The activitiy has to start offline although it is based on the internet: the idea is that students try and predict the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for their town, region or country.
Before the lesson, make sure there is a Wikipedia entry in English for the place you're going to talk about. It is useful to have an internet connection in class but if you don't have it you can take an offline version with you (or a printed version of the text).
- Ask students to start workingin pairs . What facts would they include? What are the important things to say it? Once each pair has agreed a shared text, then tell them to join another pair and make a further draft. They can share these drafts before the next stage.
- If you can go online, do it now. Invite the learners to compare their own entries with the actual Wikipedia entry. What similarities and/or differences do they notice? What language features do they recognise in the 'official' text? What are the organising principles behind the Wikipedia entries?
- If you like, you can add an element of competition by awarding a point for everything they correctly predict.
- Change the task to focus on different Wikipedia entries. In each case the task is the same, to predict and compare their paragraph with the real thing. For example:
a favourite singer
a sportsman or football team
a character in a film or story
- Ask them to write an 'imaginary' Wikipedia entry. These can't be compared with a real one, but can be displayed around the class or shared on a blog. Here are some ideas for an imaginary Wikipedia entry:
someone they know and admire (this could be someone in their family, or a friend)
me at the age of 50 – all the things I've achieved