com/tgturkey.html

- side dishes: http://www.daybydayinspirations.com/tgsides.html

- desserts: http://www.daybydayinspirations.com/tgdesserts.html

On line dictionaries and translators:

http://poets.notredame.ac.jp/cgi-bin/wn

http://www.allwords.com/

http://www.diccionarios.com/

http://www.onelook.com/

http://diccionario.reverso.net/

http://www.wordreference.com/

Talk Any’ Resource on line to check the new words pronunciation.

http://home.nyc.rr.com/joeshmoe/talkany.html

 

TASK 4. Recipes

The students read recipes on the Net, select the most appropriate ones for the dishes they are going to cook. They can modify recipes and add pictures. Each group of students reads, and analyzes the recipe for only one dish (for example, the main course, or the dessert). After learning how to cook it, they share the information.

Recipes for Thanksgiving: http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/special/specialfeature/thanksgiving_meal_ms/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/thanksgiving/

http://southernfood.about.com/library/holiday/blthanks.htm

Roasted turkey recipe: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=15236

Sweet potatoes: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=15085

Cranberry sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Holidays-and-Events/Thanksgiving/Cranberries/Main.aspx

Apple tart recipe: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1913,158190-229204,00.html

Online Pictures editor: http://www.drpic.com/

 

 

TASK 5. An e-mail to summarize the experience.

The students will learn new tips about e-mail writing. They will write an e-mail to their teachers(s) to tell them about their first Thanksgiving Dinner in the USA and other relevant information (anecdotes, etc.) They can complete the activity sending a Thanksgiving e-mail card, too.

The students should include the following information in the email:

From:
To:
Subject:

1.Date

2.Greeting:

3. Name, level, city or village where you are living (in the USA)

4.Reason to write this email

5. Description of Thanksgiving Dinner: what time the dinner started and finished; number of people attending; description of the menu; what you liked best; anecdotes.

6. Goodbye sentence(s)

 

 

Tips for writing e-mails and helpful examples:

http://www.jobweb.com/resumesample.aspx?id=784

http://www.english-writing-solutions.com/tips/how-to-write-email.html

Thanksgiving e-mail cards:

http://www.kingcards.com/htdocs/holiday/thanksgiving/thanksgiving.html

http://www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/cards.htm

http://www.mycardmaker.com/card-types/thanksgiving-cards.html

Web pages in English.

On-line dictionaries.

On-line correctors (punctuation, grammar and spelling):

http://spellcheckplus.com/

Games:

http://blackdog4kids.com/holiday/thanks/turkey/

http://www.billybear4kids.com/holidays/thanksgiving/games.htm

http://blackdog4kids.com/holiday/thanks/wordjumble.html

http://blackdog4kids.com/holiday/thanks/tictactoe/

http://blackdog4kids.com/holiday/thanks/quiz/

http://www.blackdog.net/holiday/thanks/

http://funschool.kaboose.com/preschool/games/game_fishin_mission.html

http://funschool.kaboose.com/preschool/built-for-fun/games/game_stacker.html

 

process | resources | evaluation
       

Below average

1

Average

2

Good

3

Excellent

4

Marks

Information about the origins of thanksgiving (Reading & Listening)  

Students have problems to understand the main ideas in the texts.

Students understand the main ideas in these texts.  

Students understand quite well.

Students understand perfectly the information about the origins of Thanksgiving and are able to explain them.

 

Drawing up the Menu

(Vocabulary, & Writing)

 Menu is loosely organized. Too many mistakes in the writing.

Menu is generally organized. Just a few mistakes.

Menu is well organized. Good usage of English.

Menu is perfectly organized.

Excellent usage of English and no mistakes.

 

Recipes (Reading Comprehension)

 

Poor understanding.

Understanding of main ideas only.

Good understanding.

Great understanding.

 

E-mail writing

(Grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary)

Frequent grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.

Information is loosely organized. Poor vocabulary.

A few grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.

Information is generally organized.

Quite few grammar, spelling or punctuation mistakes.

Information is well-organized.

 

No grammar, spelling or punctuation mistakes.

Information is perfectly organized. A wide variety of vocabulary is used.

 

 

 

Working with others

(Speaking & reaching agreements)

 

Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports others.

  

 

Often listens to, shares with, and supports others.

 

 

Usually listens to, shares with, and supports others.

 

 

Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports others. Tries to keep people working well together.

 

 

 

Quality of work

(Appealing work, text organization, and knowledge gained)

Provides work that usually needs to be checked/ redone.

Poor acquisition of knowledge.

Provides work that occasionally needs to be checked/ redone.

Enough acquisition of knowledge.

Provides high quality work.

 

Good acquisition of knowledge.

 

 

Provides work of the highest quality.

Great acquisition of knowledge. 

 

 

 
Below average
Average
Good
Excellent
PUNCTUATION
6-11
12-17
18-23
24

 

resources | evaluation | conclusion


       

CONCLUSIONS  

conclusions

After a good-quality time working together students realize that they are able to do some research work using English and new technologies. On the other hand, we hope they have learned something more about American culture and traditions. They surely found differences from, and similarities with their own culture.

At the end of the activity students will be able to speak and write about Thanksgiving using the concepts and ideas they have learnt in the activity. They will have prepared a menu for Thanksgiving which will in fact be cooked, so that they check the quality of their job. Students will have a better understanding of what it is like to help with preparation and presentation of a Thanksgiving feast and how much work goes into it. They will finally write an e-mail summarizing their new knowledge, experience, anecdotes from that night, and any other relevant details.

This ends up being a cooperative activity in which students will develop the faculties of synthesis, analysis and creation. They will be able to extrapolate this sense of cooperation to everyday life and their social capacity and communication skills will be improved.

  Hope you also had fun preparing your special night. Now you are ready to go and celebrate it.

 

    Happy Thanksgiving Dinner!!!

 

Dedicated to DVM and CVA.

evaluation | conclusion | didactic_guide

Didactic Guide

Title

MY FIRST THANKSGIVING DINNER

Author

María África Molina (EOI de Vélez Rubio, Almería)

E-mail address

maria(arroba)mariaafrica.net

Levels

Upper Intermediate Level

Subjects

American Culture and English Language

Number of sessions

Between 4 and 5 sessions

Comments

Mainly aimed at adult students. (Students at EOI Vélez Rubio, in Almería, and other students at other schools) Enjoy it!!! :-)

Date

November 2008

conclusion | didactic guide | top


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