For the creation of this Web Inquiry lesson, I worked collaboratively with my friend and colleague Gisela. We designed this lesson thinking of our 8th grade students and how we could assist them to be aware of the influence of Hispanic culture in The United States as well as the relevance of culture to learning Spanish as a foreign language.
This Web Inquiry contains 10 topics, which students will explore in groups of three or four. Each topic includes directions and the corresponding links to Websites for students to carry out the activity. For example, one of the topics that the students will research about is the borrowed words (loanwords) in the English language. This helps them to realize they already know some words in Spanish such as fiesta, aficionado, poncho or some place-names in the United States. Once each group has collected the required information, they will create a presentation that might involve activities such as writing a script, dancing, or creating a slide show depending on the topic they researched.
I am quite excited about this project. I can see how this Web Inquiry provides an opportunity to my students to finding the answers by themselves, using higher-order thinking skills, working collaboratively, reporting on their findings, and being actively involved in their own learning. Therefore, my role would just be as a guide and facilitator. However, that doesn’t mean that my work is simple. Creating a Web Inquiry requires a considerable amount of time for planning and preparation.
This Web Inquiry is a comprehensive project, which involves general aspects of the Hispanic Heritage in the United States and it is intended for 8th grade students and above. However, an Inquiry-based project can work with any age group as long as it is age-appropriate and delivers suitable learning opportunities. For example, projecting a future Web Inquiry in my Spanish class I might focus on just one relevant and interesting question where the whole 5th grade would be involved in finding the answers. Then, I would provide the opportunity to share their findings.