What Is A Utopia? Webquest

ESL 086-07

Introduction

The idea of a Utopia has been around for a long time. Sir Thomas More wrote about it in the 1500s. What is a Utopia? What would it be like to live in one? Is it an impossible idea? These are some of the many topics we will be exploring this semester. We will start now, with an understanding of the term “Utopia”.

Task

If you look in the dictionary, you will easily find a definition of the word “Utopia”. Sometimes, though, those definitions aren't very clear or they are extremely limited. In this unit we will investigate the meaning of the word by looking at dictionary definitions and examining some existing Utopian societies.

After this investigation, we will write an extended definition essay that explains the term more fully.

Process

Part 1:

In the first part of this project, you are to look in a number of dictionaries to see how they define the word “Utopia”. You will write those definitions here, always giving the name of the dictionary in which you found it and the related publication information. These can be online or paper dictionaries. Each of you is expected to add at least 3 different dictionary definitions. Make sure you don't repeat a source that your classmate has already used.

Part 2:

Now, we will look at some different Utopian societies.
Acorn Community http://www.ic.org/acorn/
The Farm http://www.thefarm.org/index.html
Twin Oaks http://www.twinoaks.org/
Victory City http://www.victorycities.com/
Utopian States http://www.utopianstates.com/US1/index.html
Utopian World http://www.utopianworld.org/

Choose two of the sites above or any other sites you might be able to find about Utopian communities. Write a brief description of each community and tell how it does or doesn't match some of the definitions of a Utopia that you found. Post them here. Make sure you don't choose a community that your classmate has done.

Part 3:

Now, look in your Process of Composition textbook from last semester. (If you don't have it anymore, don't worry. We will talk about this in class, too.) On page 49 there is a discussion of “Extended Definition”.
You will now write an extended definition essay. You should include the following information: at least one dictionary definition of Utopia, at least one example of a Utopian community and anything else you think helps to define the term “Utopia”.

When you are done with your first draft, upload it to Writing Assignment #1 in Moodle. I will grade it as it is, and you will have the right to revise and edit it as many times as you want before the final due date of February 1. Each time you resubmit it, I will grade it again. When you have revised it for the last time, you will post it to the class blog.

Evaluation

Your grade for this unit will be based on two things: the writing assignment and your completion of all the earlier tasks in this project. The writing will be graded separately according to the rubric. The project tasks will be graded according to this rubric:

Dictionary definitions (4 points possible) :

* Submitted only one incomplete definition to the wiki. It was lacking either the reference or a major part of the definition. - 1 point
* Submitted one complete definition with the reference. - 2 points
* Submitted one complete definition with the reference and one partial post that was missing one of those elements. - 3 points
* Submitted two complete definitions with references. - 4 points

Description of 1st Utopian Community (4 points possible):

* Made an incomplete description of the community. It was lacking at least 2 elements: reference, complete description and/or relation to the definitions. - 1 point
* Made an incomplete description of the community. It was lacking 1 element: reference, complete description and/or relation to the definitions. - 2 points
* Made a complete description of the community. It was, however, very weak in its description or its relationship to the definitions. - 3 points
* Made a complete description of the community that addressed both questions well. - 4 points

Description of 2nd Utopian Community (4 points possible):

* Made an incomplete description of the community. It was lacking at least 2 elements: reference, complete description and/or relation to the definitions. - 1 point
* Made an incomplete description of the community. It was lacking 1 element: reference, complete description or relation to the definitions. - 2 points
* Made a complete description of the community. It was, however, very weak in its description or its relationship to the definitions. - 3 points
* Made a complete description of the community that addressed both questions well. - 4 points

Conclusion

Now that you have completed these tasks, you should have a basic understanding of what a Utopia is. We will move on now to look at other aspects of Utopian communities.


ESL 086-07

SJSC_ESL WIki Home


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.