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Metaphor Machines

Hi everyone,

I just completed a very complicated project. I had 4 different groups to work with. We had to build machines, write paragraphs, create videos, and learn about the American and French Revolutions. Oh yeah we also read a book called leviathan this was the best book we read so far in PLP.

This project involved us working on a few main competencies. For social studies it was Establish Historical Significance and Analyze Cause and Consequence. Those are two ways you can analyze an event and how it affected history. Using these competencies I was able to better understand the revolutions we studied. 

This world cloud really summarizes both of these compatencies. This was not my creation

In English we worked on Designing texts and Discussing, Listening, and Speaking. The latter is self explanatory. I do think I did a good job with this one. I contributed a variety of ideas to my group and listened to other group members idea’s. Designing texts doesn’t just refer to writing though, this applies to video, picture, audio. For this project we focused on writing and video. Throughout my years at school, especially the recent years my writing has improved with every assignment. This project was no exception. I really think I did a good job on our paragraphs even though they were a little long. Throughout this year we will be working on video as a means of communication. Of course I helped with all of our group videos but on one I was the lead editor. I think I did quite a good job with what I had for this video. I also used a lot of iMovies more advanced features for the first time such as cutaways.

In Maker we only had one competency, this was creative communicator. This was all about using technology to create and communicate. I did exactly that this project. Through all the videos I made. Those both communicated an idea and were made using a variety of different apps.

Our project Launch taught us about Crane Brinton’s theory of Revolutions. This was the base for how we would analyze revolutions throughout the project. The theory compared a revolution to a disease through comparing the stages of a revolution to different parts of a common sickness. I really realized that revolutions are incredibly complicated, but all share many common traits. Then we built a metaphor machine which represented a society through a revolution. We also had to create a video of that machine. As this was a launch milestones it wasn’t the prettiest and it didn’t work most of the time. Although I learned a lot of valuable lessons from this milestone which helped make our revisions of the machine work and look okay. 

Then we moved onto Building Knowledge. This was where we learned about the American and French Revolutions. We also had to write paragraphs about both. Throughout this area of the project we alternated days, learn about a revolution then build a machine, create a video, and write a paragraph. Of course I learned a lot during this stage, but I also gained experience in time management this was amplified by the fact that it was the start of the ski season so I went up the mountain a couple of times!

Then the Develop and Critique stage came along. This stage got combined with the present and reflect stage as our teacher didn’t think we were ready to do the assignments in this stage. We just made our final video here. 

To summarize this project, we built metaphor machines about revolutions which we took videos of and then wrote paragraphs to show our understanding of the revolutions. Plus we read a book. Thanks for reading through. Keep an eye out for more blog post before winter break. 

The Fatal Journey

Hi everyone,

After learning about explorers we learnt about what the explorers did after settling somewhere new. Our most recent project was about the colonial times, focusing on New France and the fur trade. For this project we made a book about an artifact, and a person in New France. 

We started this project off by learning about the seingneural system of New France. That was very similar to Feudalism which I did a project on in January. Then we picked our artifact and wrote a story. 

My best work came in Milestone 2 of this project. We had to make a character card. I think I did a great job on that milestone. I included lots of detail, and put lots of thought into it. I’m also proud of my final book. One of the most interesting things to learn about in this project was how daily life in New France looked. It was also amazing to learn that the whalers from Europe, followed the explorers to new waters and hunted the whales there. One of the things I struggled with the most was my grammar in the story. I kept on switching from the first to third person. 

There were two main competencies in this project. Communicate was one of them. The best demonstration of this competency is in my story. I communicated my idea, and learning through my story. The other competency was, evidence. Milestones 3-5 were all great examples of this competency. I showed evidence of my artifact. I also used evidence to show significance of my artifact and New France. 

This is my last humanities blog post of grade 8 thanks. I will likely post my next humanities blog post in October. Happy Summer Vacation 🥳🥳!!!!!

Exploring Diseases

Hi everyone,

We just completed a project about explorers and diseases. This was a scimatics humanities cross-over. We had two driving questions for this project, “How do cells and diseases interact?” Our other driving question was “What is the historical significance of your explorer?”

As with all scimatics projects we created a project start mind map. This detailed our understanding of the subject of the project, before we started the main part of the project. I learned a lot this project such as how organelles work, and viruses are not living things. 

Our competencies for this project were, Questioning and Predicting. I think I did a good job with this competency. I had a sustained intellectual curiosity about the subject at hand. I completed all milestones to the best of my ability. The second competency was, Scientific Communications. I used proper language to describe how the bacteria and human cells interacted. They interacted in a realistic, scientific manor. The final competency was, Evaluate. The symptoms and outcomes were logical and realistic. They were what would likely happen if someone got the disease I chose in real life. 

This is a diagram of a cell I drew

For the humanities portion of this I created. The curricular competencies were, Connect, and Establish Historical Significance. For the Connect competency I think I did a good job. The best example of this was my comic book comparison chart. I connected with the characters in the stories. 

I think I did a good job on my second competency, Establish Historical Significance. The best example of this was my comic book. You can read it below. I established the historical significance of Bartolomeu Dias very well. 

Bartolomeu Dias comic


I think I answered both driving questions quite well. I answered the humanities driving question mainly through Milestones 3 and 5. Milestone 3 was our explorer research chart and this was where I decided on Bartolomeu Dias. I also figured out why he was historically significant. Milestone 5 was the comic book and this was where I explained that he was historically significant. 

I would say I mostly answered the scimatics driving question through Milestones 2 and 5. Milestone 2 was our disease wanted poster. We created a Poster detailing some basic facts about our disease on a Midwest like wanted poster. This is where I chose my disease the Scarlet Fever. I presented these facts in Our comic book. 

All in all this was an interesting project which really correlated with the time we’re living in. It was really interesting learning about diseases with the COVID-19 global pandemic the way it is. I also learned a lot about how significant my explorer was. 

Witness to History

Hi everyone,

Due to the coronavirus pandemic which I’m sure you all know about. If you don’t about it then good for you, you’re still likely practicing social distancing. It has prevented us from being able to go to our physical school. Instead we have been doing schooling online. But this will be considered a major historical event by historians for hundreds of year to come. For our latest project we have become photo journalists. For this project I have made a photo essay about the affects the coronavirus pandemic has had on the vancity basketball community. 

For our first milestone we could take some selfies or go on a themed photo walk. I went on a themed photo walk. I chose the colour green. Below are some of my favourite photos. 

Our second milestone had us interviewing members of the community. I chose to interview two of my cousins who are in university. They both said university learning was hard but they were almost done (they’re now done), so lucky! 

In our third milestone we finally started on the end product. We made a story spine. As previously said I decided to focus on the vancity basketball community. Below is a screenshot of my story spine. 

The fourth milestone was a storyboard. In this milestone we planned each of our shots. I found this to be quite a difficult milestone as I often take on the fly photos. 

The final milestone was the actual photo essay. I found this milestone quite fun. I like photography and it was fun to go take all these photos. I embedded my photo essay below if you want to check it out. 

The driving question for this project was, “How can we, as photojournalists, tell stories of our community during this period of physical distancing?” I think my photo essay answers this question well. I have many photos detailing how my chosen community is affected by physical distancing. I do think my photos could of been more self explanatory though. 

Zooming through DI

Hi everyone,

If you’ve read my previous blog posts you would know that on February 29th I completed DI (Destination Imagination) regionals, checkout my blog post on that here. But with the covid-19 pandemic DI provincials was not possible. Instead we did our DI presentation on a zoom meeting, we even did an instant challenge! This was difficult though as we left all of our props at school, we also had to figure out how to act and interact over zoom. 

An instagram post about PLP’s online DI. That is my group on the featured photo.

We did a great job at regionals but there were so many things to improve. Even though we had to revise everything for this DI we still improved many things, I feel like we did a very good job given the circumstances. 

Our Story improved a lot. The biggest improvements were clarity. The clarity was improved through the awesome narration of our group member Annie. We also all did a good job at acting. 

Our backgrounds were significantly better then at regionals. We used a feature in zoom called virtual background to quickly switch are backgrounds. We also switched the backgrounds a lot to get more relevant backgrounds depending on the scene. To replace our last team choice element which was a painting on top of our alarm clock box Evelyn painted an amazing depiction of our main character Nate’s room. Finally I created an ending background which we used at the very end. 

  • This is the background we used in all of our school scenes.

  • This is the amazing background which Evelyn drew.

  • This was our final background.

We also did some minor improvements on the invention. Although, once again our alarm didn’t work we still revised it. Instead of using the circuit which we used at regionals we used a scratch program which had a timer and would set off an alarm. This failed though, I’m not completely sure what happened but likely my phone glitched out and didn’t play the alarm sound. 

After regionals our team made some plans to improve our DI presentation for provincials. We were going to remake the frame of our backdrop with wood to make it less flimsy. We also were going to remake the circuit inside the invention. Finally we were going to improve our impact scenery. 

Our plan for the backdrop was to add wood supports to improve the frame. During regionals our backdrop kept on falling over. During the 2 weeks after regionals we made plans to get the wood and attach it.

This was our original backdrop

For the invention we were debating making a new timer circuit and trying to figure out if we could get the parts needed for that, or make a simple machine out of an old cooking timer. If we couldn’t get our hands on a 555 timer alarm. 

This is a 555 integrated timer IC

Finally our other major improvement was working on using carbiners to improve the pulleys in our impact scenery. They failed miserably at regionals. During class we figured out how we were going to attach the carbiners to our impact scenery, and we were about to start before spring break happened. 

I feel we did a very good job acting on our instant challenge. We figured out how to act in zoom which is very different and can be quite difficult. We also did a very good job at quick thinking.

All in all we did a very good job handling the different challenges which were thrown at us through all of DI, especially the online one we completed on Monday April 6th. I feel like throughout DI are group began working a lot better together and demonstrated a lot of growth. 

Fantastic Feudalism?

Hi everyone,

Over the last 5 weeks we have learned about a lot. Actually we didn’t we mostly learned about the ways you could die in the Middle Ages and compared them to today. I’m kidding but we did learn about the Black Death, the crusades, and many more things. Our driving question for this project was, “What was life like in the Middle Ages? How does it compare to today?” We were being assessed on two curricular competencies which I will mention later.

For this project we had many assignments. Most of them centred around continuity and change. We started this project with reading a book. The book was called the book of the lion and was about a squire. We also wrote a letter from the perspective of a made up person in the Middle Ages of a certain class. My letter was about a squire named Huxley Hardaway. We also made a keynote about the continuity and change of objects from the Middle Ages to now. I did part of this project with Josh. 

This was my keynote on continuity and change in the Middle Ages.

My favourite Milestone in this project was the character letter. The reason I liked this milestone so much was because we could be really creative with it. 

In this project like all projects we were being assessed on a few competencies. The competency for English was Comprehend. This is basically about how well I can understand text. I think I did quite well on this competency. I understood the book we read quite well. I also did quite well at researching for the continuity and change keynote. I also figured out some strategies on how to better remember content from textbooks. I would read it aloud or, write the general idea down somewhere. 

The competency for Social Studies was, Continuity and Change. In my opinion I did very well on this competency. I made a good keynote, and I did a quite well at explaining the continuity of crop farming and the change of Artillery. I also made an excellent research doc in which I described the continuity and change of many items and ideas. 

This was my presentation on continuity and change.

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