Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Extreme Sports

Today you are going to learn about some extreme sports and prepare a short presentation about one for the rest of the class.

1. Open the ESPN Action Sports website in another window.

2. At the top of the page you will see a list of the following categories of extreme sports. Choose an unfamiliar sport to learn about.

2. After you go to your sport page, you will see a list of "headlines" on the right side of the page. Choose one headline story to read about. Below the headlines, you will also see some interviews. You can read an interview if that is more interesting to you.

3. Take notes about the story so that you can explain it to the class. Remember to include an introduction and a conclusion.

4. Make a list of new vocabulary from the story or interview that you read. We will write these words on the board and explain them to the class.

5. Make your presentation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alternative Marriage Practices

In this activity, you will research an alternative marriage practice.

1. Choose one of the topics from the list, or think of your own. Next to each topic is a link to an internet resource that you can use in your research.

civil unions (Sample link)
dowry (Sample link)
mail-order & internet brides (Sample link)
matchmaking (Sample link)
polygamy (Sample link)
serial monogamy (Sample link)

2. Research the topic on the Internet. Take notes. Use the questions below to guide your research:

What is / are ________________________?
In what cultures might you find___________________________?
Would _____________________________ be legal in your culture? Why or why not?
What do you think about______________________________? Why do you feel this way?

3. Organize your information into a short presentation to share with the rest of the class. Remember to use some of the transitional phrases we talked about in Unit 8 on page 146-147.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Astrology webquest

Today you are going to learn about Astrology.

1. Discuss the following questions in groups or as a class.

What do you know about fortune telling?
What kinds of traditional fortune telling exist in your country and culture?
Do you believe that people can predict the future?

2. Your teacher will assign you a group, each group will research about a topic in astrology and report back to the class.

Group A: Read about the history of astrology here and answer the following questions: When did astrology begin? Where did it begin? When did astrology become popular among everyday people? Why?

Group B: Read about some of the mythology behind astrology here and andwer the following questions: Pick three different signs and describe the mythology behind them.

3. Now, go here and learn more about your sun sign. For example, I am a Gemini. Read a little bit about your sun sign and answer the following questions: What is your sign's element? What is your sign's quality? What is your sign's ruling planet and what are the astrological qualities of this planet? Do you think the description of your astrological sign is accurate? Why or why not?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Internet research: Laughter therapy (Summit II Unit 8)

Task: Use one or more of the websites listed to research what laughter therapy is and how it works.

Respond using information from the websites.

What is laughter therapy?

What are three benefits of laughing?

“A hearty laugh can make you feel much better.” Do you agree or disagree? Explain your answer.

You can also search for your own information. Try using these keywords in your search:
Laughter therapy Humor Laughter

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Describe an artist, actress/actor, singer/musician, movie, play, or book

1. Choose an artist, actress/actor, singer/musician, movie, play, or book that you really love. You are going to do some research about your choice and write a brief descriptive essay.

2. Brainstorm some research questions. For example, if I chose the movie Fight Club, these are some questions I can ask:
  • What is the plot of the movie? (Plot=story)

  • Did the plot make sense or was it confusing?

  • What were the visuals like? Did it have good special effects?

  • What were the characters like in the film?

  • What was the acting like?

  • What is my favorite part about the film?

  • Who is my favorite character from that film?

  • What, specifically, make me like this film so much?

  • What kinds of values or ideas about life does this film suggest?

  • Was there anything I didn't like about this film?
These are all just general questions. I probably would not use all of them as research questions, but at least I have several to choose from. Now, you brainstorm some questions about your topic. Write them down.

3. Now choose the three most interesting research questions to think about. These are the three questions from my brainstorm that I would probably choose:
  • Who is my favorite character from that film?

  • What, specifically, make me like this film so much?

  • What kinds of values or ideas about life does this film suggest?
4. Now, use these questions to do some further research about your topic. Make sure that you take notes. You will use these notes to make a brief presentation about your topic.

5. Organize your notes. Make sure that you have an introduction and a conclusion.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Volunteering Web Quest

We've been discussing volunteer work in class. This web activity will help us learn more about volunteer opportunities in the United States and around the world. Remember to write down your answers so that you can present your findings to the rest of the class when we are finished with the activity.

1. Think about the different kinds of volunteering you have done. What was it? Did you enjoy it?

2. Go to This website is a search-engine for different kinds of volunteering that you can do in different places.

3. Use the search function to find a place to volunteer. You can search by US city or state, or you can search by the kind of thing you are interested in, for example "environment" or "health."

4. Choose one of the volunteer opportunities from your search and note the following:
  • The organization--tell us briefly about what the organization is and what they do.
  • The area of focus of the volunteer work (women, environment, education, etc...)
  • Description of the volunteer work
  • Are there any qualifications that a volunteer needs?
  • What is the cost, if any, of the program?
5. Does this volunteer work sound interesting to you? Why or why not?

6. Now go to This is a website of volunteer opportunities around the world.

7. Use the search function to find a volunteer opportunity. You can search by region, country, and type of volunteer work. I did a search and found a volunteer opportunity to live with a family in Jordan and teach them English, which sounds interesting to me! Find something you are interested in.

8. Note the following information about the volunteer opportunity:
  • The name of the organization and other relevant information about it.
  • A description and duration of the volunteer program. What are the responsibilities of volunteers?
  • What kinds of qualifications, if any, does a volunteer need?
  • Does the program cost anything?
  • Any other information you think is relevant.
9. Does this volunteer work sound interesting to you? Why or why not?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Urbanism

The Town Paper is a website that discusses Traditional Neighbourhood Development, or TND. TNDs are communities built on the principles of New Urbanism, which we have been learning about in Chapter 2 of Northstar Advanced.

Go to the TND Neighbourhoods section of the Town Paper website. You will see a list of links to the websites of different TNDs throughout the country, organized by state. Please pick three of these communities to read about. Come back to class prepared to discuss the following information (note, you may not find all the information, but find as much as you can):
  1. The name of the TND and where it is located
  2. The founding principles of the TND--for example, is it based around an agricultural community, is it more artistic, is it focused on education...etc. Many websites will have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. The FAQ section is a good place to get information.
  3. What do the homes look like?
  4. How much does it cost to live there?
  5. Would you live in the TND? Why or why not?