The first exhibition of the year. Every year we have two exhibitions that demonstrates all of our learning we have done. Take a look at my exhibition from last year (Part 1)!
This year we focused on the 1950’s which is a very busy period in time. It involved, the Korea War, the Cold War, the baby boom, communism vs capitalism, a new life style including suburbia and consumerism etc. We also studied The Crucible which tied in communism vs capitalism. Basically our exhibition had to cover all of those topics and themes. All the other exhibitions I have done, have been either a partner project or an individual project. This time it was a class project and we had the whole gym to present our work. The goal was to turn the gym into a walk way and some student would guide the guests around while the others act out a story. It was kind of a test to see how well we could work together and surprising I would say our class did an amazing job, especially since our teachers weren’t there to guide us. We also learned a seance of independace since we had to come up with the ideas all on own.
To rewind, to create our exhibition there was a lot of research and thought put into the final product. We started off by looking at life in the 1950’s. Post WWII was the time where husbands were coming home from war to their family’s, which lead to the baby boom and the idea of having a nuclear family. After WWII, North America experienced a spike in birth rates. This generation of Baby Boomers was the result of a strong postwar economy. In fact around 40% of the population now are baby boomers.A nuclear family is simply a family with a husband and wife and their kids.
From there new concepts grew such as consumerism, people were by new fridges, blenders etc. People were also able to buy houses in the suburbs. Families left the cities and into the suburbs. All the houses looked identical with the typical white picket fence.
This video that we watched really opened my eyes to what a nuclear family is. Before I hadn’t really heard of the term.
We also went into depth with President Eisenhower. Eisenhower was a war hero and had a eight year presidency. This help him with his presidency techniques since he knew how war worked. Eisenhower was played a significant role in our exhibition. In fact our first scene was one of his speeches. Eisenhower understood the Americans needs for security.
Communism vs Capitalism
Communism vs capitalism and the McCarthy Trials were a huge concept in the exhibition. The Americans were very anti communist and considered them their enemies.
There were revelations that spies inside the US atomic program had passed secrets to the Soviet Union which set off nationwide panic that communist spies might be infiltrating American institutions. In this unit we talked about what injust means. We were able to connect that concept to the Crusible. The fact that it is injust to accuse innocent people!
Check out my MindNode I created all about the McCarthy Trials!!
A huge concept of this unit was The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The Crucible is a play that was written in the 1950’s about witches and the witch trials. While reading the book we made connections to history and modern day. We also learned about the different themes and how they connected to our unit, the 1950’s.
We did a separate project for The Crusible. Here is an example of the one I think is the best out of the three we did.. The main plot was to get rid of all of the ‘witches’. They would accuse innocent people and punish them if they were the slightest bit guilty. At first I was a little confuse on how this connected with the ideology of communism vs capitalism. I was soon mind blown to find out that Arthur Miller was referring the witches to communists. All of the witches being on trial was a metaphor for the communism trials. The whole theme was one big witch hunt. This was an important theme that we could include in our exhibition.
From the concept of a witch hunt, we could connect it to modern day, Donald Trump. I think the Crusible a highlight for my learning because it had such an important theme that we were able to connect to modern day and historical events.
Now to the exhibition. Sadly I wasn’t going to be able to attend the exhibition so I helped with the planning and put my self forward for DRI of set design. To make sure we would get work done we had two voted DRI’s that were in charge of everything. Within the group we divided each section up and each section had a DRI. We had set design, costumes and makeup and the script. Overall I think that system was very effective and we got the work all done.
Here are the processes we took to come up with a solid plan:
We had to figure what our themes were going to be and how many stations to have etc. Once we had an idea we could start constructing the story line. A huge part of the exhibition were the guides. We needed four guides to guide the guests round. The guide had the most complex role. The guides were Sofia, Claire, Sam and Adam. Everyone else was put into sections and they had to be in charge of making prop lists for their scene and writing a brief script. With the script each group wrote a script and the DRI and the others in script read over them to make sure they we all related to each other.
My role in the exhibition was to make sure we had all the props and to make sure all the building was done. The set designers also had to sketch out a plan for the gym, like were everything was going to be.
Our class room pretty much turned into a workshop with drills saws etc. Early on in the process, we started build props that we new we needed like the white picket fence and a stop sign for the street scene.
The last few days leading up to the exhibition were pretty chaos. We were trying to finish any building we had to.
As I said earlier, I wasn’t there for the exhibition. I was really annoyed because I wanted to see the work put to life. However a classmate filmed it with a Go Pro:
From the exhibition I didn’t just learn about the 1950’s, I learned a lot of different skills. These skills were storytelling, bringing all of our knowledge together and creating a story. I’m sure if I was there I would have practiced public speaking and acting. From doing this exhibition, I really got a good idea of the 1950’s. From creating a story around the information, I connected with the learning a lot better, and know so much about the 1950’s. All of the work we did leading up to the exhibition, all helped us execute a story connecting all of the events together.