This humanities project’s topic question was “How do people and the environment affect each other.” We had to write a letter about an environmental issue in bc saying what the problem was, showing some evidence, and finding a solution. We would then be sending the letter to someone who could make a change on the issue.
An important part of this unit was our common lit reading and writing assignments. We read about environmental issues and how they affected people and how people affect the environment. Sometimes the environmental issue was presented through a story or article and one time through a poem called “Turtle’s Song”. We had to read the writing and answer the questions as well as complete writing responses. I found the “He-y, Come on O-it” the most interesting story even though it was fiction, it showed the idea that people need to be aware of what happens to waste. It doesn’t just go away. Short term solutions aren’t the answer. For the Common Lit Milestones, I learned a lot about how to write about environmental issues and connecting ideas in between stories. The picture I included shows evidence of my learning as well as shows the curricular competency: I can analyze how texts use literary devices to enhance both meaning and impact.
Another way we were answering the driving question was through the letter which was the product of the whole project. I chose to write my letter about microfibres in our waterways and how they get there through an everyday activity, doing laundry. In hopes of making a difference I chose to write a letter to the Minister of the Environment in BC. His name was Honorable George Heyman. I wrote many drafts of the letter that was critqued by many different audiences. One grade 12 student told me to make my letter more concise. This comment made me shorten my letter and get to my point more quickly. My drafts including my final letter are below. The letter and every step I did to make the letter showed two curricular competencies:
- I can use writing and design process to plan, develop, and create original, and engaging and meaningful texts for a variety of purposes and audiences.
- I can reflect, assess and refine texts to improve clarity, effectiveness, and impact for purpose, audience and message.
Drafts of letter
Final letter draft
Something I found very amusing was the fact that almost NOBODY in our
class knew how to write the address and return address on the letter. The teachers had to take extra time to show us how to do this and give us extra
time to do it! Because we normally don’t use pencils (especially mini ones) it was hard to get the lettering straight and neat. I’ve never personally had to address a letter before. It shows how difference between my generation and ones before.
Another evidence of my learning all three of these curricular competencies is the common lit connections multi paragraph assignment. We had to tie the common lit readings to our letter in three paragraphs. The most challenging part for me was understanding what was being asked of me to write. Even after I asked my friends I didn’t understand what I had to write. I understood all the stories and the letter but didn’t understand what I actually had to write. After completing the outline and making a theme statement it was more clear what I had to do. The photo below is the common lit connections that I did with Mr. Harris’ critique on how to improve.
I enjoyed learning about the environmental issues in more depth than I have done in the past. This was a very open ended project where we had to research and find an environmental issue here in BC and find a solution. At the beginning of the project I didn’t think we could come up with solutions but everyone in the class had a great idea of how to solve their issue. By researching how doing laundry affects the ocean so much, I realized that everything we do affects the environment. Even though I think that there are more destroyers than protectors in our world right now, there are lot of people who are making a change in the 21st century. Everything you do affects the environment. When the environment is affected, we are affected too. SO BUY A MICROFILTER!!