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Destination: Galapagos Islands Cyber Field Trip

Galapagos Travel Brochures:
Explorations in Design and Communications

Developed by Beth Schultz, preservice teacher at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin.

Grade Level: Middle school
Basic Concepts:
Descriptions, classifications, persuasion
Content Areas: Geography, science, art, language arts

4 hours (Day 1: 1 1/2 hours; Day 2: 1 hour; Day 3: 1 1/2 hours)

Students will utilize various research materials to learn about the different islands of the Galapagos. They will also practice both written and verbal communication skills.

An assortment of travel brochures
Chalkboard and chalk
Computer and Internet connection
Various reference materials
(books, periodicals, etc)
Crayons, markers, colored pencils

  1. Provide students with an assortment of travel brochures. After giving the students time to look through them, discuss what makes a travel brochure effective (i.e., they encourage tourists to visit the destination, they include pertinent information that help readers make informed decisions, etc.)

  2. Discuss persuasive language. How does a person write persuasively? Travel brochures must encourage the reader to visit a specific place. How would one go about making a destination sound enticing? Write students' ideas on the chalkboard.

  3. Have students select one of the 13 main islands of the Galapagos upon which to focus. Then instruct them to conduct research on that island using the Internet, books (fiction and non-fiction), magazines, newspapers, journals and computer software.

  4. When students have completed their research, have them design a travel brochure for their island. The recommended size is an 8x14 inch sheet of paper that is tri-folded; however, other sizes may be considered. Students should include both text and visual images. Pictures may be drawn by hand, produced from a computer or cut out from other sources (all sources should be cited). Students should include a wealth of information about their island, such as:

    • major cities
    • tourist attractions
    • topography
    • vegetation
    • wildlife
    • marine environment
    • climate
    • historical sites
    • water activities
    • other activities on the island
    • culture
      (Some of the work may need to be completed at home, as class time is limited.)
  1. Encourage students to include a feature in their brochure about some of the issues facing their island such as El Nino, human inhabitation, introduced species, etc.

  2. Challenge students to design a second advertising piece on their island. They may choose to work with other students who have selected the same island for their travel brochure, although there should be no more than three students per group. Each group should select a presentation format from the list below.

    • Make a travel poster
    • Write and perform a radio commercial
    • Write and perform a television commercial
    • Record a mock interview with an expert from the island
    • Design a set of postage stamps
    • Write and perform a song
    • Compose a poem
    • Student choice (discuss with teacher)

Have students keep a log of the work they do each day, since some of the work may be completed outside the classroom. Evaluate students on their logs, as well as their travel brochure (and as a group for the second advertising piece, if they complete this part. Inform students of the criteria listed in the following rubric ahead of time.

Rubric for Travel Brochure


Rate each criteria on a scale, one (1) being the lowest and five (5) being the highest.

Log entries show daily progress 1 2 3 4 5
Provides accurate information 1 2 3 4 5
Information pertains to subject 1 2 3 4 5
Clarity 1 2 3 4 5
Appealing/eye-catching visuals 1 2 3 4 5
Neatness 1 2 3 4 5
Optional Group Score          

The maximum amount of points a group can earn for their advertising piece is 20. Since groups are allowed to choose their presentation format, there is no one rubric for the group score. However, groups should be provided with feedback so that they are able to determine exactly how their score was derived. If desired, students may wish to draw up a contract with the teacher; this could aid in the assessment process.

The final grade will be determined by the total amount of points earned.

Exemplary 45-50 points
Proficient 35-44 points
Novice 25-34 points
Unpresentable 24 and below points

Related Resources

*Charles Darwin Research Station. (2-2-98). Charles Darwin Research Station.
Info about islands, issues affecting the Galapagos. What it's like to work at the Station, scientific reports and conservation. Many (but not all) of the sites within the page are youth-friendly.

*Clark, D. & Giddings, A. (Producers and Directors). 1996. Galapagos beyong Darwin [Film].
Available from Discovery Channel Video.
This video focuses on the present day of Galapagos Islands, covering topics such as evolution, research, adaptation of species, and threats to the islands. Wonderful footage of many aspects of the islands.

*Ecuadortours. (2-16-98). The Galapagos Islands.
A website sponsored by Provides very general information for tourist about the the islands and the National Park and Marine Reserve.

*Ecadortours. (2-16-98). General island description.
Website run by This section provides brief information about the some of the main islands in the Galapagos.

*International Galapagos Tour Operators Association. (1-10-98). The Galapagos Islands: A world hertiage site.
Includes Pictures, links, specific information about the islands, issues, references, climate, and National Park Rules.

*Interpretation International (2-16-98). Discover Galapagos.
A tour company's home page. Begins with legend of the Galapagos. Leads into links about specific tours or general information about the islands.

Kawashima, H. (March 21, 1998). 7 days of Galapagos.
Traveler's log of a 7-day journey through the Galapagos. Includes pictures and a map of the Islands.

(*denotes "youth-friendly")


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
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