As the winter break was nearing, all of PLP was preparing for the famed Winter Exhibition. PLP’s exhibitions are a celebration of learning in which us students can not only share our creations and knowledge with our peers and teachers, but also with an authentic audience. As it was my first exhibition I was nervous. In this blog post I will tell you all about my process building up the exhibition, my failures and success’s and my reflection of the whole experience.
Let’s start with the Humanity’s part of this exhibition.
Milestone one was our Opinion Piece. This was really just an intro into both the theme of our exhibition and also our writing skills. We had to write a short piece on why we thought Star Wars was good or bad and give at least two reasons. In order to do this I had to learn a lot about Star Wars, improve my research skills and touch on my opinion writing skills.
Milestone two was our Literacy Analysis Test. We knew that for this exhibition we would have too write a story, so we needed a base of knowledge to begin this task. We practised using some of these literacy terms in class, read many story’s that used them and then had a short quiz on them. This milestone helped me build my understanding of writing story’s and the components in them. This was where I used the literacy identification competency. To get a good grade on the test I had to recognize how literary elements and techniques enchanted the shape and meaning of the story’s I was being tested on.
Milestone three was my Hero’s Journey Outline. This is when I felt that this project really began. We were put into a group of seven class mates, given a planet in the Star Wars universe (I got Tatooine) and we would each have write a part of a greater story. But before we could begin our individual parts we had to collaborate to create a bigger picture. We spent many classes learning all about the hero’s journey, brainstorming ideas and finalizing our story. In the end we had a solid story line that would allow us to write our individual parts while still connecting to the big picture. Throughout this milestone not only did my writing skills progress but also my planning and collaborating skills. This is where I used the creating and extending shared understanding competency. I exchanged ideas and view points about Starwars to build a shared understanding of our groups story.
The next step in this exhibition journey was the Movie Review. We had to step away from our group and individual story’s briefly and take a look a any Star Wars film we wanted. After watching it and taking notes we had to use the valuable writing and reviewing skills we had learned and practised in previous classes to write a review of the movie that was under 450 words. This was a real challenge for me as I felt like I had so much to say! With some patience though, I managed to hit exactly 450 words. I further improved many of the skills I was already beginning to use in my own story while also reminding my self to look at the audiences perspective of my story as a way to review its weaknesses. This movie review is also one of the spots that I think I showed the Expressing and supporting competency. In had to to express my opinion on the Star Wars film I chose, then support with evidence from key points of the film.
With our movie review and group hero’s journey outline finished it was time for the core part off our project to begin! We would have to put all of our writing, collaboration and knowledge to the test as we began milestone five. This was my favourite part of the whole project because I love creative writing. I really tried to use my knowledge of descriptive writing skills in my story so that my audience could feel like they were in the setting and watching the action unroll in front of them. After several revisions I landed on a story that I was both proud of and also one that complemented my groups big picture. I used The Writing Process competency in this piece of work because I transformed information about Star Wars using appropriate forms and genres through the writing process of planning a story line and creating orginal and meaningful literacy while still having good grammar and punctuation as well as making sure it appealed to a variety of audiences.
Now that all my humanities part of the project was complete it was Time to start designing our “set”. This is where all my group members and some grade eights who were assigned the same planet as us would have to come together as a big team and create a space that made people feel like they were on Tatooine and connected everyone’s products of learning in an organized way. We could do this with food items, lighting, decor and even temperature. My team took advantage of all these aspects to create our room. We had heaters making it feel like a desert, coloured lights like sun, market stalls all around and Tatooine based foods like blue milk. Overall I had to really use my collaboration, design skills and creativity to make this milestone a success.
While all this was going on though, maker was running its own project and milestones as well.
For maker we would be following the LAUCH process. This is a process that many design teams use world wide to create their products.
The first step is to Look, listen and learn. For this step in our LAUNCH process I had to brainstorm, research, and make a how might we form. For my brainstorming I used MindNode to create a mind map of my ideas. I took notes on different things that I might want to have in my exhibition presentation when doing my research. For my how might we form I had to write lots of HMW questions that could later guide me in my design process. I was really focused on trying to find ways to connect my design to Star Wars.
Step two is ask tons of question. For this step I wrote my need to know questions along with how I could answer them. Then I made a project plan that would help me stay on target for the exhibition. The last thing I had to do was my project pitch form. This was the form that had to be approved by ms Willemse in order for me to continue on my journey. It included my final how might we question and other aspects that could guide my design process. This was also the step that I decided I would build a trophy that Anakin Skywalker would win.
Step three was understanding the problem or process. This phase was really about understanding how I was going to make a product that could represent my key part of the story. I did more research and note taking, as well as some MLA cited sources.
Step four is called mini video. The goal with this step was to take a step back and simplify my ideas so that I could be sure I was on the right track. I feel like this step was far more important than I originally thought as it really put me back on the right course. We also created a short video describing how we were using the innovative designer curricular competency.
With my ideas organized I could now go on to make my first prototype which is the next step in my launch process. For the create step I had to show evidence of my prototype with either a model, video, animation or sketch. I chose to just do several sketches of my model because of its size. After taking a second look at my design I also filled out a prototype revision form. This form listed the steps I would take to improve my design and how I could do that. When doing my revisions I tried to focus on the main problems I saw in my design. I really wanted it to feel like a trophy so I knew I needed to change some aspects of its overall shape.
Step six is highlight and fix. I got feedback from some of my peers and family members before going on and making the final iterations to my design. And then the moment of faith, I created it. I also had to show evidence of FAILure or first attempt in learning. My failures in this design included everything from not being able to cut a circle to having my whole model fall apart. Now that I am reflecting on my process I see this was a huge part of my learning experience. These failures helped me learn how to fight through and recover and complete a great trophy model.
Throughout all these maker milestones I also constantly used the competency’s innovative designer and computational thinker. An example of the innovative designer competency was when I had to use my technologies to research and design my trophy so that it fixed the problem of not looking trophy-like. An example of the computational thinker was when I employed the strategy of family feed back to help me fix the problem of not being able to cut a circle out of a certain material. I also used technology to test the solutions we came up with.
Here’s the full video:
Finally both the maker and humanities side of my exhibition met and I had a great story and room to present as well as a Star Wars themed trophy that connected to both of them. As you can see my first PLP exhibition was quite a journey and I had an amazing learning experience from collaboration to movie review skills! I demonstrated all my curricular competency’s and had a great time! I cant wait for the next one. As always new posts are appearing on my blog all the time so stay tuned and I’ll catch you later.
check out my group members posts: Holly, Finn, Mathew, Tom, Grace