Shhh…you hear that? Thats the sound of our first PLP project of Grade 10 baby, welcome back. If you haven’t been with us since Grade 8, let me catch you up. In Grade 8, we studied the STILL image, doing a project on advertising and the impact of pictures. In Grade 9, we studied the MOVING image, continuing with projects that involved creating movies, and videos. And I can’t tell you how many iMovie projects I have from that year. But now in Grade 10, we are studying the SOUND image. We are looking at how sound can paint pictures and stories in your head, and we’re asking ourselves how can we create something that impacts people, but not only about a topic that we choose, but how it reflects our own identity, all through a podcast each of us is constructing. Now that you’re all caught up, lets move along.
Pretty loaded sub-title right? Well, essentially what I mean by “Identifying Identity” is exploring you. What makes up who you are, your experiences? Or the people around you? Perhaps, its both those things combined? As we start a project, we need a good introduction, like a building needs a strong foundation to hold up. Starting off on our quest to identify our identities, we wrote a piece on our names. Now writing these things don’t just pop into our brains and we write them, at least for me. During this assignment, I wanted to stop and take some time to think about how my name, Malaika, really reflects who I am. I wrote things like, how I carry around my good AND challenging experiences, and how I carry my accomplishments and my actions with this name. Let me be real with you here for a second, it felt very weird to be looking at myself, and it honestly sucked being brutally honest about the not-so-great decisions I made for myself. It’s something that takes going out of your body, and looking at yourself with a neutral perspective.
As we continued building our strong and beautiful foundation, we looked at something called a bio-poem, which is defined as describing a person through a poem that is 10 lines long. You can write a bio-poem about yourself or about someone else, but in this case we were writing into about ourselves. Below you can see both my name piece, and bio-poem.
Surprisingly, and probably one of the only times this has ever happened, we only have one competency being assessed! Competencies assess us on our capability of knowledge or skills we can possess about the topic at hand. In this case, we are being assessed on the competency called “Creative Communicator”. This means using our resources and utilities around us (like for example our iPads, or Apple Pencils) to help us creatively communicate our end-product and how we answer our driving question*
Driving Question: How might I create a trailer for my podcast that informs, inspires and entertains?
So far, through my poem and name piece, I definitely I could’ve used this competency to its fullest extent, but I didn’t. You can see that I did write my name piece in a Pages Document, and the Bio-Poem in an app called Notability. Even though I spent lots of time on these things, I feel the way I way I could’ve communicated or shown these things could’ve a little less basic. So for the next ✅Milestones & 👣Stepping Stones, I made it a promise to always use my resources (iPad, Apple Pencil, People around me, Peer Critique, etc…) Lets see how this goal progresses through the entirety of this project shall we?
As you know, we were going to be creating podcasts, and using them throughout the year. You also know that we are picking out our own topics to base our podcasts around. To start us off with this process, and keeping our identity section in mind, we jumped into ✅Milestone 3: Podcast Plan. I decided to create a document that I called “Podcast Brainstorm Dump”. Over that couple of days after the project was assigned I started to add topics that I figured I wanted to talk about on my podcast, topics I was passionate about, and elaborating on them to get a feel of what I wanted to base my podcast on. The document looked like this:
A little messy, and some scribbles here and these, but I liked the way I organized things, and honestly I think this was a step in the right direction to using my resources better. I laid out my options, and as we approached our next milestone, a final topic had arisen. It was none of the topics I wrote on my Brainstorm Dump. I was actually making breakfast with “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Fugees playing, and I had a thought. “Music has always been a massive part of my life, and I’ve connected with it so much that I consider it part of my identity”, you can probably guess what I did after this thought. Yes, I immediately pitched it, and it got approved! At this point I was actually pretty excited, more excited that I was to pitch any of my other topics, which was probably a good sign.
Once it was approved, all that was left to do was create our podcast trailers, podcasts cover art, and get a-movin-along on the podcast train.
Believe it or not, we had a TEST, yes a TEST in PLP. You might be thinking “Well the header is very misleading, I came here for the trailers not for tests!” Actually, this test was about Production Terms, which plays a part in us making our trailers. As we studied these terms, we started on our trailers as well. Now I knew that I wanted my trailer to be fun, catchy, and something people bob their heads to when they listen. As a loyal band kid, my favourite instrument is the bass guitar. There’s something about it that just makes you want to move and start dancing. That was the first thing I added to my GarageBand project labeled “Podcast Trailer”. Now just as it is forbidden to un-name our pages documents, and keep them as “Blank 42”, it is also forbidden (or frowned upon AT LEAST) to have no podcast name. My first prototype name and cover art were… not my favourite, lets just say. I called it “Music to my Ears” and the cover art was a little all over the place. But that’s okay, because that’s why we call it a first prototype and not the immediate final product.
To critique myself a little bit, I just think the colour scheme don’t really work together, and having the letters that don’t match, was pretty distracting. I did some thinking, and research on this podcast called “Punch up the Jam”, which was a memorable, fun, action-packed name. I wanted to take some insight from this, and kept this thought in mind. I was driving to soccer one day, and a song that I liked came on the radio, and I started telling my dad all about the premise, and whole meaning behind the artist and why he wrote the song. Then I said 3 sacred words: “Turn it up”. Realization struck me when I said it, it was perfect for my podcast name. That night I went home and wrote it down, and at school the next day I told Ms. Willemse, and she actually liked it better. I restarted my cover art, keeping “Punch Up the Jam”’s art in my mind. I was with a friend, and as I drew, she critiqued, and gave me immediate feedback which was very helpful (shout-out Haruka!!).
I cannot tell you how proud I am of this art. I love the way its built, not too distracting, but everything on the page works and blends with each other. I would totally wear this on a hoodie, maybe I’ll make merchandise for my podcast;).
This was what I was talking about when I said I wanted to get better at the “Creative Communicator” competency we were talking about earlier. I used my tools to its extent, and creatively can show what my podcast is about. I’m mainly proud of this work, because I drew all of this myself and all the ideas on the page came from my brain. I’ve never been happier with this work, but I think the only reason I was motivated to create a piece of work, was because I acknowledged that I wasn’t up to my skill level in the first steps of this project. I used some of the 7 Habits like “Sharpening your Saw” to gradually improve my work, and the goal strategy to keep the end in mind.
Now that I renamed my GarageBand project “Turn it Up Theme” I could successfully add more that some bass guitar to the project. I added drums, to give it a kick, and even an instrument called the “Clavicle”. If you have ever hear “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, it features the Clavicle as the main melody and its super catchy. I wanted to add some to mine to have that similar feature. Throughout all of this, I had started on a rough script, that I revised almost 4 or 5 times, it’s amazing how adding a couple words here and there, can change the entire script to make it sound better or worse.
I decided to add features like getting some of my other friends (shout-out Eliana, Haruka and Gabe) to be in the podcast trailer, and adding sound effects like dogs barking and a tape recorder starting up and winding down. Instead of searching up royalty free sound effects for whatever I needed, I wanted to record everything myself. We have a really old radio/tape player that I used to play songs on when I was younger, so I brought home a mic and recorded myself opening and closing it. You can hear the podcast trailer down below, and when you do you’ll hear a dog barking at one point, which feature my dog Cairo, a beautiful pitbull-whippet mix that barks like you’ve never heard.
After many revisions, and doing peer critique with both my classmates Asha and Emily, I had a final product. I ended up actually taking out the Clavicle, as the critique was it may be too distracting from my voice speaking, and taking out and adding some sentences here and there.
A final product was reached, and submitted, which felt like a huge relief, then I realized I have to write a WHOLE learning portfolio post, life is hard ain’t it. We’re almost at the end, don’t worry, but before we go lets review the progress! I liked that I could point out what I wanted to improve on, and take feedback in a non-personal way, which was a bit of a struggle for me last year. If you remember TPOLS, then you remember we talked about how I wanted to be better at managing my time, and I’m happy to say that we are off to a good start on that goal. For our next project “The Greatest Canadian” which you can read about intro to it in the Weekly Reflection Post, I want to work on showing the competencies right from the beginning, starting with an accomplished and ending with (hopefully) an extending way of showing each competency.
All right, all right, I know your eyes must be tired at looking at this amazing, ground-breaking, magnificent blog post, so I’ll give you a break to soak this all in.
Close your eyes, and take a listen to “Turn it Up: The Trailer”.
Until next time, fellow bloggers.