Perspectives of WWII

This term we have covered a lot, so get comfy because this is a long one! Unlike last term where when focused on WWI, this term we were learning about WWII.More people died in WWII than in any other war. Overall there were over 40 million deaths. However, WWII was the last of other major wars. Obviously there are still wars between countries however, they are no where near as destructive as WWII. In our unit of WWII we were looking at the countries involved and how different countries each had different perspectives of WWII. Like all units, we always have a project that goes along with the theme of the unit. The theme for our unit was the perspectives of the war, the perspectives of the counties involved.

Driving question: How do we view and understand war, depending on who we are?

Before I even begin to go into depth about the project, there were a lot of steps leading up to it. Also throughout this project we had smaller assignments within it. As apart of our literature, we all participated in a novel study. For the novel study, we had three choices to read from. All of the choices were related to the topic of WWII. I chose to read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Before Spring break, we were given our books and we had all of Spring break to read them. After we were done reading, our assignment was to write a book review. The end product would be to include our book reviews onto the website. I wrote a whole blog post about my book review, go check it out to read about my opinions about the novel!

To advance our knowledge about WWII, we had a German veteran from WWII visit our class. This was probably one of the most memorable experience this year! Helmut was a Nazi in the war and he shared his experiences and stories from the war. I found it amazing talking to someone who had been in WWII and just listening to his stories were so interesting. It was also interesting to hear the perspective of a Nazi in WWII. Before he visited, every student submitted questions to ask Helmut. Our teacher chose 12, I was one of those 12. The question I asked was, what were your expectations for the war and how were they different from your experiences? 

While interviewing Helmut, we had one microphone set up recoding the whole interview. With that recording, individually we were going to be making podcasts. Our teacher had broken down the 1 hour recording into sections.

Our task was to chose a section we were interested in and create a 3-7 min podcast. It was pretty hard for me to chose what to make my podcast about. He talked about the battles he was in, there was a section about how there are no winners in the war, and all of the questions we asked him. I decided to focus on the question I asked. I also incorporated how he joined the army. Not going to lie but making this podcast was kind of interesting! His stories and experiences were so intriguing!

I managed to cut my audio down to around 3 mins, then I added a intro and conclusion. I also added some music to set the tone. 

Here is my rough draft:

I was very proud of my podcast. I got some really good feedback, because we did a peer critique in class and I only had to change the sound level and one or two small errors. For my final draft I added better title which was a quote from Helmut.

My second draft:

Right when we started the unit, we were pretty curious and didn’t really know a lot about WWII. In groups we came up with questions about WWII that we were curious about. We then had a few lessons and watch some videos, but we kept asking more questions about the war. As I said before, we were looking at the perspectives of WWII from the countries involved. We watch a few videos in class and took a lot of notes! The videos were about major battles, such as Operation Barbarossa and the Evacuation of Dunkirk. Once we knew the counties involved it was time to get into our groups for our project. We started an episode of WWII In Colour. This video was a video about before the war. It also talked about Hitler rising to power.

Our project was definitely unique to what we normally do, this project was a research project. Our project was somewhat a class project because all together our task was to create a website about the perspectives of WWII. For our website we used Weebly

My review on Weebly…

Lets just say there were a few issues with the website. First of all using Weebly on the iPad’s did not work well. When more than person was using the app, it would crash and not save anything. There was one day when our class had a substitute and the website wasn’t working. We tried so that only one person from each country could edit the website at a time. That still didn’t work so only one person could edit the site at a time. We came up with a router so each person had 10 mins to edit the website. After a while we tried out the lap tops. Turns out, using the lap tops, you can have multiple people editing the website at one time!!! Weebly was actually really easy to use with the computers. Overall just don’t edit Weebly on iPad’s.

Choosing the groups…

Each group was divided into different groups. To decided the country groups, each student filled out a Google Form that said what country they wanted to research. My top choice was Italy. The reason I chose Italy as my first choice, was because I knew a little but about Benito Mussolini and wanted to know more about his role in the war. Luckily I got my first choice of country to research for the website. Pretty much all of the groups had 3-4 people. Simon and Sydney were in my group for this project. Together we were going to be designing and personalizing the section on Italy. 

As a class, we decided all of the different sections of the website we were going to include. We broke it up into eight sections. 

They were: 

  • Your country, pre WWII (1939)
  • 1939, the war begins 
  • Military/technology 
  • Timeline of WWII for this country
  • Helmut podcast
  • Details of significant battles 
  • Soldier details 
  • Your choice; in our website we had to create a section of something unique about our country

We started off the project with researching each of the topics and adding information under each title. Since this was a group project, we made a Google Doc where we could keep all of our research, also we added our teacher so she could make sure we were keeping up to date with the research.

For the website, we split our page Italy into six pages.

Our pages included:

  • Intro page, we included location, language, amount of soldiers in the war, who they were allied with, etc. Most importantly, we added a goals for Italy that talked about what Italy wanted to get out of WWII. 
  • Before the war, the Great Depression and how that affected Italians.
  • During the war, this was probably the longest page. It included how Italy entered the war, leaders, what their military status was like, and important battles Italy was involved in. 
  • Timeline, main events during WWII. 
  • Benito Mussolini, Mussolini had a major role in WWII, he was the Italian dictator and formed the axis force with Germany. 
  • Interesting Italy, some fun facts about Italy. This included foods, music and a famous building. 

We just needed to organize our paragraphs into the website and we were good to go. As a group we split up the work. I was in charge of adding the paragraphs and writing most of them, Simon found media and organized the website, and Sydney was in charge of citing all the websites and pictures. As I said earlier, this was a research project so we had to cite all of our sources in MLA format. In class we did some activities to practice citing websites, videos and even books. Let’s just say it took a lot of explaining before everyone in the class understood. To practice for example with citing a website, we were given a website to read about “The Blitz” and we had to write a short paragraph including quotes from the website. Of coarse we needed to cite the website.

Example (we did the same for videos, and books):

The Battle of Britain 

In 1940, conflicts between Germany and Britain resulted in a, “significant turning point of World War II”(Cowley). After the French signed an armistice to quite the war, Britain had to compete against Germany’s powerful military. However, Britain had a chance since Germany was facing major problems, “they had no navy left after the costly conquest of Norway”(Cowely). Britain had a very strong air defence system which benefited them in the war. After waiting for the British to surrender, on September 7th the Germans encountered their first attack on London. Since the attack was successful for Germany, this resulted in another attack on September 15 that failed, “not only with heavy losses, but also with a collapse of morale among German bomber crews when British fighters appeared in large numbers” (Cowley). This resulted with Hitler postponing a landing on the British Isles. The battle ended when Hitler suspended the Battle of Britain. 

Website citations

Cowley Robert, Geoffrey Parker. “significant turning point of World War II”. ( A+E Network, 2009, Accessed Apr.11, 2018.

Cowley Robert, Geoffrey Parker. “they had no navy left after the costly conquest of Norway”.( A+E Network, 2009, Accessed Apr.11, 2018.

Cowley Robert, Geoffrey Parker. “not only with heavy losses, but also with a collapse of morale among German bomber crews when British fighters appeared in large numbers”.( A+E Network, 2009, Accessed Apr.11,2018.

Presenting the Website…

Before we presented our websites, we did a peer critique. Each country set up their website at a table, and in our groups we went around giving critique and feedback. Each student had sticky notes to record their notes. By the end each country had a lot of feedback and critique from other groups.

We got some pretty useful feedback. We just needed to a line some of the pictures, and fix some of the paragraphs.

A huge aspect of this project was our class was going to be presenting it to Kathleen Barter, a member of the North Vancouver School District. She also taught humanities at our school. Kathleen was essentially our fact checker. Before she visited we did a run through of all the presentations so we could revise anything. The day everyone had been anticipating came pretty fast. We set up the class room with all the tables facing the front. We had a projector at the front so we could airplay the website. It took the whole class plus overtime for all of the groups to present. Basically for the presentations, each group member had to highlight their favorite part of their page. The presentations went pretty well! Kathleen Barter left some great feedback to each group and she said she enjoyed herself. 

As always there were revisions to be made. Mostly the feedback was that within each country, we should have connected each country and talked more about their perspective of the war. Our group just added another paragraph about Italy’s perspective and how Benito Mussolini, the dictator made a difference in the war. Also at the end of the battles, I added links to other counties to see their perspective. Some feedback from our teachers, was to add more media, videos, links etc. Our group also added  more links and videos.

Go check out our finished website!!!!

Overall I really enjoyed this unit of WWII. We had some amazing opportunities like interviewing Helmut to increase our knowledge on WWII. I also had fun personalizing and designing the website. We took all of our knowledge and published it for other people to read. Not only did I learn how to use Weebly, but also making the website made me remember the information a lot better by writing it out and reading over it over and over again. I learned a lot about the different countries involved and how each country had a different perspective of WWII.


World On The Brink

Imagine living with the fear of a nuclear war arising, making everyday feel like your last. This is what it was like to live in the sixties. The world was literally on the brink of a nuclear war. This unit really made me realize how lucky we are today. Sometimes it may not feel like a peace era, we have to deal with small issues but nothing compared to what living was like in the sixties. I could never imagine living with that kind of fear. In this unit we looked back at the sixties to learn and understand how the world was on the brink of destruction.  This unit we got to write an essay arguing why we thought the world was on the brink.

The trust between the government and the CIA is such a significant relationship. The two work together to come up with solutions towards world problems. However the president will always get the final say. JFK an inexperienced president, was blind to what the CIA’s priorities were back in 1961. The past exemplifies that breaches of trust between few individuals with a position of power, can steer the world to the brink. Some may have said it was,“The brilliant disaster”(Feinberg &Richard.The Brilliant Disaster 2012). It is the flaws that were made in the past, that influence our views today. With Cuba being only 90 miles away from the coast of Florida, on going conflicts between the Communist government in Cuba and Capitalist government United States, tensions inevitable. The Bay of Pigs was an invasion to remove the Communist Castro government from power in Cuba. At this point, John F Kennedy (JFK). was new to his position of presidency. He was inexperienced and young “But he was so young!”(Feinberg & Richard. The Brilliant Disaster, 2012), implying that he was easily persuaded by his Central Intelligence Agency(CIA). Basically JFK had pressure to make a decision that could either make or break America. It is important to realize that by sitting around a group of experienced members of government with the tendency to invade, would have swayed JFK’s overall opinion. Being confused by his wise advisors telling him one thing, he let his inexperience shadow over him. So what would you do if you had to make a decision that you knew was morally wrong, but your advisors were telling you different? The decision to invade the Bay of Pigs, was up to two of the most powerful influences in America, JFK and the CIA. When you have individuals with an abundance of power, they have the capability to steer the world to the brink with one decision. In this case it was a biased military approach that brought the world to a tipping point. It may have been “the worst foreign-policy decision of Kennedy’s administration” (Feinberg & Richard.The Brilliant Disaster 2012) many people would have recalled it as. Nevertheless surly it isn’t fair to push the blame onto JFK for a decision that was shaped by the CIA. At the time JFK was the president of the US, and had the overall final say. Although this may be true, as I mentioned earlier the CIA had a huge impact on JFK’s views. By putting all of JFK’s trust into the CIA made them have control over the operation “the CIA drew up these plans”(The Bay of Pigs, JFK Library). JFK was like a puppet on a string with the CIA constantly shadowing over him. This breach of trust lead to the invasion of the Bay of Pigs which brought the world to the brink. The invasion caused destruction in Cuba and made America look inadequate as a nation. A key strategy that the CIA imposed, was to try and cover up America’s footsteps, by recruiting Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro’s government. The CIA believed that the invasion would lead to a rebellion inside the country, “Efforts of the US State Department to hide the involvement of the CIA”(The Bay of Pigs Invasion, Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). With this in mind, there was a lot of information that JFK wasn’t aware of involving the invasion. Reports said that the CIA should have told JFK the mission had changed strategies. A once tactful plan soon turned into a war, “[Castro] assumed it was just the start of a war”(Bradlee & Benjamin C.11.22.63, What Was Lost, 2003). This was not JFK’s intent, to result in a war. Following the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis became JFK’s priority. His approach to the Cuban Missile Crisis was completely to opposite to the Bay of Pigs. From his previous misjudgment in the CIA, he resolved this problem by following his own instincts and morals. Like in the past invasion, the CIA were adamant to go with their militant approach. If JFK followed along again with the CIA, the world would have passed the tipping point and a nuclear war would have occurred. JFK’s instinct was acted upon and he was able to avoid a nuclear war. All in all, trust between the government and the CIA have grown apart. JFK’s decision has been recognized by many other members of the government, which makes the government second guess the CIA’s judgments. To steer the world to the brink it doesn’t take much, just a poor decision made by someone with the position of power. So the real question is, if a new president were to trust the CIA’s militant approach, could history repeat itself and have another crisis?

Using our past knowledge of the Cold War, we started this unit off by learning about the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cold War was significantly different to a war such as WWI and WWII. I soon learnt that the reason the Cold War is called a COLD war as a pose to a HOT war is because there actually wasn’t any physical fighting involving a battle. The Cold War was essentially a war of fear. With two powerful individuals with very powerful weapons is enough to start a war but with no contact.

Something that I noticed, is that the Cuban Missile Crisis was just a few individuals (JFK, Castro and Khrushchev) with a position of power fighting like children. The ideologies between Communist Cuba and the Capitalist US were very different. The fear of communism spreading, shadowed over the US and caused major tensions between the two nations. I didn’t quite realize that one small disagreement could lead to something so serious. 

JFK: Capitalist Castro and Khrushchev: Communist

In class we watched a movie called Thirteen Days. This movie was all about the tense 13 days where everyone was in panic mode. It was interesting to watch a movie instead of a documentary. I think it has its pros and cons. For example, the movie was good in a way that the important events were highlighted, and it was more dramatic. However, with a movie some things could have been left out or over exaggerated events.

Anyways, the movie definitely gave me a better understanding on the behind the scene on the political side. Within the government there are two approaches to these types of conflicts. You can either have a militant approach and just invade, or think of the picture. Think of a solution that won’t end up in a worse conflict. John F. Kennedy (JFK) was the president at the time. I was pretty surprised how well he dealt with the situation. Instead of letting the CIA task over and invade Cuba, JFK went with his instinct to compromise instead. 

JFK’s decision may have been for the best, and I was surprised that such a young president would stand up to the CIA. However, something that I realized is that the reason he ignored the CIA in the Cuban Missile Crisis, is because of his past mistake or trusting the CIA. 

This leads us to our essay/ project for this unit. This term we went into depth with English. We discovered different writing techniques and just practiced writing. You could day we were on a writing boot camp. This writing unit I think really benefited me! I learned a lot about my writing which was one of my goals from last year, to find my own writing style. By knowing my writing style I was then able to improve it and make it stronger. I stepped out of my comfort zone you could say when we wrote an essay using imagery and metaphors.

Marshall Plan, Iron Curtain, Berlin Blockade, Bay of Pigs, NATO, Warsaw Packed Korean War Berlin Wall, Truman Doctrine, League Of Nations (United Nations)

Something that really sparked my interest was the Bay of Pigs invasion, and how different the approach was compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

The purpose of the invasion was to remove the Communist Castro government from power in Cuba. Castro had signed with Khrushchev and proclaimed himself a communist and had formally allied Cuba with the Soviet Union. With America only being 90 miles from Cuba, the fear of communism spreading shadowed the US. This fear resulted in a invasion that lead the world to the brink on a nuclear war.

To put it simple, the Bay of Pigs was one heck of a disaster. It was one of JFK’s worst decisions. The Bay of Pigs was in my opinion the closest the world came to being on the brink politically.

That was the political side of how the world was on the brink. To get a different perspective of how the world was on the brink, we looked into the social perspective. We watched an episode of the Sixties to get a better understanding of the social issues. I decided to go in depth into the environmental issues.

Back in the Sixties, there were multiple factors for how the world was on the Brink. Today everyone is aware of major environmental issues. We have the technology to discover new cures, climate change patterns, etc. Back in the sixties, health and environmental issues was a new idea to society. It was a concept that people weren’t prepared for. There were so many things people were doing, using or eating in their everyday lives that turned out had a negative side affect. An example is synthetic pesticides. Synthetic pesticides are what help food grow, and they are located on many different kinds of food. It was only soon after people started to get sick, scientists discovered that the pesticides can cause cancer. In fact, Rachel Carson, a marine biologist was a “game changer” she passed away due to cancer. She was a legacy whom wrote books and other writings to try and advance the global environmental movement. After she passed away, people were left with a fear of, will it be me next? Many other environmental factors lead the world to the tipping point. However the synthetic pesticides were individuals priority.

In my argument I mention Rachel Carson. She wrote a book named Silent Spring. It was her most important contribution to the world since it launched the global environmental movement today.

The big take away from the whole unit is how easy it is to tip the world to the brink. It can start from the smallest disagreements between individuals with power, to something the has escalated so much that change is inevitable.

Work Cited for environmental argument:

Lear, Linda. “Rachel Carson, The Life and Legacy.” Rachel Carson, The Life and Legacy,

“Rachel Carson.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 May 2019,

Winter Exhibition part 2

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.

The Exhibition      

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.

The Manhattan Project²

 Wow, first post of the school year! 

From previous posts you can see that in PLP we go on field trips to deepen our knowledge. This year our trip was pretty early into the school year. Our field trip was to Oregon/Washington for four days! Another blog will be coming soon with more details of the feild trip!



Our unit this term was the Manhattan Project. Before I go into depth into our task, I’ll give you a brief over view of what the Manhattan Project is. The project was an American top secret project. The project was to create an atomic bomb to plant on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to make the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII.


For this bomb to be developed, sites for research, and manufacturing  needed to be found. Hanford was one of the sites that they selected. For the bomb they needed a place where they could produce plutonium. Hanford fit all the criteria, in the middle of nowhere and near where Uranium was found. All the sites took place all across the US (and Canada). Main three sites were, Richland (Hanford, plutonium), Oak Ridge (home base, working on uranium separation) and Los Alamos (the making and testing of the bombs).

On our field trip we had the opportunity to visit the Hanford site. While we were visiting, our task was to research a topic about Hanford and create a video in groups of 3/4. Sounds simple right? Not quite, a lot of research was needed and we had to collect as much evidence from our field trip to back up our statement. Robbie and Alex were apart of my group. Together we decided to research the environmental impact from Hanford, since the materials the site used were very radioactive. 

Take a look at our video to discover the environmental impacts from Hanford:

Now lets rewind and I’ll explain how we got to our final product.

Research time…

The Manhattan project was a huge significance in American history. It was also advanced the knowledge of the atomic age, since it was the first ever atomic bomb created. Now your probably wondering what was the point of all the effort into creating a bomb and dropping it on a city with innocent individuals. In fact the budget was 2.2million dollars and around 600,000 people were involved in the project.

The United States had multiple reasons for the project. To start with, the US had the tools they needed, so I mean why not? A huge trigger was the fact that there were suspicions that the Nazi’s were on the path to creating a bomb as well. You could say there was a race among the allies of who could create an atomic bomb first. The final reason is tensions between the relationship of Japan and the US rose after the Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. However, the decision of dropping the bomb on Japan was all up to President Truman.

Our first assignment was to create a news reel about Truman’s important decision. A news reel was essentially how people got updated news. 

News Reel on the Pacific War:

(Adam, Claire and Alex were in my group)

As I said earlier the atomic bomb required a vast team, around 600,000 individuals. We did a lot of research to discover more about the behind the scenes of the project, and who was in charge. An activity to learn more about the workers was to create a character card. Each student researched a different worker of the Manhattan Project.

From my card you can tell that J. Robert Oppenheimer played a very significant role in the creation of the atomic bomb. He was the chief scientific director, was in charge of the science and making the bomb work. He also managed over 3,000 people. The class all participated in a game that advanced our knowledge of the cite and introduced us to new faces.

In the game I discovered another significant member of the team, Enrico Fermi.

Enrico Fermi

He created the very first chain reaction (critical to the project). He joined project in 1944, and he proved that making a chain reaction is possible. A lot of science was behind the bomb. Before 1945 weapons were chemical reactions, such as gas. Nuclear weapons use strong nuclear force for destruction, inherently more powerful than any possible chemical reaction. 

Here is what a chain reaction looks like:

Here is how nuclear fusion works:

Nuclear fusion: is the bringing together of two smaller atoms to form a form a larger one.

Nuclear fission was discovered by Enrico Fermi in the 1930’s. Fermi demonstrated that elements subjected to neutron bombardment could be transformed into new elements. This discovery sparked research around the world.

The after mass…

The bomb had a lot of after mass after it was dropped. After Truman decided to use the bomb and it was loaded on the plan “Enola Gay”.

The uranium Bomb nicknamed, Little Boy was dropped on August 6, 1945, Japan still didn’t surrender. The plutonium bomb nicknamed Fat Man, was dropped a few days later on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. After the second bomb the Japanese surrendered. It took around 43 seconds to destroy Hiroshima. It resulted in 4.4 square miles flattened. 80,000 people were killed instantly 100,000 people survived but wounded. In Nagasaki 40,000 were killed instantly, 60,000 wounded. August 13, 1945, Japan formally surrendered to the US. The Americans saw this as pride for their country, it was an end to WWII.                                                                                                         

Our project…

Back to the project. Our videos were based on a TV episode, History in 5. There is a lot of information about the story of Hanford. It used to be a village called White Bluffs, until the project came along and in 1943 took over the village.

Our videos had to follow the same format as the one above. Intro, five points and the conclusion.

We picked our main topic and then had five supporting points. Our topic was five things you didn’t know about the pollution at Hanford, also known as  the most toxic place in America. Our five supporting points were:

Made with Mindnode

 In PLP we revise, and learn from our mistakes to conclude with a fresh product. That being said many steps were taken once we had done all of our research:

Made with Sketches Pro

Our first draft was pretty rough. We had written a pretty long script and the video almost seemed like a podcast. The only thing we kept from that draft was the amazing intro Robbie created using Video Lab.

While we were on the field trip, we gathered all the media we needed, such as B-Roll, interviews to back up our points, more key information and finally to film clips of the presenter (me). In Oregon we also went to other locations to that was all related to the Manhattan Project. For example we visited the Reach Museum where our group found more information of the wildlife that lived in the Columbia River.

Finally to tie the whole unit together, we started to research the Cold War. We were given a package (Roots of the Cold War) full of key information that we could use to answer questions about the Cold War. We haven’t discussed the Cold War with a lot of detail, however it sparked the idea of communism and capitalism in our heads. 

Wow, overall I have learned so much from this feild trip! Actually visiting all the cites where the atomic bomb was created was amazing. The bombs were created in such a short period time which was very impressive. I never new learing about bombs would be so interesting. This unit got me thinking of what the world is really capable of!

Lord Of the Flies and Debates


To wrap up our final unit in humanities, unlike learning about the wars our topic was government and democracy. This is from novel studies, to participating in a class debate. This whole unit was around the idea of formulating opinions, communicating and speaking skills. Like always we had a driving question for this unit, “how do we organize ourselves?”. A huge part of this answer has to do with the novel we read, Lord Of the Flies by William Golding.

A lot of this unit was teamwork and throughout the unit we were going to be working in groups. The very first task our class was given was to sort our selves into groups. This may sound easy, however trust me it was harder than you would think. Basically our teacher left our class alone in a room and we were told to make six groups of four or five. There was a catch, in the groups there had to be a different variety of skills. You also couldn’t just make a group with your friends. This was a pretty chaotic experience.


With the groups we had created, they were going to act like our islands. My group was Will, Adam, Ryan and I. In these groups we were going to be working as a team to earn points. This unit was sort of like a competition. Every team could lose points and gain points. At the end the points would be tallied up and the winning team won a prize.


This challenge was a social experiment to see how our class would react in certain situations. The challenge related Lord Of the Flies, we were introduced to this novel early on in the unit. Lord Of the Flies is a common novel study in schools and is all about human nature. We had around one month to finish the book. Wednesday was kind of our check in day, we were assigned around five chapters each week and we also had our team quizzes. The team quizzes were done with our islands (groups). The questions were all about the novel and the chapters that were assigned that week. The team quizzes were also an opportunity to lose or gain points. You could lose points if you failed and you could gain points if you scored 100%. Unfortunately our team never got 100% however, there was growth shown from the first quiz (6.5/10) to the last where we got 9/10.


I’ll do a quick review on the book. Overall I really enjoyed the book. It was very interesting about what the boys instincts were when trapped on an island. Also it was interesting because the way the boys acted, is probably how our class would have acted if we were stranded on an island (maybe not to the extreme). What we found is that the way they acted is human nature.

Though out the novel, we were filling character analysis charts. This is so we could show our understanding of the book, evidence that we actually read the book. On the chart we had to give descriptions on the main characters and their role in the book etc. 

Also in the book there were specific symbols. For example the conch that represents leader ship. There were certain objects that represented something. We also filled out a symbols sheet talking all about the symbols in the book and what they mean.



Something I learned is that politics are pretty important, knowing the voting system, governments and even current events, such as the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

We learned about the Electoral System (very confusing). In groups we were given a system we had to try and explain. Canada has the most simple system luckily called Pass the Post. I was in the group that had to figure out the Mixed Member proportional system. This was definitely the most confusing! Honesty I still don’t really know how it works. They use this system in Germany and New Zealand. 

We also learned about the different types of government. We created a diagram to get an idea for Who’s Who. I definitely learned a lot from making this chart, before I didn’t know for example I now know that the lieutenant governor is, a Janet Austin. 

Something our whole class did, was take a quiz on the Political Spectrum to see where you lie with political beliefs which was pretty fun! I learned a lot about the rest of the class and where they stand on the Political System.

We also studied the Role Of the Charter. This is a document that explains your rights and freedoms. Here are four of the rights and Constitutional guarantees, democracy, rule of law, freedom and minority rights. Something I learned from this is if you get caught by the police, and they want to arrest you, you have to right to ask why you are being arrested. 

Something that was a huge aspect of this unit was the debate. We were told at the beginning that eventually everyone would participate in a class debate. This was going to be our final assessment for our unit of Lord Of the Flies. A piece of information our teacher gave us was, that being able to public speak is the most important skill. This is something that I am not a fan of however, I knew this unit would be good practice for me. 

An activity we did to practice formulating an argument, was to write a concept journal. Another reason we wrote these was because for the debate we needed to use evidence from previous humanities studies we had done this year. Basically for the concept journal there were several topics, for example power and authority, human nature, individualism and community, etc. Within those topics the class brain stormed things we had done within each category. For example WWII would go under the category of power and authority. 

We were going to be writing two concept journals. I chose to write my first one about High Tech High, which is under the category of community and individualism. I chose HTH because I thought it was a good example of a community. We visited HTH when we went on our field study to California. To start our concept journal we had to either have an inquiry question or a statement. In my journal I had to use find examples as evidence of why HTH is a example of a community and individualism.

 My favorite journal:

Like I said we wrote two journals, however this one was the journal I was most proud of. 

Anyways, back to the debate…

We did many activities leading up to the debate to develop speaking skills.

A key part of debating is being able to think on your feet. An activity our class did to practice this skill, was called pass the buck. Like Lord Of the Flies, the buck represented the conch. Whoever was holding it, was the only one who spoke. We did this activity in our island groups. One member from each group would volunteer and they were secretly given a topic (ex. Bubble gum). They would then come back to the group and start talking about that topic. When our teacher said pass the buck the next group member would carry on what the first member was saying. This was a good activity because it got you thinking on your feet and you had to communicate with each other in order to know what the topic was. 

An activity similar we did was impromptu speeches. Basically one person would stand in front of the class and you were given a very simple question. You had 30sec-1min to answer the question. In the end only two class mates went and our teacher also tried it. 

The Great Debate….

For this debate we had been preparing for, we were given our topic a week before so we had plenty of time to prepare. My group was given Power and Authority. The way our teacher picked them, was each team said their top three choices and pretty much everyone got theirs. Obviously with a debate there are two sides. To decided the sides we flipped a coin. Luckily our group got PRO.

Our statement: Be it resolved that power leads to corruption 

I was happy with our argument because since our evidence had to be from a topic we had learned about we could talk about the leaders Mussolini and Hitler. Another rule for the debate was you have to mention Lord Of the Flies and use evidence from the novel. Every group created a Google Doc with their team and filled in a chart that you could use for possible evidence.

In our own time we were assigned to listen to a Intelligence 2 Debate podcast to get a feel of what the layout is for a debate.

Here is the layout we decided on:

– Introductions: 2-3 minutes

– Hosts, Topics, Teams

– Opening Statements: 2 minutes each side, PRO, CON

– Rebuttal: 2 minutes each side, PRO, CON

– Question from judge or audience: 1 minute each side, PRO, CON

– Concluding statements: 1 minute each side PRO, CON

We also had to decide who was going on what day. Our group went first. I was pretty happy about this because I was already pretty nervous so it would be good to get it done!

Before the debate I was pretty nervous the video we watched about the secrets to public speaking helped. The tip that stood out to me was think of the debate as a conversation. Going into the debate I knew what I was say. Me and Adam talked about politics and Ryan and Will talked about LOFT. 


Our debate went pretty good. Our result was to be revised however I think we did a pretty good job with the rest of the debate and especially since we went first and did really know what to expect. We lost, however it was very close!p, it was 6-7!! I think the rebuttals was the biggest issue. Since we went first, this was learning for the other teams for the next debates. That was something we changed, the rebuttals were slightly different layouts. It was definitely a learning experience. For the last two debates everyone was a lot more enthusiastic and knew what they were doing.

Since we are in PLP, of coarse we recorded the debates. Check out our podcast (debate)!!!

Also go check out the other two debates our class made. Thanks to Sam, Aiden and Isobel for editing them!

Overall this was definitely a fun unit. Out of all the other units, I almost found this the most challenging. Mainly because I’m not a fan of public speaking. This unit took me out of my comfort zone and especially after the debate I feel like I am a lot more confident with speaking in front of an audience. Not only did I improve my speaking skills but I also learned a lot about politics and how governments work. I think Lord Of the Flies is definitely the best school novel I have read! All in all, I think this is the unit that has benefited me as a person the most!

tPOLS 2018

You may have read my post about my mPOL. Now at the end of the year we do the student lead conferences however, now they are called tPOLS. Our mPOL was how I had grown as a learner from the beginning of the year to half way. Now that it is the end of the year, we had have to talk about how we have grown as a learner throughout the whole year, and how we are ready for the next grade level. 

This is the question we had to answer:

Why do you feel you are ready to advance to the next grade level?

From my previous work this year, I definitely feel I am ready for the next grade level. I think that I have grown a lot from the beginning of the year from writing to editing videos and even public speaking. In each subject I think shown growth as a learner, (math, science, maker, humanities and our field study). 

My first evidence for growth as a learner is in my writing, so the subject this most effects is humanities. At the beginning of the year I struggled with writing in a short period of time an writing essays. I wasn’t the best at structuring them and writing my thoughts out on paper. However since the beginning of the year, I have had a lot of practice and now I am pretty proud of my writing. An example is my book review. I thought in my book review I conveyed my opinions of the book pretty well. This is definitely an example of writing I am proud of. Before writing this book review, I had never written a book review before now I have learnt a new skill.

Another example of my writing is, my disruption essay. I structured my essay with the write format and used strong pieces of evidence for my argument. Like I said before at the beginning of the year I had trouble with formulating an augment and writing it out on paper, with a lot of practice there is a difference with my essays. Overall I think I have definitely improved my writing which was one of my goals in my previous mPOL. 

Just recently we wrapped up our WWII unit. This included book review as well, our website (Perspectives Of WWII) and our Helmut podcast. I think my group and I’s web page shows our understanding on WWII and Italy. I worked very hard on this project and overall, I am very proud of the end product. In this project I put my self forward as the DRI, I made sure we had everything and assigned roles for my group members. This was also the project that we presented out web pages to Kathleen Barter. I was very nervous to present. I was very happy that we presented because it was definitely good practice for public speaking and I definitely grew in this area. I have also expanded my knowledge of the perspectives of WWII. My Helmut podcast is a good example of how I have improved my editing skills. First of all I think I did a good job with cutting the audio down and only pulling apart the key information. I also thought that I made a strong introduction and conclusion. I think my Helmut podcast is the podcast that I am most proud of! To finish this unit with writing a final blog post.

Also throughout this year I think that my knowledge in science has improved. Our main project in science this term was the energy project. My group and I made a generator using magnets and copper wire. I was very proud of this project. We were the only group that didn’t make a waterwheel and made our own generator. This involved a lot of research amid revisions to make the LED work. However, our generator worked and we were able to make a video to advertise the generator. Before this project I had no idea how to make my own generator.

In maker this term, we have covered a lot! Something that we moat recently did was the job shadow. The job shadow was something everyone in planning 10 had to participate in. You could choose any job that sparked your interest. I took the job shadow seriously and found a job to shadow that I may consider working in the future, that is at HMCA (architecture). From my day at HCMA, I learned so much about what it is like to be architect. Overall my job shadow really benefited me. I also got a lot of good advise for universities which helped me a lot! From my job shadow, my skills of talking to new people and interviewing has come a long ways. At my job shadow I had to communicate with the head of the office and I talked and interviewed many architects, which was good practice for speaking to strangers. Check out my Job Shadow post to read about my experience!

The last skill I wanted to mention was my growth in creativity. An example of this is, Destination Imagination. To start of with DI. Our group had a very difficult challenge and I think my group and I did a good job with solving our challenge. I’ll be honest Regionals didn’t go the way we wanted however we learned from our mistakes and came back strong for Provincials. I think our group used a very unique way to solve the challenge. Spencer and I were in charge of the prob transformation and we used a lot of creativity to come up with a solution. In the end we ended up using balloons, and in our performance, we pulled it off really well and the balloon effect was very impressive! Check out my DI post to see my process and experience in DI for the first time.

Overall to conclude this blog and answer the question, am I ready to move up to the next grade level? From looking at my growth as a learner, I think it is fair to say I am ready for the next grade level. I can take all my skills I have built on this year and use them next year. Especially my growth with speaking in front of people is a good skill to take into grade 11! I am veyr proud of the work I have produced this year and all of the hard work payed off!