Intro to the War
I started out this unit knowing very little about the Second World War. The only information that I knew about was about the holocaust and concentration camps. However, there was a lot more to the war than that. I didn’t know about the dozens of strategic battles that were meticulously planned and carried out, and the effects that the war had on people and communities all around the world. The focus of this unit was to better understand the legacy of this war on people everywhere, but especially Canada.
Our Driving Question:
What is the Legacy of WWII in Canada?
The Art of the Podcast
The way that we planned to show our work for this project and unit was through podcasts. This year’s media focus has been based on creating videos for half of the year, and we are now moving on to podcasts. Our class is very excited about this, because we have made dozens of videos and we were all ready for something new. Since many of us were rather new to the concept of podcasts, we began by having a discussion about our favorites and the different formats of them. We used an app called Breaker to track the podcasts we listened to in order to better understand them for ourselves.
Here are some class and personal favorite series!
Our Project Criteria:
- Create a 5-7 minute podcast sharing the story of World War II
- Interview someone affected by the war and incorporate their story into your podcast
- The podcast will include original music
- The podcast answers our driving question
Here is my final podcast if you’d like to listen to it now!
One of the activities that we did that really interested me was our posing problems activity. We put photos and articles related to WWII around the room, and moved around to each and wrote down questions we had about them. An example of one of these photos was this photo of Rosie the Riveter.
This activity allowed us to think more curiously about the limited knowledge we had about WWII. It let us have a better understanding of what we wanted to learn during this unit.
The Memory Project
The Memory Project is a program run by Historica Canada which was able to connect us with veterans and people closely affected by Catherine war in our area. We were placed in groups of 3 and were somewhat randomly given an individual to interview. I worked with Alivia and Daniel, and we interviewed Abigail Foulds. Abigail is a Canadian immigrant who grew up during the war in The Netherlands. She shared her story with us from her house about 30 minutes away from us. It was very valuable to be able to hear her perspective because it was very different from the stories we hear often.
World War II in Color
One of the resources that we used to learn a majority of the content for this unit was a video series called World War II in Color. This series was created to show black and white film footage from the war edited to be in full color. The videos were fascinating to watch, and were very well narrated. We took notes for all of the battles we learned about and created mind maps on the board. I’m not sure quite how many episodes we watched, but we definitely had a much better understanding of the sequence of events. After watching each event, we put the name of it on a sticky note and put it on the wall to create a timeline. This helped us put things into a better perspective. We used these timeline events as well to create a short podcast of turning points of the war. I worked with Jamie and Marshall to record and edit it, and you can listen to it here!
Another focus for this unit was learning to better use GarageBand, an app used to create and record music, or, in this case, podcasts. After spending a day in class learning new techniques, we each created our own intro music for our podcasts. We voted for our favorites a few days later, and Emily’s music won. Her song, titled Wind, Waves, and War was used in the introduction and outdo of each podcast, as well as in the background throughout (in some episodes). We also used GarageBand to edit our entire podcasts, which was difficult but I was able to make it work.
Reflection on My Podcast
First of all, if you haven’t listened to my podcast yet, stop and listen to it right here.
My podcast took a lot of hard work and time, and it is something that I am very proud of. However, my episode ended up being only 4 1/2 minutes instead of the minimum 5 minutes. This was due to the fact that while my group and I created our interview questions, we didn’t brainstorm enough to ask and were stuck with only 6 minutes of interview time to cut between 3 people. This meant that I needed to add more context and background narration in order to lengthen the time. I took key Dutch events to talk about and went in depth on some of the history of Holland. I feel like I created the best piece of work that I could have with the resources I used. Next time though, I will plan out interviews way ahead of time so I will have stronger questions and more information available to me.
The points of my project that I want to celebrate are my use of storytelling and flow. I felt that I was able to tell Abigail’s story well through a mix of her dialogue and background information. I also think that I connected my points to each other well, allowing the story to flow. Overall, while my podcast did have some flaws to it, I am proud of my successes and will continue to use my failures here to learn something next time.
Check out our whole podcast series by clicking here! We’d love for you to give it a listen.