We have started a new unit, metaphor machines. It bands together science, math, english and social studies in a project we will be working on till Christmas. Our first assignment was to learn about Crane Brinton, and his theory on revolutions. We also had to come up with an inquiry question to research. Mine is how long was the incubation period of the American Revolution.
Brinton’s theory was based upon 4 stages. He compared revolutions to sickness, with the beginning symptoms, the cold appearing, the fight against, and the resolution. In his theory, every revolution started with the incubation stage. Here, there was economic crisis, intellectual opposition, a sense of govt. injustice, and a few other things. This stage could last for quite a while. Next came the moderate stage. In this stage, protests start to occur, and sometimes violence, but on a small scale. Third, there was the crisis stage. This is when the radicalization begins, with the radicals taking power. Usually there is a strongman at the head of it. And finally, the recovery stage. The violence and radicalization is over. Government is altered, but is still similar to the original.
The American Revolution was started in 1765, but had been boiling for quite a while. For starters, some of the colonies in the 1750s felt like they were not being represented in the British Parliament. But it started way further back. Since the 1660s, English Parliament had controlled colonial trade and taxed imports. So by the time of the Revolution, the Americans were being deprived historical rights. No one was on their side. The big guys were making all the money. Then, the protests started.
So really, the incubation period for the American Revolution started over a century before the Revolution actually began. It’s kinda crazy to thing about.
Crane Brinton made some really good points in his theory. He really broke down the process, and made it easier to understand. But it didn’t really connect to the revolution I am working on, the Easter Rising. So while it was insightful and helped some groups, it didn’t especially help me understand my revolution. I would’ve liked to have my inquiry question more focused on The Easter Rising.
Then, I started working on the cards. I decided to make number cards as well as operation cards. With that, you needed an art style, for your cards. I decided to go with a Greek theme. Each card had either a Greek god, or an evil character from Greek Mythology. It took me a very long time to make.
Using Sketches Pro, I found a grid pattern to make the outline of my cards. Next, I got the outline of a circle and placed one in each box, save for the Cerberus one, where there were three. Then, I chose symbols for each of the gods, and traced them next to the circles. Once that was finished, I put numbers and operations in the top corners of each cards. Then, each card was personalized, with hair, eyes, and their name in the top right corners. No colour yet, because I was printing in black and white.
Next, I printed off three sets of the cards. But the paper wasn’t the thickest, and you could see through it. So after colouring in the cards, because I printed them in black and white, I got pieces of construction paper and glued it to the back. This made it a lot sturdier.
Finally, cutting. I got to use a paper cutter, so my lines were nice and strait. It definitely took a while though. Then I played my game, and I was finished! Here’s my game in action.
The Frankenstuffie project is kind of a tradition in PLP. Though it has changed drastically since the first group did it because of the curriculum change, it held strong through its core. Like, who does not love cutting up stuffies and sewing them back together!
We started our unit by reading. I love reading, especially if it is a good book. And it was! We got to read The Martian by Andrew Weir. It tied into the unit because every few chapters, we would have to fill out a novel sheet.
Within that, we had to choose an animal on which to base our story around. Yay. Research. We had actually just been there, on our Calgary Trip. So I already knew a bit about it. Anyways, I chose a wolf. I already had a wolf stuffy that I could use, so I was all set!
This was where the Martian reading came in. We had to write an epistolary story about our Frankenstuffie. The climax was a disruption in a matter cycle that caused our animal to have to adapt.
This project went across the board, connecting humanities to science. We learned about the matter cycles: Phosphorus, Carbon, Water and Nitrogen. I chose the water cycle, but also had parts of the carbon cycle mixed in. My disruption was that humans were burning to many fossil fuels. This caused the surface air to heat up. Hotter temperatures cause more evaporation, therefore more precipitation. This is actually happening around the world, but that’s another story. Anyways, the increase in precipitation caused a flood. My wolf could not swim very well, so he had to adapt… But you will get that in the video.
We had to write 6 ‘journal entries’, from the perspective of our animals. Each episode had certain criterial. There was lots of critique. Once that was approved, we moved on to writing a script. Then, critique. Next, storyboarding. Critique. Video. Critique. Edit. Critique. Here is my first video.
It was not the greatest, and it showed in my critique. My audio was not working great, and a bunch of other things. So I critiqued. Here is my next draft.
We did everything piece by piece. The first draft is only the first half, because that had to be okayed before we moved on to cutting up our stuffies. I had great fun with that, more than I think I should have. Do psychos enjoy cutting up and sewing things together? I hope not. Anyways, it was more difficult than I thought it would have been, because I had to sew on the seam. Also, I sewed in a pipe cleaner, to make the feet bigger. That was awkward. Here is a time lapse of me in action!
Once I had Loki (my stuffie) all sewed up, I could make the second half. Here it is.
From there, I still had to edit. Got critique and fixed. Still not great though. Here is the almost final draft.
After that was submitted, I was almost there. I just had to add music, which I made using Garage Band. Then voilà, my final draft.
I learned a lot from this project. To start, I had never written a story from the epistolary perspective. I definitely learned a lot abut some of our new apps, including Green Screen, a new version of Explain Everything, plus apps we already had but never used like Garage Band and iMovie. I also learned about storyboarding, and simple ways to do it.
My biggest takeaway from this project was video making as a whole. I had no idea there were this many steps to making a video. From writing a story, to like 5 drafts, it is amazing.
We learned practical skills in this project. For example, we had to hand-sew our frankenstuffies. Sewing is a very practical skill that can be used in real life. Also, by being taught about the matter cycles, it teaches us about global warming. I had to research the carbon cycle especially, as well as the water cycle, and it’s crazy how everything is so connected. Just by one small change, a whole ecosystem can be effected. It’s like how if one person changes something, everyone gets effected. For example, a revolution. One person has an idea, then more, then they revolt. After that, everything changes.
Later in our Grade 9 careers, we are going to be doing health and career stuff in maker. But our first assignment starts now with Take Your Kid To Work Day! I got to go with my mom to her workplace!
My mom is a RMT, registered massage therapist. She works at Balance Acupuncture and Massage, a clinic in Vancouver. With that, she doesn’t usually have a regular work schedule. It is by appointment, so sometimes she works from 10-3 and sometimes 4-7! Always keeps you on your toes. Here’s an interview of her!
While I was there, I couldn’t exactly follow her around. She has patients, and it would be weird if I went in while she was doing a massage. So I worked on this and did little things. An example of that was when my mom was waiting for a client and working with files, I got to put them away.
Another thing I did was kind-of be a receptionist. With new clients, I had them fill out forms while they waited for the RMT. It was cool, but nerve-racking. I didn’t want to do something wrong and then my mom get blamed for it. It was definitely an experience.
I also walked around Main Street, and bought a cactus.
In this workplace, I could see myself in a few positions. To start with, I could be a receptionist. It wouldn’t be to hard of a job for a university job (Like, while I’m going to school). I have been developing my people skills, through group projects and many other things PLP is teaching us about. That would certainly help. I also try to stay positive around strangers, and I can be very polite.
The other career I can see myself pursuing in this workplace is owner. I think it would be an experience to own your own business. Some skills I could bring to that are politeness, management, a time-oriented mind, and many others.
I don’t think massage therapy is for me though. It’s hard on your body, as my mom often mentions how her hands are sore. It also takes a certain kind of person, and I don’t think I have the certain skills needed. My mom has certain skills that make her a great RMT. Some of those are good planning ahead skills, a great knowledge of the human body, and great social skills. She also has large hands, which my uncle likes to point out, that probably help out