lunes, 26 de marzo de 2012

Past, Present and Future

This webquest is intended to help students to revise their knowledge of English verb tenses, but also to make them aware of the historical process. If we are to know who we are, we must know at least our recent past, get in touch with present concerns and foresee the future. It is a question of survival. The past is full of interesting events which reveal the essences of humankind. The present is a tangle of events, interests, ideas and worries that we should untwist to see what is really happening. And the future is always open to our hopes and our imagination in spite of the dangers we face today. Let's try to understand the world.

We cannot understand present events or ideas without knowing what has happened in the last century. This video shows historical events that have made the world as it is today, and we must learn some lessons from them.

1. Introduction

We humans have been on Earth for a long long time. We have made great things, but we have also made a lot of mistakes. Our ancestors worked hard to leave us a better world where we are now living, and we have to try to make the world even better so that people will be able to live freely and peacefully in the future. To do this, we have to know the past, understand the present and predict the future. What do you know about the past? Do you follow the news? Are you ready for the future? History, Literature and Art are good school subjects to know all that. And the Web has a lot of pages where you can find enough information.

But first of all, read these famous lines written by the great poet T.S. Eliot. The concept is clear - past, present and future are mixed and they form a whole, they take part in the same process of life. And we are here trying to understand it all.
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable
T.S. Eliot

2. Task

People have been making questions all over the centuries, because they have always wanted to know more and better. Now it is your turn. You will have to investigate about past and present issues or events, and then you will prepare some questions for your school mates to check their knowledge and to make them reflect on our present and future. The final product will consist of several slides in a presentation which will contain a picture and a question in each of them. You will present these slides to your mates during the class and we will debate about the topics presented. In this way, we will improve our knowledge and we will talk about important aspects of our living in society. The following presentation is an example:

3. Process

Let’s organize the process in three steps:
1. Firstly, the teacher will show you a presentation on the interactive board for you to revise the most important verb tenses in English, together with some speaking exercises to practise the grammar points. Then, you will do these exercises to check and revise your knowledge:
2. After that, the teacher will explain the webquest, an activity that you will carry out in three groups: the Past Group, the Present Group and the Future Group. You can focus on three main aspects of history such as the following ones:
  1. The twentieth century history with its lights and shades.
  2. The internet and the new information society.
  3. Our future seen from the present and the past.
You will need to do these activities:
  • Look up information online about important past and present events.
  • Evaluate which information is relevant for present society.
  • Guess which events will influence our future life on earth.
  • Make some questions and find some images to illustrate the events. This will take the form of presentations.
3. The groups will present their projects in the classroom showing the presentations to their mates and debating about the questions. The debate can be focused on these points, among others:
  1. What past events have an influence on the present?
  2. If you could go back to the past, what epoch would you like to visit? Why?
  3. What do you like and dislike about the present?
  4. What events and ideas are important now, and why are they relevant?
  5. What will the future bring according to present situations?

4. Resources

WikipediaThe Web is full of resources about history, but we will focus on the Wikipedia  and its History Portal to look up information, because there is enough information for our purpose on this virtual encyclopedia and because we can freely use most of the images it contains on Wikimedia. Other free image resources are listed on Wikipedia: Public domain image resources.

5. Evaluation

To assess your contributions to the projects, these points will be taken into account:
  1. The proper design of presentations with questions and images.
  2. The quality of questions and their correct syntax and spelling.
  3. The relevance of the questions related to present interests.
  4. The way you present the questions in public.
  5. The debate about these questions with your class mates.

6. Conclusion

I hope this webquest will help you to revise your knowledge of verb tenses in English and to practise them for everyday life. Also, I’d like you to be aware of the efforts people have made over the centuries to achieve better standards of life. The future remains unknown, but we have some glimpses of the years to come and, eventually, the world will be built on our hopes and efforts, that is, we have to build the future every day from now, and it will be as we like it to be: free, safe and prosperous. Therefore, the debate should highlight the reflexion about the future of our society and your future work and life.

7. Credits

I would very much like to thank:

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