Never thought we would make it here but here we are. The last blog post of Humanities for our Grade 9 year. How crazy is that. Almost done for the entire school year, so lets make this blog post a good one. Now if you read my TPOL post, I focused at the beginning a lot about how I considered myself more a numbers person than art, or being creative, or history, English and socials. I had close to absolutely being clueless about World War I, except for the obvious “You have to know these facts” facts. I’d never actually gone into the details of World War I and I saw this project as an opportunity to do so.
Once we were introduced, I really actually liked the layout of the project. We knew what our end product would be and we knew how to get there, all that was left was executing. Our end product is a book. A book filled with many important World War I events, and each new chapter brings a new topic and commemoration for a fallen soldier. At the same time, we were juggling a book chat, really it wasn’t as packed and tight as it seemed. Last time we did a book chat, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth and I didn’t enjoy it as much. Maybe it was the book? Or maybe I just wasn’t in the right mindset, but when we started this book chat, especially about a soldier going to war (which is what I assumed the book was about), I was so confident that I knew it was going to be boring. Right now I can tell you, boring is not the word I would use to describe the book chat, after we have finished. I really don’t know what word or words to use to describe it. But I’ll lay it out like this: by the end of the book I felt so connected to Tommo (our main character). I felt like I could feel what Tommo felt, his pain, his happiness, his sorrow and his smiles.
I became so connected to all the characters, especially Charlie though. Charlie, Tommo’s older brother, would sort of be his protector, and he was always there for Tommo, and I don’t want to be the person that spoils everything, so I won’t just in case you want to read the book. But the ending was very sad, and it obviously wasn’t a happy ending for everyone but I enjoyed how it wasn’t so cliche. It wasn’t a book where everyone returns home happy and safe. I loved how it really portrayed the loss in war, the pain and suffering but how those soldier pushed through, made friends and found times to be happy. It was refreshing to read something through this lens, and I know that I really loved this book. ’’Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpungo changed my perspective of a lot of topics regarding the First World War, and it was very influential for me. Here are some pieces of work we did during the book chat and you can see my progress of understanding.
Now I mentioned that we were creating a full book consisting of many WWI topics, and each person would take on one topic or chapter. Now I was really interested in 3 topics: The Schifflan Plan, The Triple Alliance, and War at Sea. All intriguing topics, but I ended up getting my second choice, The Triple Alliance. If you find the other 2 topics I mentioned you can go check out Grace’s blog for the schifflan plan, and Gabriele’s blog for the War at Sea. Now if you just research “The Triple Alliance” all you can get from it is that it was an alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. But thats just scratching the surface, and in PLP we always want the juicy details. So digging a bit deeper, I started to dump all my research and findings into a document in pages, that looks like this.
These notes helped me guide what research was going into my 4 pages that I was contributing to the final book. 3 of these pages were going to be about The Triple Alliance, and the 4th was about my soldier I’d chosen. I needed media, pictures and shapes on this page, so I had to pick and choose my words. I feel this pulled the strings of the competency of “Taking Historical Perspective”. This competency involves asking how can we overcome our current concerns, beliefs and values to understand those of people in the past. This also came into effect when reading the book, asking why people were telling men who didn’t go to war cowards and traitors.
Here I had to understand why these countries where creating these alliances, for a better cause or to be selfish and go behind your allies back and reach out to others. Sounds like a pretty ethical decision, and I think it was. You can check out my book below, but you will read about Italy and how it betrayed her own allies. Now right now you may ask why? Why would you betray the only people protecting you? Well, Italy had a motive to do so, and it wasn’t just Italy who saw what was going on. Many other countries could see what was going on, and backed out of their deals with the Triple Alliance. There was also an opposition to the Triple Alliance, The Triple Entente. This was Russia, France and Great Britain and later Italy would join them.
Reading the book, leaned towards the competency of Comprehending. This competency assessed our ability to identify what literacy skills we were using to read, listen and view test for understanding. Lots of big words, I know. Reading “Private Peaceful” was a literacy skill we used to understand more about the war and the people involved, and so was the pieces of work we did during. I put some examples under the BOOK CHAT section up top, but here are some more.
Choosing what to write in our book pages, was also a literacy skill we used to understand more about our own topics, and soldiers. I’m not saying I’ve totally extended the assessment for these 2 competencies, and honestly it was a bit rocky and rough at the start, I think I deserve an accomplished for both. Getting an accomplished was what I was aiming for, and I think thats what I deserve.
I feel I showed a good understanding of both competencies, through my work, and being able to reflect on what went wrong and what was a bit of a challenge for me.
Now, there are always challenges in a project. Every PLP assignment comes with a challenge, but there is always some way to get over them. These challenges may come in the form of a art piece or an oral presentation. As I mentioned before I consider myself a Numbers person and so history English and social we’re pretty much out of the question for me. This was a mindset that was a barrier for me because it made me think that I could not accomplish what I wanted to or what I want to accomplish seemed too far fetched. In my TPOLS, I mentioned something called prioritizing. Prioritizing and using my time wisely was really a key component to helping me break this barrier.
The book chat was a huge help actually too and I really didn’t think that I would enjoy it as much as I did but talking with my group it was a good experience to go through with a couple other people who were essentially asking the same questions as me. I’m not saying that breaking this barrier will bring all the other barriers that are ahead for me but breaking the barrier shows me that I can Break these barriers. Sometimes I think challenges are there for a reason they’re here to teach you that you can overcome them that they’re not something that brings you down but something that helps you build yourself up. This project has been something that really opened my eyes to see what I can really do, what my full potential is and it has been a really really fun experience going through grade 9 especially with Miss Maxwell as my teacher for humanities.
The long awaited book is finally ready for the world! My pages are 12-15! Click here to access it.
As this is my last humanities project in my entire grade 9 school year, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my teachers for taking the time to help us grow as people and thank my peers and my friends and everyone who has always been there to help me when I feel like I can’t go on with a project. Well this is it, the last blog post ever of the grade 9 school year for me. It’s been a wonderful learning experience and I hope to see you next year, where I will be in grade 10. Wow double digits very intimidating, but I’m excited to see what a new year will bring me. I hope you have a great summer and I’ll see you in September!