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.

The Martian Novel Sheet-1 3-vb73cj

As you can see, the bottom question asks ‘Who’s in Control: People or the Environment’. That was the driving question for our entire unit!

I am not going to give away any spoilers from the book, but I do recommend it. It is a great read.

Next, or, well, while we were doing the reading, we got assigned regions. There are 8 different regions, including the Arctic Lowlands, Innuitian Region, Canadian Shield, Hudson Bay Lowlands, Cordilleran Region, Interior Plains, St Lawrence Lowlands, and the Appalachian Region. Our group chose the Interior Plains.

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.