This webquest will help you investigate Johannesburg: its history, music and famous landmarks. You will also plan an adventure holiday and discuss your favourite Johannesburg landscapes. Downloadable worksheet and teacher's notes are available at the bottom of the page.

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Activity 1: Introductory quiz

Read the questions and, in pairs or small groups, try to predict the answers to the following eight questions on Johannesburg facts.

1. Which of these is a nickname for Johannesburg?

    a) Johns’burg       b) The Big ‘J’        c) Jo’burg

2. Johannesburg is famous for the discovery of its:

    a) Gold               b) Silver               c) Copper

3. The population of Johannesburg is between:

    a) 3-6 million      b) 6-9 million         c) 9-11million

4. Johannesburg is the capital of South Africa.

    a) True              b) False

5. Johannesburg is famous around the world because it has approximately 6 million:

    a) Houses         b) Trees               c) Cars

6. Johannesburg was established in:

    a) 1786            b) 1886                c) 1986

7. The maximum average temperature in Johannesburg in the summer (degrees celsius) is           approximately:

   a) 26C              b) 30C                 c) 19C

8. Which sports events has Johannesburg hosted?

   a) The Olympics b) The Rugby World Cup c) The Football World Cup

Now check your answers using the following web page:

Activity 2: Group planning – places to go, things to do

South Africa is a country for adventurous and active people. The following web page lists lots of different activities from shark cage-diving to canopy tours:

Look through the page and choose three activities you would like to participate in. Then, in groups of four or five, select three activities your group would like to do.

Activity 3: Web information hunt – Soweto

1) What do you know about Soweto, a famous area of Johannesburg?

2) Can you answer these questions about Soweto? Read this web page to help you:

    a) Why did lots of people from South Africa and elsewhere move to Soweto?

    b) What was the first name of Soweto in1905?

    c) Where were new houses built in the 1930s? Who was the area named after?

    d) Who is the ‘Father of Soweto’ and why is he famous?

    e) In which province is Soweto?

    f) Where does Soweto get its name?

Activity 4: Do you speak Afrikaans?

See if you can guess what the following words mean in South Africa. Choose either a) or b) for each word. When you have finished, compare your answers with a partner. Then use the following website to check your answers:

1. Dankie                          a) Thank you               b) Goodbye

2. Ja                                 a) Yes                        b) Good

3. Nee                               a) Nice!                      b) No

4. Ek kom van …              a) I’m from…               b) I can…

5. Totsiens                        a) Hello                      b) Goodbye

6. Sterkte                         a) Good luck               b) See you later

7. Jammer                        a) Please                    b) Sorry

8. Lekker dag                    a) Have a nice day      b) I like…

Activity 5: Around Johannesburg

Work in groups and look at the website below which is all about the famous Cradle of Humankind caves outside Johannesburg, where many ancient hominid fossils have been discovered.

In your group read one of the web pages and write five questions based on the information available.

Next, have a reading race – read out a question and the other groups have to race to find the answer.

Activity 6: Grammar – present continuous and present simple

Work in pairs. Read the sentences about Johannesburg and choose the most appropriate verb; present simple or present continuous.

1. Thousands of people_________ Johannesburg every year as tourists.

    a) visit                b) are visiting

2. The city ________an increasingly popular destination for foreign tourists to South Africa.

    a) becomes        b) is becoming

3. The urban area of Johannesburg____________ due to the increase in migrants.

    a) expands        b) is expanding

4. The population of Johannesburg____________ each year; by 2030 it might reach 11 million.

    a) increases      b) is increasing

5. Johannesburg____________ one of the world’s best climates, with many warm, sunny days.

    a) has              b) is having

6. Johannesburg________________ plenty of opportunities for visitors to experience the varied nightlife on offer.

    a) provides       b) is providing

Now look at the sentences again. Why did you choose that answer? Can you make some rules for using the present continuous and present simple? Which tense is used for ‘situations of change’, and which is used for ‘facts’. Check your ‘rules’ with another pair, and ask your teacher if you’re not sure.

Activity 7: Discussion – picture perfect

Search the internet for photos of Johannesburg. Which is your favourite picture and why? Discuss your favourite picture with a partner.


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