Cultural webquest

Visit San Francisco and find out about its geography, its infamous prison and watch the sunset from Golden Gate Bridge.

Explore new cities through the internet with our cultural webquest designed to expand both vocabulary and cultural knowledge of the English-speaking world.

The level of internet English is generally higher than elementary, but the activities are designed to make it accessible to elementary-level students. It is not essential that students understand every word to complete the activities, although a dictionary may be useful.

Download the Student’s Worksheet and the Teacher’s Notes that accompany this webquest.

Due to the nature of the web, sites change frequently. Please let us know if there are any broken links.

NB: While all reasonable attempts are made to ensure that content is suitable, Macmillan Education takes no responsibility for the content of third-party websites.

Webquest image

Activity 1: Reading

Find answers to the following questions about San Francisco using the website:

1) San Francisco is a city in…

a) western California

b) northern California

c) eastern California

2) San Francisco and the surrounding area are made up of…

a) 3,200 sq km

b) 1,200 sq km

c) 121 sq km

3) San Francisco is an important city for…

a) fishing

b) scuba diving

c) tourism

4) San Francisco is bordered on the west by…

a) the Atlantic Ocean

b) the English Channel

c) the Pacific Ocean

5) San Francisco’s average daily temperature in January is …

a) 6° to 12°C

b) 8° to 14.5°C

c) 7° to 15°C

Activity 2: Reading, writing & speaking

One of the most famous attractions in San Francisco is Alcatraz, a prison island off the coast of San Francisco.

a) Use the website: to answer the following questions.

1. How many prisoners attempted to escape from Alcatraz? (paragraph1)

2. How many prisoners were caught? (paragraph 1)

3. How many prisoners were shot? (paragraph 1)

4. How many prisoners drowned? (paragraph 2)

5. How many prisoners were never found? (paragraph 2)

Tricky vocabulary:

  • to attempt to escape = to try to escape

Extension activity:

a) Write five to ten questions for a partner using ‘How many…?’

How many people live with you?
How many CDs have you got?

b) Work with a partner. Ask each other your questions.

Activity 3: Speaking

This activity involves planning a holiday!

Imagine you have just arrived at San Francisco airport, and you have 24 hours to spend in the city. Look at the tourist information on the website:

Plan your time carefully. You have $400 to spend, which includes money for meals.

Work in pairs to describe what you are going to do on your holiday.

Use the structure going to and contractions.

Example: We’re going to visit the Golden Gate Bridge.