is the Teacher's Guide to the Nicaragua Quest. Specific instructions
for students are suggested throughout.
You may also want to consider using the set of instructions
written for students.
Quest is a project-based learning experience designed to engage students
in the politics, history, and culture of Nicaragua through role-playing,
The final product of the Quest is a group report reflecting the group
answer to the question, "Form an opinion of the Nicaraguan
The activity is designed for high schools students of
- Social Studies
- Latin American
- U.S. History
- World History
this WebQuest your students should achieve the following learning
- develop an increased sensitivity and empathy
towards others through taking on different viewpoints
- understand connections between the history, politics,
and culture of Nicaragua
- gain a greater understanding of the history,
politics, and culture of Nicaragua
- use the power of the Internet for advanced exploration
- learn information about six aspects of Nicaraguan
- formulate and support an argument from one of
the six perspectives.
- work with your teammates to problem-solve a combined
- question the nature of international relations
in our more interdependent world.
Nicaragua Quest is a WebQuest.
Students form teams to answer the question:
Form an opinion of the Nicaraguan Sandinista Revolution.
After teams are formed, each member takes on one of the roles listed
in the Quest(ion). Each member first uses the Internet to find more
information that will help members understand their roles. Then, the
teams will work together to create a group report for the community
(including the classmates and the World Wide Web community). This
report presents will present the team's combined answer to the Quest(ion).
What is a WebQuest?
A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of
the information that learners interact with comes from resources on
the Internet. The learners use this information to answer a question
or complete a task.
What is different about this WebQuest?
- Because of the scarcity of information on Nicaragua available
on the web, the designers of this WebQuest also wrote and published
many of its accompanying resources.
- Some of the roles in this WebQuest are based on real people
and their experiences as told through their testimonies in interviews,
letters, and diary excerpts.
WebQuests by Bernie Dodge of San Diego State University
A Strategy for Scaffolding Higher Level Learning
WebQuests Strategies for your Classroom
Page The major resource for using, creating, and learning
about WebQuests and the research behind them
WebQuest is broken into steps
introduction provides an opportunity for students to get to
know the art and culture of Nicaragua. It sets the stage for
the activity and provides some background information by offering
the team a glimpse of the country before getting deep into its
history and politics.
part helps the team get a better understanding of Nicaraguan
history and current events (and each other). Students start
here to learn more about Nicaraguan facts, history, and current
take on different roles for their next level of research. Team
members then open the dossiers prepared for their roles.
then compare their perspectives and attempt to agree upon an
answer to the question by writing a group report answering the
Form an opinion of the Nicaraguan Sandinista Revolution
may want to share their report with others, on-line or in print
in a format of their choice.
The introduction provides an opportunity for students to get to know
the art and culture of Nicaragua. It sets the stage for the activity
and provides some background information by offering the team a glimpse
of the country before getting deep into its history and politics.
This is a free exploration area encouraging students to follow their
own interests and increase their motivation in learning about Nicaragua
on many levels. By starting here, students can appreciate the beauty
of the country and its culture (often overlooked in studies of Nicaragua)
before jumping into its political problems.
(instructions for students within the activity)
Leon, and Ocatal.
This part helps the team get a better understanding of Nicaraguan
history and current events (and each other). Students start here to
learn more about Nicaraguan facts, history, and current events.
This area has two purposes. It prepares the learners for what is coming
and it raises their interest in the subject. By having the whole class
participate as a group, it provides a common starting point for each
student to start his/her understanding and inquiry into the subject.
Background Activity (instructions for
students within the activity)
on different roles for their next level of research. Team members
then open the dossiers prepared for their roles.
Role-playing is a motivational technique for students to explore different
perspectives to answering questions. When students take on roles they
are encouraged to learn how others see the world and as a result,
develop a greater level of empathy/sensitivity.
Dossiers for each role. These
contain guided instructions that should help members gain a clear
understanding of the issues involved in their roles and help them
understand the perspective of that role.
Primary Source Materials A Guide for Students
to View a Photograph A Guide for Students
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compare their perspectives and attempt to agree upon an answer to
the question by writing a group report answering the question-
Form an opinion of the Nicaraguan Sandinista Revolution
This can take multiple forms, as a paper, a web page, a newspaper,
The group report is a defined goal students can work towards that
will lead to a deeper understanding. Reaching deep understanding
requires that students understand the material and concepts well
enough to explain them, both to each other in their discussions
and to others through the report. The group report process is designed
also to develop social structures that promote participation and
a senses of agency. By being part of a team working on the project
students may be more motivated and feel more invested in their work.
Group Report Instructions for Students
Consensus A Guide for Students
Arguments A Guide for Students
want to share their report with others, on-line or in print in a
format of their choice.
By publishing the group project serves three purposes.
- It focuses the learners on an authentic task.
- It gives them a receptive, sympathetic audience to create for.
- It opens up the possibility of getting feedback from that distant
audience if you include a return e-mail address on the Web material.
Report Submission with
Expressions of Central America
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methods below suggested how the goals mentioned earlier can be assessed.
The forms of assessment can be used to assess learning of the content
as well as the affective learning goal of increasing cultural understanding.
Students' Increased Understanding of Content
Forms of Assessment
having to explain their perspective to another, students self-assess
their own understanding.
assess each other's understanding of their perspectives through
their discussions while role-playing
may use this suggested rubric to assess the group project.
Group Project Rubric (specifically designed
for this project)
may use this suggested rubric to assess student collaboration
- You may
also ask your students to participate in creating a rubric.
to create a rubric WITH your students. Read here about empowering
students through negotiable contracting to draft rubrics for authentic
Why rubrics? Read here about why rubrics are used.
Students' Increased Cultural Sensitivity
- To evaluate
how students are increasing their cultural understanding or awareness
through this activity, pay close attention to the language students
use in communicating with each other, in their presentations,
and in their brochures. The best way to measure their increased
sensitivity is through knowing your students and finding out what
their feelings are before the activity begins. You may start by
asking students what their perceptions are of Nicaragua at first
and then follow through by asking students to write a letter to
a Nicaraguan (muralist, teacher, etc.). Once our e-pals area is
complete, there will be contacts in Central America for students
to send their letters to bringing authenticity to the task of
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you for taking part in Nicaragua Quest.
The creators hope that the team has a better understanding of the
complex politics involved in international relations. Through role
playing we hope that the team gained an understanding of different
perspectives and how they shape the lens through which we view politics.
can be found throughout the site. Use the site map below to identify
Nicaragua Quest Site Map
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Sandinista guerrillas funded by the US government
collection of papers containing detailed information about a
particular person or subject (usually a person's record)
National Liberation Front (in Spanish, Frente Sandinista de
people working together for the benefit of all the people, and
not just for one person in particular
Nicaraguan guerrilla group that overthrew Anastasio Somoza Debayle
in 1979; named for CÈsar Augusto Sandino, a hero of Nicaraguan
resistance to U.S. military occupation (1927-33)