Thursday, December 6, 2012

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: A Webquest

This is a Classroom Project designed to research and explore a few of the sociological, historical and cultural aspects which establish the context in which the adventures told in our book take place. 


The class is to be divided in five smaller groups of 4 to 5 students. Each group will deal with one of the    FIVE SECTIONS  detailed further below.

Session 1: Distribution of the work in groups: each group will be given a section to explore. The students will distribute the work among its members. They will together or individually follow the links and do some research at home.

Session 2: Group work: the members of each group will put their work together, sharing and comparing their data and material. They will discuss what to include in their group presentation, what further research might be necessary, what aids they'll need to gather in order to present their work, etc. 

Session 3: Oral presentations in groups of all the work done. Students are expected to present their data with the support of the new technologies. Powerpoint, Word, PDF or any other type of supporting material for audio or video are welcome.

SECTION ONE: BOTSWANA - history, politics and economy
Learn more about Botswana.You might want to explore a bit about its recent history since its Independence from the British Empire. You might want to dig into the most relevant aspects of its economy and society: 
What type of political system rules the country? 
What's the country's economy based on? 
What type of society or societies can be found? (rural, urban, tribal, etc.) 
Have you heard of the rock and cave paintings in Tsodilo, declared World Heritage by UNESCO?

SECTION TWO: TRIBAL LIFE - customs, traditions and superstition 
You might want to do some research about tribal life - its customs and traditions.
You may want to look into the relation between magic, medicine and superstition.
Who are the bushmen
What's the population number?
How do they live? How do they support themselves?
Is there an official policy regarding them?
What role does the Kalahari Desert play in their lives?

Sebastião Salgado, Bushmen, Botswana [Bird Man], Africa
Birdman (Sebastiao Salgado)

What's the importance of the mining industry in South Africa for Botswana's economy?
What are the problems and consequences of this type of activity? 
You may want to research about working conditions, health issues, mortality rates, colonisation, etc.

Gold Mines (Sebastiao Salgado)

A reflection upon the role and situation of women in Botswana permeates almost every page of the book. You may want to explore the sociological, historical and cultural aspects of the current situation of women in this African country.
For example,
How deep, if anything, has the vindication of women changed their traditional roles in cities and villages of modern Botswana?
How visible is the representation of women in the country's politics?
What's their position in the labour market? and in the domestic life?


Women and their role in society: what can you infer from the reading?