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Out of the Ordinary


Unit Summary

This unit focuses on the development of communication, mathematical, scientific and social skills using undiscovered unique places and structures in the community. In this unit, the students will assume the roles of tourism officers, environment officers and researchers as they work on the project. The students will then showcase the unique features of their community by creating a travel guide in a wiki site.

Curriculum Framing Questions

  • Essential Question
    How can you make a difference?
  • Unit Questions
    How can you help promote tourism in your place?
    What makes a place interesting for people to visit?
  • Content Questions
    How do you collect, analyze and interpret data?
    How would you describe an extraordinary personality, structure, natural attraction and local tradition in your community?
    What characteristics make a community unique?

Assessment Processes

View how assessment is used in this unit plan. These assessments help students and teachers set understandable goals, monitor student progress, provide feedback, assess thinking, performance and products and reflect on learning throughout the activities.

Prerequisite Skills

Students Prior Knowledge
A working knowledge of software packages: word processing, database, spreadsheet, image processing, and multimedia.

Students also need working knowledge on the use of digital cameras, video-conferencing, emailing, etc.

Teachers’ Professional Learning

This unit will provide the teacher with an authentic learning opportunity to work as a co-learner with interested students to investigate the use of blogs as a reflection tool.  The teacher will set up a sample blog (http://offthebeatentrack.wik.is*)

Teaching and Learning Strategies

  • Student led and centered practical experiments – to promote engagement and authentic learning
  • Guided discussion and questioning
  • Buddy system for research time, small group/pair work and presentation to class

Teaching and Learning Activities

Instructional Procedures

Phase 1: Selecting a site and drafting a feasibility study

  1. The teacher will present the overview (ppt) of the project. Students will be tasked to brainstorm (doc) on a personality, place, or structure which can be considered unique to their community. They are required to organize their ideas and insights in a concept map. As soon as they finish, the students must register (doc) and post their thoughts in a wiki page  http://offthebeatentrack.wik.is/*.
  2. After the overview, the students will look for interesting persons or places in their localities falling under any of the following categories: natural site, building Site, cultural site or slice of life.

    Each member of the group will assume one of the following roles: tourism officer, environment officer, and data analyst. To ensure that each member will accomplish his/her task, the teacher has defined these roles and tasks.

    Tourism officer


    You will explore new localities and identify interesting personalities and unusual attractions in each of these localities. 

    Environment Officer


    You will identify potential dangers to travelers and strategies to minimize these dangers or risks. You will also conduct information and education campaigns on environmental protection, conservation and preservation.



    You will be tasked with information collation, research and data analysis such as  timelines, investments and generation of tourism-related information.

    Students will use the activity sheet (doc) as guide in completing Phase I.

  3. During the gathering of information the students will interview the people in the local community or an expert online.          
  4. While the unit is in progress, the students will be advised to write their researches in the wiki (www.offthebeatentrack.wik.is) for others to be able to contribute freely to their research results. The teacher will assign groups to review postings on the wiki page. The students will be encouraged to post critiques and evaluate the postings using the rubric and checklist. A monitoring sheet will also be provided to each group for them to keep track of the comments of their peers.

Phase 2.  Promoting an attraction

  1. In this phase of the project, the students will create a travel guide for their off-the-beaten track project. To this end the students will
  • Brainstorm why people should visit their community.
  • Read sample brochures/printed travel guides that feature tourist attractions.
  • Visit websites on travel, including the websites of Ministries of Tourism of different countries.
  • Prepare storyboards
  • Develop a travel guide.
  • Upload their output in the wiki site
  • Critique and evaluate two other travel guides.

Emphasize to the class that their evaluation/critiques are important to helping each other improve their projects. A checklist (doc) to monitor progress and guidelines on how to give feedback (doc) will be posted on the wiki site.

Phase 3. Showcasing

  1. Students will present their travel guide to the class taking note of the comments of the class. Their teacher and classmates will comment on their presentation using a rubric (doc).
  2. The students will consider the comments received, improve and finalize their travel guide.

Accommodations for Differentiated Instruction

Resource Student
For their Internet research, the students will be provided with note cards and templates to help them synthesize information. Students should be allowed to focus on what they can do, such as collect data, ask a buddy in the interpretation of data gathered.

Gifted Student
The gifted students can be given extra assignment like engaging into more in-depth researches about the topics on the web or they may work on related activities in the community to come up with a useful output. They may be assigned to spearhead on-line collaboration.
The student may work further on making a feasibility plan on how a community will showcase the site.

Amelia Buan participated in the Intel® Teach Essentials Course, which resulted in this idea for a classroom project.

Out of the Ordinary

At A Glance

Year: First Year High School (Grade 7)
Subject: English and Mathematics
Time needed: 5 meetings (60 mins each mtg)