Gnashing of the Teeth

Why This Activity? Digging out of the Passports...

Mumbling on and on....Counting down to the end of the Academic School Year... Oral Report, Library Research, and putting to the test... the Grammar that has been learned during the course of the Semester in ENG 071 and ESL 077... What better way than a non-traditional project that requires deep critical thinking while at the same time research skills!  Music to my ears! I love to be knee deep in a project... there are always twists and turns... I marvel at how students blossom as they problem solve and morph into roles that are not routinely observed by me in the classroom. I only glimpse this cooperation rarely... not because the students are selfish; I believe, but rather because they are shy, and do not believe their own voice.
So.. onward, and upward. The products of the travels or travails will be published here, as students allow.  The Teacher Section will have references for the  theory and rationale for the assignments; the student section will be the specific student instructions.

Background Info for the Travel Brochure:  
Main link and ancillary links off of the main link page.

From Theory to Practice:  Theoretical Analysis :  


Often, students end a unit of study by writing a traditional research paper. While this is a good way for students to summarize what they have learned, it may not be the most interesting. Beyond that, it frequently results in summary and rote repetition rather than deep critical thinking. In this lesson plan, students go through the research process, but will take that information and turn it into a travel brochure. In her English Journal article, Janet Northrup says, "Unlike a research paper that usually has two readers, the teacher and the student, a pamphlet encourages ownership of a topic, a topic which each student knows will be shared with (and taught to) others. Also, class members develop research skills. They learn how to find information, develop a sense of voice and audience, write an arguable thesis statement, select relevant facts, create an interesting layout, and edit carefully." This project will meet the needs of both students and the teacher.

Further Reading

Northrup, Janet. "Pamphlets: An Introduction to Research Techniques." English Journal 86.6 (October 1997): 53-56.

Research Researching a topic or question can take many different forms, from year-long studies resulting in publication to a quick search of available resources on the Internet. For these activities, we refer to research in the informal sense, using readily available resources (Internet, magazines, books, interviews, etc.) to answer questions.

Audience The person or group of people that the message of a piece of writing is meant for. Most pieces of writing have more than one audience.

Purpose The reason or goal someone has for writing a particular text. Common reasons for writing include to express feelings or ideas, to convince someone to believe something, and to provide someone information or instructions. The purpose will often determine the choices the writer makes about how and what to write.

Actual Web Quest Document:

Web Quest ~ Create a Travel Brochure
The Sky's the Limit

Congratulations!!! You and three of your classmates have just been chosen to be the founding fathers of a new company called "The Sky's the Limit." This company will be marketing a rare product, one which will be highly valued by all human beings who enjoy traveling, but don't have the time, resources, or perhaps the energy to research the area to which they would like to travel. You are not only going to entice the tourists of this world, but you are also going to have a hand in helping the tourism industry. Not only will this new position offer you the opportunity to work with your peers, it may also allow you to explore many areas of this planet that you have yet to see. Bon Voyage!!
The Task

Welcome to your first assignment. In order to ensure that your new company takes off with a flying start, you and your partners need to create a sample product which "The Sky's the Limit" will be using to advertise its services. Your foursome will be designing and creating a unique travel brochure by using Internet web sites. Within this brochure you will be including general information about the selected destination, areas of historical and recreational interest, and a choice of travel packages. In addition, you must include pictures and images to appeal to the eyes of your consumers. Remember, first impressions are always the most lasting impressions, so you'll want to create an out of this world brochure example. Hopefully this advertising will yield smooth sailing ahead!!   
The Process

1. The first thing that you and your colleagues need to do is decide on the destination for which you will create your first travel brochure to advertise. Brainstorm possible destinations that you think the public would be interested in. Once you have a list of worthy destinations, hold a group vote to decide upon the destination on which you will base your travel brochure.
2. Your group next needs to distribute the following roles to each member of the group. Below is a list of roles that need to be fulfilled, followed by a description of the job that accompanies the role. In the "Resources" portion, you will find a list of websites to consult in order to complete each job effectively and efficiently. 
Ambassador of Destination:  
The ambassador will be the person who is providing a complete profile of the destination. The ambassador should provide the following:
·         a detailed map of the destination
·         geographic, demographic, and environmental descriptions
·         population and weather reports
·         a list of major cities
·         language(s) spoken
·         religions and holidays celebrated
·         government and cultures practiced
·         the currency used
 Historian/Tour Guide:
The historian/tour guide is responsible for providing a brief history of the destination, in addition to finding areas of historical or trivial interest within the desired destination. The historian should research and include the following:
·         specific historical locations
·         a map and brief description of the significance of each historical location
·         a list of available tours that offer tourists an opportunity to site see
·         a price list and schedule of tours
 Recreation Director:
Everyone likes to have fun on vacation, so the recreation director has an important job. He or she needs to find the hot spots or events at the desired destination and make them available to the tourists. Remember, not everyone is alike. Some people like water sports; some like indoor activities. Some people are early risers, while others party all night long and sleep late. The recreation director needs to research and identify the following:
·         activities varying from indoor to outdoor, land to water, dawn to dusk
·         names and locations of areas of interest (recreation, dining, etc.)
·         maps, schedules, and prices for activities if available
·         any other specific instructions or restrictions to accompany activities
 Travel Agent:
The travel agent too has a very important job. For without this help, people would not be able to get to their destination. The travel agent needs to shop around and find the best prices for the following:
·         transportation to destination
·         transportation within destination (car rental, subway, bus, etc.)
·         lodging accommodations
·         dining accommodations
In addition, the travel agent needs to offer a variety of packages for the various wallet sizes. The travel agent must keep in mind that people of all incomes and interests travel. Some like to travel with class; some just like to get to their desired destination, even if it means driving long hours in a bus. Also, the travel agent must remember that not all people are crazy about the same types of transportation, hotel chains, and restaurants. The key to success with this job is offering a variety of packages that include a variety of choices.  
3. Once all roles have been distributed, each group member should visit the given web sites and begin to compile all of the information and images for which he or she is responsible.
4. Once all information has been collected, as individuals you must
·         sort through your collection,
·         selecting the important stuff and discarding the rest. You will then need to begin the writing process. You need to convey the information you have collected in a persuasive fashion. After all, you do want to
·         rally some interest in your customers rather than discourage their travels. Persuasive language includes lots of
·         detailed descriptions,
·         action verbs, and
·         imaginative phrases.
5. Once all information has been collected and rough drafts have been written, your group needs to begin putting together the travel brochure. Your group may decide to do this in two ways. You may print your collections and cut and paste them by hand onto a piece of paper, OR you could take advantage of the technology available to you and cut and paste electronically. This is a decision that your group must make.
I highly recommend that your group designs the travel brochure you wish to create once all of the information and images have been collected. Then proceed to put the brochure together once a desired product has been established. 

The following links will be extremely helpful to you when your group researches its chosen destination.
Lonely Planet provides general information, maps, histories, travel packages, entertainment and site seeing guides for the destination of your choice.
Looksmart provides general information, maps, histories, travel packages, entertainment, and site seeing guides for the destination of your choice.
Lonely Planet-Destinations provides specific information about specific destinations.
Excite-Travel provides general information, maps, histories, travel packages, entertainment, and site seeing guides for the destination of your choice.
Yahoo-Travel provides general information, maps, histories, travel packages, entertainment, and site seeing guides for the destination of your choice.
Excite-Destinations provides specific information about specific destinations.
Yahoo-Recreation/Travel provides entertainment and recreational information for the destination of your choice.
Best Read Guide provides general information, maps, histories, travel packages, entertainment, and site seeing guides for the destination of your choice.
Yahoo-Vacations/Travel provides on-line assistance for vacation planning, including transportation, lodging, and dining accommodations.
Travelon provides vacation packages to choose from for any chosen destination.


Each group member will be given an individual grade as well as a group grade.
Group members will be graded individually based on:
·         the fulfillment of his/her job
·         the quality of material included in the brochure
·         the content, organization, and mechanics of the persuasive writing
·         the creativity executed to complete the work
·         the neatness exhibited in the final product
Group grades will be based on:
·         the overall appearance of the final product
·         the collaborative effort exhibited to complete the brochure
·         the fulfillment of the project criteria 

The Internet can be a very valuable source to all people, particularly when they need to get information quickly and successfully. Traveling on the Internet can be just as enjoyable for cyber surfers as it is for tourists. Not all people have the resources to travel, so the Internet offers an opportunity that they may not otherwise be given.
By completing this webquest, you have cooperated with your peers to gain knowledge about your selected destination and technological skills to create electronic products, and to improve your persuasive writing skills. Bravo! Job well done!