Travel Unit Performance Task
Reflecting on the strengths and weakness of the Art Unit Performance Task, I decided to use a similar series of tasks for a Travel Unit Performance Task with some changes. I hoped that the similarities would make students feel more comfortable with the expectations so that they could focus on content rather than the assignment requirements. I hoped the changes would address some of the issues that stood out from the previous unit.
The Travel Unit Performance Task also consisted of multiple steps. Students were given the option to work individually or in groups of up to 4 people to: encourage collaboration, take into account student preference, and to address some of the logistical difficulties encountered with individual presentations in a large class. Throughout the unit, we also focused on activities that reinforced not just vocabulary through multimodality but also different verb tenses (specifically commands and present progressive).
Students designed a travel guide in Spanish in any format that they wanted (pamphlet, book, website, comic, Prezi, podcast, screencast, Popplet, video, etc.) outlining six locations in a neighborhood that would be fun or interesting to visit. They were responsible to give directions to the area from Jamaica Station, Broadway Junction, or Times Square. Then they had to make a recommendation in command form about what to do at each location and a general description or commentary.
Each student or small group was assigned another 3-5 students or groups to participate in a role play. Students took turns acting as tourists requesting information and as travel guide authors giving directions and making recommendations in the command form. Students had practiced questions throughout the unit in class activitiies; however, they did not have a set list to ensure that students were genuinely communicating and actively listening, not just reciting memorized information.
Students individually selected a tour from the role play that interested them the most. They then recorded their experience “taking the tour” “on Instagram handouts with hashtags requiring that students include descriptions in the present progressive tense. Students were offered extra credit to actually go on and record their tour on Instagram, submitting screenshots of the Instagram photos and required hashtags to me.
To ensure the task included additional writing opportunities, students wrote an email to a friend outlining the details of the tour that they recorded on Instagram. This component required the use of multiple verb tenses.