People and the Environment

The environment has allowed people to thrive for 1000s of years, but right now, we are in a middle of a global environmental crisis; if we don’t stop our devastating lifestyle, we may not be able to turn back. That’s why for the past few weeks, we’ve been working hard on trying to create change in many provincial problems, we have been creating letters that show problems and solutions, and we started sending them to ministers and government officials to promote change. Now I’m going to tell you how I did it and the problems and solutions I encountered while trying to make final draft.

We started this project as soon as we got back from summer break , this project was heavily based on a website called commonlit, in commonlit we had to write or read and learn about using strong evidence, we started this project reading about story called Lee Sherman and the Toxic Louisiana Bayou, this passage showed us how the Louisiana Bayou was contaminated and how Lee Sherman was forced to dump chemicals into the water, we decided if we thought it was the PPG ( Sherman’s Company) fault or it was Lee Sherman’s fault based on the evidence we got in the story, I personally thought it was the company’s fault due to the fact that maybe that was only job we could take and we has getting payed to dump the chemicals. Around this time we also had to decide what environmental topic we were going to talk about and who we were going to send the letter to, I had 3 choices on what I was going to pick for my topic.

1. Illegal logging in the forests of BC
2. Toxic waste and industrial pollution contaminating rivers and lakes of northern BC.
3. A larger environmental footprint created from urban sprawl in Vancouver

Based off the information and interest i had in each of these topics, I picked contamination of waterways in northern B.C, We talked to the teachers about our topic and fine tuned it a bit turning it into, mine tailings contaminating northern B.Cs waterways, I changed it because there was more publicity on this issue so I could find more information. Next, I had to consider an audience my main choice was George Heyman because of multiple reasons, one of which is that he is the minister of the environment I feel as though he could make an impact since he has such a big role in B.Cs environmental crisis, the second reason i picked George Heyman is because he is a spokesperson for mining and other environmental problems which is perfect for my letter since my letter is based off mining.

For the next couple weeks, we mainly focused on researching our topics as we had a letter plan conference with our teachers where we had to present all of our research and figure out solutions for our problem. I made 2 papers, 1 research paper that just had all of my information, notes and images on a pages document and 1 paper that had all my knowledge organized and ready to present.
In this letter plan conference I feel like I demonstrated my understanding for my topic quite well and conveyed my solutions to my problem very clearly. After this conference we did more commonlit stories, including: The Sea Also Rises, Quiet Town and Hey Come On Out, all of these passages had themes that related to the environment for example Hey Come On Out is about a “endless” hole that everyone dumps their garbage in and it turns out it isn’t endless as the hole leads right on top of the city, the theme of this story is don’t do things you don’t want to happen to you. As we read more and more commonlit stories we developed our writing and reading and we started writing our rough drafts of our letters, I ended up making 5 drafts of my letter but im only going to show the most important ones. My first draft was decent I felt that I didn’t show my ideas as clearly as I wanted and it didn’t seem that formal

After we each completed our first draft, we got extensive feedback from the grade 11 class and we had to revise and review based on this feedback, the feedback I got included grammar errors and the flow of the letter, you can the feed back here:

After I reviewed and changed many things about my letter, adding explanations and different ideas. It was time for teacher feedback, the teacher feedback helped make a better intro and flow between different paragraphs, the feedback also helped develop my word choice in the letter. The feedback I got was this:

After everything, all the changes and reviews I made my final edits and changes and was ready to send my letter hopefully making a difference in how we handle mine waste. My final letter looked like this:

While I was revising all of my drafts we were studying about themes, what theme is our letter and how can we relate our theme of our letter to a commonlit story. We had 60 minutes to write about how the themes relate, the theme I had for my letter was Actions always effect someone, whether that be people or the environment, I related this theme to Lee Sherman’s using quotes and evidence from Lee Sherman and my letter, by the end of the 60 minutes I ran out of time so my conclusion is unfinished, but my end result looked like this:

At the end of our project we walked to a post box to mail our letters

In conclusion, I learnt a lot from this project, I learn about the environment, writing, and the problem mine tailings pose on the environment. I feel like my writing and use of evidence has improved greatly, and my understanding of themes developed. Thanks for reading, and I hope I can get a response to my letter.

At the end of our project we walked to a post box to mail our letters

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