Objective of lesson:
Students use their reading, writing, and speaking skills in the target
language (TL) to complete different portions of a jigsaw project using
authentic materials from the World Wide Web (WWW) and information obtained
from classes in other disciplines. They will use their TL listening skills
to synthesize the information gathered by their classmates and put the
pieces all together to finalize the project. This extended activity
is entitled The Aconcagua Project.
SWBAT: Carry out research
using authentic materials in the TL to obtain the data necessary to complete
their portion of the class project, express themselves appropriately in
the TL when presenting their research to the class, understand TL input
sufficiently to comprehend other students' information presentations, make
connections with other disciplines to add to their data and thus enhance
their knowledge of what a climbing expedition to Aconcagua requires.
Standards targeted: 1.1,
1.2, 1.3; 2.1, 2.2; 3.1,
3.2; 4.1, 4.2; 5.1,
Description of activity:
The Aconcagua Project calls for students
to "climb" this famous peak in South America. The project originates
in the language class (here, obviously, Spanish) but spills over into several
other disciplines with careful planning and collaboration on the part of
the instructors involved. In order to complete this assignment, the
students need to plan the entire expedition from start to finish in order
to ensure its success. They will work in groups and individually,
sharing their information at designated intervals. Each group can
have responsibility for a certain portion of the trip and expedition. (The
jigsaw designation refers to putting it all together at the end.
Every piece of the "puzzle" or project is vital to its eventual succesful
conclusion.) They will collect data from a variety of sources, both traditional
and technology-based. The Aconcagua Official Home Page (http://www.aconcagua.org/
) will be very helpful for securing much information on the Internet.
Planning the trip will entail everything from getting to the country
(airfares, routes) and meals and lodging before the climb, to the entrance
fee to the park and mountain, conditions for the climb (both geophysical
and physiological), costs incurred by the expedition on-site, selection
of the optimal ascent route, and so forth. Much of this information can
be found at the Aconcagua site on the
WWW. The travel information can be found at numerous web sites, using search
engines (remember we learned about them before?).
While much of the discussion and planning will take place in the language
class, much of the data collection and planning can be reinforced by studying
parallel concepts in other disciplines. Below are some examples of
activities that can be implemented in other subject area classes.
The Spanish teacher might even bring in a mountain climber to talk about
the technical aspects of such an expedition and climb. The teacher
could also engage some students who have done this already on a minor scale,
etc. If you know someone who has climbed Aconcagua,
so much the better! A case in point: a former student of mine from
Spanish V and VI climbed Aconcagua
in the late 1980s. For this project, I would call her--or e-mail
her, in this day and age!--and invite her to come and speak (en español,
por supuesto) to the class or, at the very least, tape a phone conversation
with her talking about her experience on Aconcagua
throughout the expedition.
Science class: students study
atmospheric conditions as one ascends the mountain (humidity, winds, temperatures,
atmospheric pressure, etc.); this information will also be helpful in planning
what type of apparel to take on the trip.
Geography class: students will
need a wide variety of information including maps, latitude and longitude
points, geographical location of the country and the peak, etc.
Math class: many mathematical
concepts and functions can be reinforced while gathering necessary information
for the expedition: temperatures, heights, pressures, metric system;
reading graphs on statistics for climbing (age, sex, etc.).
Spanish language class: vocabulary
on weather, numbers, food, nutrition, climbing equipment; planning the
final ascent will entail making comparisons of routes to ascend and descend
(here students can debate, compare and contrast, make decisions based on
best information presented).
Home Economics class: students
research nutrition information to determine their food needs for such a
Physical Education and Health class:
proper physical conditioning for such an expedition is absolutely vital;
the instructor could describe the relationship between various exercises
and physical activities and indicate how such strengthening will benefit
the climbers during the ascent.
Several other examples of on-line lessons and activities that are Standards-based,
use authentic materials, and the WWW can be found at the following sites:
- a terrific
site put together by Marie
Ponterio and loaded with activities that enable language learners to
discover just what the title indicates.
hispano - a series of Spanish language culture modules tangentially
following the themes in "Destinos" but applicable to any Spanish language
course; oh, BTW, "I
- focused Internet exercises with common cultural themes, to be used
to "Lernexpress" and similar textbooks; this site was created by Andreas
indicates what "students will
do" at the end of the lesson.