Politics, Debates, and Some Boys on an Island

We have just finished our final unit in PLP this year and it was a big one. We learned about many things including human nature, politics, and how to debate. When we first learned about this unit I was very excited because I love to debate and I find human nature very interesting. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Our first task in this unit was to sort ourselves into 6 groups for the unit. We have 25 students in our class so we had to sort ourselves into 5 groups of 4 and one group of 6. We were given no instructions and had only 20 mins to make even groups. I know this may sound easy but we have a lot of very strong minded people in our class so this was quite the challenge. We tried to start off by using a talking stick but that didn’t work at all and by the end it was ripped apart. We then had a few people take on leadership roles but that left some others very unhappy. There was yelling, standing on chairs, and tons of discussion but we managed to make 6 strong groups of people with many different skills. This was the first social experiment that we had to do to start this unit.

Now you may be wondering what these teams are for. They would be our groups for the debate and they were also our island. For this unit we had to read Lord of the Flies by William Golding and in that book many boys had to survive on an island so that’s what we had to do too. Of course we didn’t actually have to survive on an island. For about two weeks we played a game where you had to collect points from doing good things such as handing in work on time and being a good student during class. We could also lose points from doing bad things such as forgetting your iPad or being late to class. I was in a group with Hannah, Lucas, and Aiden and we named our group the NY Islanders. Here is the points system.

One of the other big aspects of the points game was the book quizzes. Every week for three weeks we did a quiz on 4 chapters of the book. Each quiz had 10 questions and if you got all of them write you got 100 points for your island which was a lot. I really enjoyed reading the book and I got really into it so my group did really well on the quizzes. We were one of only 2 groups to get 10/10 on one of the quizzes. We ended up coming in second out of the 6 teams by only 20 points which was pretty good. Here is the final results of the points game.

If you have read Lord of the Flies then you know that it is full of symbols. Pretty much everything in that book is a symbol for something. Symbols were one of our main focuses while reading the books. One activity that we had to do was fill out a work sheet and write down what we thought certain things symbolized. Here is my worksheet.

LOTF Symbols

Another thing we were focusing on while reading the book was the characters. They are all very different and change some much throughout the book. Our job was to fill out a character chart as we read the book. Here is my character chart.

A huge part of this unit was learning about different concepts. We were introduced to the concepts at the beginning of the unit.

• Power and Authority

• Humanity and Inhumanity

• Violence and Destruction

• Human nature

• Civilization and Savagery

• Individualism and Community

To learn about each concept we started off by making posters and writing down anything we could think of that related to the concept. Here are our posters.

To help further understand these concepts we had to write paragraphs on a couple of them. In these paragraphs we had to choose a topic within a concept and explain how it shows the concept. For example I did one of my paragraphs on how Japan’s actions during WWII showed inhumanity. Here are my two paragraphs.

Humanity and Inhumanity

Human Nature

It was very important that everyone knew and understood these concepts because they are what are final project was based on. For our final project we would be doing a debate. Each group would debate against another group on a topic based on one of these concepts. Debating was something we have never done before so we had to do a lot of preparation for these debates. One thing we did to prepare was play a couple debate games. For example one game we played was called pass the buck. To play the game one person from the group is given an object (the buck) and they are given a topic to talk about. They then have to give a short speech to their group giving their opinion on the topic then they pass the buck and the next group member has to add on to what they said. This game helped us with quick thinking on the spot and learning how to add on to what others had said.

Many of us had no idea about the structure of a debate so we had to listen to 30 mins of a debate podcast called Intelligence Squared. I listened to one about online dating and it was really interesting. It helped get a better idea about how a debate works. Another thing we did to prepare was watched a Ted Talk about the 7 secrets to being a great public speaker. This was extremely helpful and I learned so much from it. Here are my notes from the podcast and Ted Talk.

Debate Podcast Notes

Ted Talk 7 Secrets Notes

A big part of debating is quick thinking so to help us with that a few students did impromptu speeches. Our teacher gave them a topic such as “what is your favourite sport?” And they had 1 min to give a speech about it. While they were giving their speeches we had a list of things you absolutely should not do while public speaking and we had to see if they did them.

Finally after doing all of this preparation we were given our topic and the group we would be debating against. We got to put down our top three choices for which concept we wanted to do and my group got our first choice which was human nature. The statement we were debating was “be it resolved that it is human nature to put yourself above others” and we were debating against Mimi, Parker, Ethan, and Kyle. Both times wanted to be on the pro side of this debate so we flipped a coin and my group ended up on the con side. After we were given our topic we had about a week to prepare our argument by gathering as much information from our units throughout the year into a concept chart. Here is my group’s concept chart and preparation.

Concept Chart

Finally after all of this was done it was time to debate. There were three different debates and they were all happening on different days. My group was lucky enough to get to go on the third and final day so we got to learn from the other debates. The debate was set up with each side having a tall table and the host in between the tables. The concept of the first debate was power and authority. Because we hadn’t done a debate before the structure of that debate wasn’t that great. Both sides had great arguments but we knew we had to make some changes for the second debate. One of the changes we made was spilling of the rebuttal into two one minute sections instead of one two minute section. Here is the structure of the second and third debate.

When it was finally my group’s turn to debate I was a little nervous but very excited. The debate went great. Everyone and lots to say and both sides had very strong arguments. At the end the students and teachers voted for which side won the debate and my side won! I was very happy to win because my group worked extremely hard on our arguments. In PLP we like to have evidence of our work so we recorded all of the debates and turned them into podcasts. The first debates statement was ” Be it resolved that power and authority lead to corruption” and the second groups statement was ” be it resolved that in order to survive you have to be savage”. Here they are.

Throughout this unit we also learned about politics. I’m not going to lie, I was not very excited for this part of the unit but it was more interesting than I expected. We started off with learning bout the different types of government. Each group had to do a presentation  explaining a type of government and my group did anarchy. Here is our document with all of our research and pictures.


The next thing we learned about was Canada’s constitution. A constitution is a body of fundamental principles that state how an organization is governed. There are for parts to the constitution: The rule of law, freedom, democracy, and minority rights. These give us our rights and keep our country organized. After that we learned about the political spectrum. The political spectrum is the spectrum that measures how much towards one side of politics you are. For example you could be wing which is more conservative or you could be left wing which is more liberal. We all had to take a quiz to figure where we were on the spectrum and I was close to the middle but defiantly more left wing.

Another thing we learned about was who’s who in Canada’s government. To do this we had to learn about the different positions in our government and then we researched who holds each position. We had to make a picture of this and here’s mine.

The last thing we learned about politics was the electoral systems. In Canada we have a system call first past the post. In this system the person or party with the most votes wins. It’s very simple compared to other systems around the world. I don’t even understand most of the other systems but if you would like to read about them you can click Here.

As you can see we learned a ton of stuff in this unit. I learned about human nature and many other concepts from Lord of the Flies. I learned about how to debate, the structure of a debate, and how to be a good public speaker. I also learned a lot about politics. I had so much fun with this unit because I had never really had a debate before and I didn’t realize how much I loved it. I am not a very strong public speaker so I had to step out of my comfort zone a little for the debate but I ended up having so much fun doing it. This was a perfect unit to end the year off with because we got to reflect on all of the other amazing units we did. I am so happy with how everything went this unit and I can’t wait to see what we’ll do next year.


For our final unit of science we had to learn about space and astronomy. I was really excited for this unit because I love learning about space. This unit was a little different than other units we have done this year. Instead of us all learning about the same things and doing a project on it we all had different topics to research and do a project on. The topics we got to choose from are the Big Bang theory, star life cycles, nuclear reactions, astronomical measurements, size and scale of our solar system, and radioactivity and radiation. I chose to do the Big Bang theory.

This was a partner project so I partnered up with Hannah. For this project we got to come up with the driving question and how we wanted to answer it. Our driving question was “What makes the Big Bang theory the most widely accepted theory among scientists?”. We chose to answer this by collecting evidence for the theory and displaying it in a slideshow. We also compared it to other theories and predicted how the universe will change based on the Big Bang theory. We then presented it to the class and it went really well. Hannah and I worked hard on this project and we worked very well together. Here is our slideshow.

Big Bang Theory


Another cool aspect of this project was that we got to choose what we wanted to be graded on. There were 6 main criteria and we had to choose 4 of them. Here is how we chose to be graded and what grades we got.

We learned about the different aspects of astronomy from the other group’s projects and presentations. This was a cool way to learn because each group explained their topic in a way that made sense to everyone and they did it in a fun, interesting way. The last thing we had to do was make a mind map showing how the different aspects of astronomy relate to each other. This was a little challenging because we weren’t allowed to take notes during the presentation but I was able to get it done. Every part of astronomy is connected to another part in some way. For example the Big Bang is connected to almost everything because it is the start of the universe. We learned about things in the solar system and everything in a system has to work together to keep it going.

I really enjoyed this unit because it was a fun topic. I loved doing a project with a lot of freedom because I was able to be really creative with it. I loved the topic I researched and I feel like I learned a lot about the Big Bang and how the universe works. I also enjoyed hearing the other group’s presentations and learning from them.

tPOL June 2018

We are so close to the end of the year! One of the last things I have to do is my tPOL. By now I’m sure you know what this is but if you don’t a tPOL is a transitional presentation of learning where each student presents their outstanding work from this year to their teachers to show why they should advance to the next grade level. I have done quite a few of these before so here are some of my past ones. March 2016, June 2016, March 2017, June 2017, and January 2018.

In humanities this year I have felt pretty confident in a lot of my work. At the beginning of the year my work wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be but as the year has gone on my work and work ethics have significantly improved. For example at the beginning of the year we did the WWI project and mine was not good. I tried to do as little work as possible in my group and our final project was simple and boring. One project that I would like to highlight is the Perspectives of WWIIWebsite. It was one of my favourite projects we have done this year. I was put in a group with Will and Lucas and I hadn’t really worked with them much so I was a little nervous. We ended up working really well together. The reason I chose to highlight this project is that I worked extremely hard on it and I am very proud of the outcome. We all did a lot of but I pretty much put the whole website together.

I worked very hard to go through all of the information we had and correct any mistakes. I had never used Weebly before so I was a little nervous that I would mess everything up but it was surprisingly easy to use. I enjoyed organizing all of our information and adding visuals to the website. It was so much fun to see all of our research come together. There were also some other aspects to this project such as the podcast which I feel like I did a really good job on and the book review which I feel I could have done better on. Writing is still one of my weaker points and I feel like I need to work on it. I was so happy with this project that I wasn’t even very nervous to present it to Kathleen Barter. I worked very hard on this project during class and I didn’t even mind working on it outside of class. This is just one example of how I feel I am working harder on all of my work.

In maker I feel that I have done a lot better the second half of the year. At the beginning of the year I did the bear minimum in my work because I just wanted it done. I felt like I was stuck in a box and couldn’t come up with any ideas. For example my story corps podcasts weren’t that creative and could have been more exciting. I feel that I have stepped out of my shell more and used more creativity. One example of this is Destination Imagination. I was put in a group with a couple people I really didn’t think I would work well with but we all managed to work together really well together. Everyone in my team stepped up and we all had lots of fun doing DI. I wanted to do a good job in DI So I tried to come up with a good story. Our group wanted to tackle a more serious matter and I feel like we did a really good job. We all put in lots of time outside of school and did lots of practices to make sure everything was perfect. I also feel like we did a good job of finding the weak spots in our first performance and improving them for our second one. Even though our final performance wasn’t that great I still feel like DI was some of my best work in maker this year. My goal is too keep stepping outside of my comfort zone like I did in this project so my work can meet my standards for myself.

We did generator project in science and math that was a bit of a challenge but I really enjoyed it. It was a group project and I was put in a group with a couple of people that I never really even talked to so it was a bit of a challenge. I feel like a did a pretty good job of working with everyone in my group. I found this project challenging because I was very confused for a lot of it. I don’t think I read the project brief thoroughly enough. In this project we had to learn about different types of energy and how we could collect them in nature using a generator. I feel like I did a good job of understanding the learning part of this but my group struggled with executing the project. We wanted to make a water wheel but we had no idea how to make a working one. I feel we did a really good job of coming up with a successful idea and taking the time to revise it constantly.

The other aspect of this project was to use linear equations to graph the energy collection. I understood the math very quickly and I did a lot of work with the graphs. My math skills have improved a lot since the beginning of the year and I am doing a much better job of implementing them into my projects. For example at the beginning of the year we did the solar panel project and I didn’t do a very good job. The math was there but I didn’t do a good job of incorporating it into the project. I ended up really enjoying this project because there was a lot of hands on learning which I loved. I think for next year I need to improve on understanding the topic before I try and execute the task.

I feel that I am ready to advance to the next grade level. My work habits have improved significantly. I work harder during class so I have less homework and when I do have homework I get it done on time or even early. I feel that I have started to take more of a leadership roll in a lot of projects this year and I am taking more responsibility for my work. I have stepped out of my comfort zone because I want to be a better student and I will continue to do so next year. My goal for next year is to be as creative as possible and work very hard on everything I do. I know I still have room for improvement but I am ready to tackle grade 11.

Job Shadow

Every year in Planning 10 there is a big assignment every student has to do. For this assignment you have to contact someone with a job that you might like and shadow them for a day. We do this assignment to see what a day working is really like. People often think they know what they want to do but until you actually see what you need to do you don’t know if you’ll like it. We also have to contact the person and set everything up so it helps improve our organizational and people skills. The first thing we had to do was come up with a brainstorm and call list of possibilities for who we could job shadow. We have used a website called MyBluePrint where we did tests to figure out the jobs best suited for us to help us decide where to do our job shadow.

I have always had an interest in working in law but I haven’t had any experience with it so I didn’t know if I really liked. I decided it would be a good job for me to shadow. The first thing I had to do was contact someone who works in that field and try and set up a day and time. I knew my uncles girlfriend works in a law firm so I contacted her and we set a date for May 25th. The law firm she works at is DLA Piper. She emailed me my plan for the day which involved meeting with many people with different jobs in a law firm. I then came up with a list of questions I could ask while I was there.

I arrived at the building in the morning and because they deal with a lot of people’s personal information the first thing I had to do was sign a non-disclosure saying I would not share any information regarding their clients. Sadly this also meant that I was not allowed to take any photos or videos while I was there so I apologize for the lack of media. After that I got to talk with Megan McAllister who is the head of Human Resources. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to her because I had never even considered a career in Human Resources but I am now very interested in it. She told me about the many things she has to do including the fun part such as bring people together to work on things, and the hard parts such as having difficult conversations with people about their work ethics.

After learning about Human Resources I got to talk to Kerry Sheppard who is the director of the student programs at DLA Piper. He organizes the program for law students to work at the firm so they can graduate. We talked a lot about the schooling you need to do to become a lawyer and there is a lot. First you have to major in anything before you can even apply to law school. You then have to go to school and also work at a law firm during school to graduate. It is about 8 years of schooling. After we were done talking, Kerry gave me a 25 paged pamphlet on how to become a lawyer which I have briefly skimmed through and it is very informative. He then took me to meet one of the law students working at the firm.

I got to spend a lot of time with Joyce, a law student at Thompson Rivers University. She took me on a walk to the court house and answered all of my questions on the way. She told me what she had to do to get into law school and what it’s like. There is a lot of reading so you have to be a fast reader. The court house was very cool. It looked similar to the court rooms you see on TV but they are a lot smaller. Most of the cases DLA Piper deals with are small so they aren’t as dramatic as they are on TV. Joyce told me that to be a good lawyer you have to be good with people. You have to have lots of empathy and be able to resolve conflicts.

Because I was unable to get any media while I was at the firm I have made a short back with the answers to the questions I got in my interviews.

Being A Lawyer

The last thing we had to do was write a thank you letter to the people we shadowed. It just had to be a short letter to thank them for spending their time with you and organizing it. I only had one email so I sent it to her and asked her to tell everyone else I said thank you.

Spending the day at the law firm was a very unique experience. If I do want to get a job in a law firm I will have to improve my people skills and become a better reader. I will also have to do a lot more schooling and spend more time learning about law. I really liked how each day at a law firm is different so you aren’t stuck doing the same thing everyday. I didn’t really like how a lot of your job is spent behind a desk reading and writing. After talking to everyone I got a ton of answers to all of my questions but my favourite question was “what is the most rewarding part of your job”. Everyone answered the same which was helping people. Being a lawyer you get to help people with their problems and that is very rewarding. As of right now I am not sure if being a lawyer is the right job for me but I will defiantly consider it when I have to make a decision.

Systems of Equations

For this unit in math we learned about systems of equations and how to graph equations. We started off by learning about what project we would be doing. The project for this unit was to figure out what kind of cell phone plan you need and compare that plan from three different companies using linear equations and graphs focusing mostly on data usage. This was a partner project so I worked with Hannah because we both had similar wants for a phone plan.

To do this project we had to learn the math needed to complete it so we spent a couple of weeks doing lessons and practicing the math. Once we felt confident with our math skills we started the project. We started off by collaborating on researching the different phone plans that suited our needs. We decided to focus on a plan from Bell, Telus, and Fido. We figured out the math and graphed everything we needed. We then put it into a slide show so we could present it to the class. Here is our slide show.

I really enjoyed this project. Working with Hannah helped me improve my strengths and abilities and relationship skills. I really liked the work we had to do because it helped me improve my skills of analyzing. I also enjoyed presenting the project in front of the class and getting feedback. Mini projects like this are very fun and a good way to use the math skills we just learned.

BC Tech Summit

Recently my class was very lucky to get the opportunity to go to the BC Tech Summit. The BC Tech Summit is an event where tech companies from all over North America come to show how technology is driving cross-industry growth and change, and how companies are emerging as global leaders in today’s data economy. Many extremely successful CEOs came to speak at the summit and share their stories of working in the tech industry. It is an extremely cool event and it is very hard to get into. It costs $999 for an adult to attend. We went on youth innovation day so we had to apply to go for free and we were accepted. I was very excited to go and I had a very fun day.

The day started off with us listening to a few speakers. One of our assignments for the day was to research two different speakers and take notes on their presentation. The first speaker I chose to research was David Katz, the founder Plastic Bank. Plastic Bank is a organization that allows people living in poverty to collect plastic and trade it in for money, items, or services. They then make the plastic reusable and sell it to companies to limit the making of plastic. In his presentation David Katz mentioned how removing plastic from the ocean is like trying to to mop water from an overflowed sink while the tap is still running. Way more plastic is being put in the ocean than is being cleaned out and we need to find a way to change that. His company is just a temporary solution that is trying to help this problem. Although this company seems like it’s cleaning our oceans and helping poverty it isn’t perfect. It is a profit company and David Katz puts all the profit in his pocket. If he really wanted to help he could use some of that money to with these problems more.

The other speaker I researched was Valerie Song, the founder of Ava Technologies. Ava technologies is a company that makes small indoor gardens that make growing your own foods easier and faster. They used technology from NASA to make growing your own food as simple as possible so everyone would want to do it. Her goal was to change the world and she might not have done that but she has made a difference. In her presentation she talked about how hard it is starting a company in the tech industry. There is lots of competition and 95% of the time the work isn’t very glamorous but she said it is all worth it in the end because of the rewards such as knowing that you are making a difference.

After the speakers in the morning we had the opportunity to sit down with some mentors from the tech industry and ask them some questions. I was at a table with a girl who works in entrepreneurship and a guy that works in medicine. I had many questions for both of them but we had very little time so I was only able to ask one questions. I was really curious about what it is like working in the tech industry as a women so that is the question I asked. I was able to record the conversation and I turned it into a podcast. It was very loud in there so the audio is hard to here but I tried to make it sound as good as possible. Here is my podcast.

After talking with the mentors we got to go to the university booths and talk to some schools about what programs they offered. I am interested in going into health sciences or medicine and there wasn’t a lot any of the schools their offered for me. BCIT has some cool programs for different specialties that kinda interested me. The part I liked about them was that you almost immediately get to start learning in a hospital which seems like a great way to learn.

Once our time was up at the university section we finally got to go upstairs to see the cool tech displays. There were tons of booths that were set up with so much cool stuff. I learned about a machine that can help disabled people walk, how you can grow veins to help sick people, and I saw my friend deliver a baby with a simulation doll. It was a very cool experience. After exploring for a little while we headed back downstairs for lunch then watched a few more presentations.

Going to the BC Tech Summit was an awesome experience. It was a little different than I was excepting but I learned so much about the industry and how it is changing the world. Tech is the future of this country and soon it will be apart of everything. The last task I had to do for the day was make a vlog. I took videos throughout the day then compiled them together. Here is my vlog of my day at the BC Tech Summit.

Perspectives of WWII

We have just finished a huge unit in PLP. In this unit we learned about WWII which was a very significant event in Canada’s history. Our curriculum only says that we have to learn about Canada’s perspective of WWII but that doesn’t allow us to see how other countries felt about the war. Our teacher decided that we would learn about the perspectives of many countries during WWII so we could be more educated on how the war affected everyone.

As you may know the war started on September 1, 1939 and ended on September 2, 1945 which is almost exactly 6 years. Because the war was so long there were a ton of events we had to learn about. Many of us had prior knowledge about the war so to narrow it down we started off by coming up with questions about information we wanted to know. This allowed us to focus on the stuff we were interned in learning. Here are some of the questions my class came up with.

Concentration Camps:
How were concentration camps viewed by those uninvolved in the war, as well as those involved?
How were they discovered?
Were Germans oblivious to what was truly happening at these concentration camps?
Why was Hitler and the Nazi army specifically targeting the Jewish population?
What different resistances worked with the allies, and which worked against nazis and allies?
What were some of the future plans of Hitler and the Nazis?
What would the world have looked like if the Nazis Won?
How were Italy and Japan persuaded to join forces with Germany?
Technology & Strategies:
How could the strategies of paratroopers been changed to better affect the battlefield
How was the Enigma code developed, produced, and solved?
What were the strategies of war used and how have they changed over time?
How did the Nazis come up with technology that took other countries forever to develop?
How was the advancement of war technology a good thing or a bad thing?
How do you think War technology has advanced and how will it advance in the future?
Did the advancements in technology make war more accessible and able to be started easily? What examples are there that prove this point?
What type of war strategies worked on Germany to allow them to advance? Why did these strategies work?
Could something have been done to shorten the war?
Was technical innovation one of the most important factors for military superiority?
How was the war disrupted by having new technology?
Why would the Germans target London knowing they would kill more civilians than soldiers?

Right at the beginning of this unit we were assigned a book to read about WWII. Throughout reading the book we had to take notes because when we finished the book we had to write a review on it. I chose to read All The Light We Cannot See. I wrote a post explaining more about the assignment and my review. If you are interested you can read my post and review Here.

We started off this unit by learning about how the war started. We watched some clips from an amazing documentary show called World War II in Colour which you can watch on Netflix. We learned about how Hitler got into power and why he started a war. After that we learned about the main project for this unit. For the project the class was divided into small groups and each group was given a country that was involved in WWII. We got to fill out a google form picking out our top three countries we wanted to research or putting if we wanted to do a smaller country independently. Each groups task was to make a page on a website explaining their countries perspective on the war. Each country had to have details on before, during, and after the war. I was put in a group with Lucas and Will and our country was Japan.

The design requirements for the website were that it had to have a theme throughout it, it had to have pictures. It had to be visually appealing, and it had to have lots of information. To start preparing to make our website we had a lot of research to do. We had to learn everything about Japan from a few years before the war to a few years after it. We had to research the soldiers, military, technology, battles, and much more. My group divided up the different topics and we each researched a couple. The difference from this research and our normal research was that this wasn’t just taking notes. Instead we wrote a small paragraph or two for each topic so we could put it directly on the website. This made things a lot easier later on. Here is all of our research.

Japan-WWII Research-19f56ab

Although each group was only assigned one country we still had to learn about WWII in its entirety. We learned about many different aspects and battles in the war but one of my favourite things we learned about was the evacuation of Dunkirk. Hundreds of thousands of British and French soldiers were trapped on a beach in France surrounded by the German army. Their only way to escape was by boat but they didn’t have enough boats to get them all to safety so many civilians from nearby came in any boat they had to help save the soldiers on the beach. If you would like to read more about it you can go to the Great Britain page on our website.

Although the evacuation of Dunkirk was a significant event it wasn’t exactly a battle. My favourite battle that we learned about was The Battle of Britain. This was a very horrific battle that resulted in the death of many civilians. Germany wanted to conquer Great Britain and started off by bombing their harbours and shipping facilities. They then turned their aim towards cities and civilians and they bombed Britain for 57 consecutive nights. If you would like to read more about this battle you can go to the German page of our website.

Throughout this unit we had to learn about citations so we could properly cite where we got our information for our website. We learned how to cite a book, a video, and a website. To practice our citation skills we would write small paragraphs with a quote or fact from a specific book, video, or website then cite it at the bottom. This was very helpful practice and made citing our website so much easier. Here is a good website about how to do citations.

One of the aspects of our website was to have audio. This could be in the form of a podcast, interview, or whatever else we wanted. To help us with this we had a veteran from WWII come into our class to tell us about the war and answer our questions. As I mentioned before the goal of this unit was to learn all the perspectives of the war so we were lucky enough to have a soldier with a not often discussed about perspective of the war. His name is Helmut Lemke and he was a German soldier.

He was an amazing speaker and told us so much about his perspective of the war. It really opened my eyes as to how a German might have felt during the war. Each person in the class had to make a podcast from his interview and they turned out very good. I did a couple of drafts, got some critique, then did a final draft. Here is my final podcast.

If you would like to listen to the rest of my group’s podcast you can go to our Podcast Page on our website.

Once all of the research and preparation for the website was done we were ready to start putting it together. To make our website we used a program called Weebly. Weebly allows you to make websites in a very easy way. My teacher set up the website so all my group had to do was make our page. We already had all of our information and pictures done so we just had to import it to the website. We started off with using our iPads to do it but because the whole class was editing it at the same time nothing was saving. We then had to edit it on laptops and that was much more successful. I found putting the website together very fun because I love making my work look good. Weebly is a very good tool to use if you are a beginner and want to make a website. It is very easy and fun to use.

Once all the countries had finished their websites it was time for my favourite part of a PLP project. The Critique. Each country set up a station in the classroom with a laptop and we all went around and gave kind, helpful, and specific critique to each other. My country didn’t get very much critique of things we had to fix which made me really happy because I worked very hard on our page. My group changed the few things we had to and then our website was ready to present.

We were very lucky to get the opportunity to present to Kathleen Barter who is a District Administrator at North Vancouver School District and is also a historian. She came into our classroom and each country had 5 mins to present the highlights of their page on the website. My group was second to last to go which wasn’t very good because a few groups went over their 5 mins so we didn’t have very much time. We had to rush through our presentation but I feel that it went pretty well. Ms Barter gave everyone some critique or things to add to their website but because we were so rushed she didn’t have time to give us any. We then spent the next few days doing a little more editing and then our website was done. You can visit our website Here.

I loved this unit so much. I’m very interested in learning about wars and I loved how much we learned about each country. Thanks to Helmut I learned so much about Germany’s perspective and it was probably my favourite thing I learned this unit. The only thing I would change about this unit was to focus a little more on the perspective. We got so into learning about the war that we kinda forgot about the perspective and had to add more to our website at the end. I loved making the website and I found that it was a very unique way to present a project. I hope we do more unique projects like this in the future.

Electricity from Nature

We just finished a unit in science and a unit in math. In science we learned about energy transformations and conservation. We started off by getting the project brief than learning about the different types of energy. We learned different ways to make our own energy. We also learned how energy transforms. In math we learned about linear equations and rates of change. We learned how to do linear equations and how to put them onto a graph. We then combined both of these subjects for our project.

For our project we had to find a way to capture energy from nature. We learned that there is tons of energy in nature things such as water, wind, gravity and many more things. We were put into groups of about 4 people and had to make something to capture energy. I was put in a group with Spencer, Ryan, and Ruby. To help start our creative process we went to a power house at Stave Falls, Mission and saw their generators and how they collected energy from water. After that day my group started coming up with ideas of how we would capture energy.

We generated a few good ideas but we decided that a water wheel would be the best idea. We then went into the process of developing and designing our We started off with making it out of spoons but we quickly realized that that wouldn’t be strong enough to make enough power. We then tried making it out of containers and long sticks. It was able to move a little in the water but the sticks were too long and we didn’t have enough of them for it to complete a full circle.

For our second draft we added more sticks and made them shorter. We tested it out and it worked! We were able to power multiple lightbulbs with the energy we collected. Once our generator was working it was time for the math part of the project. We started off by collecting the amps and volts of our generator. We then multiplied them together to get the watts. Finally we dived the watts by a period of time in seconds to get the power (Joules). Once we had the joules we did a linear equation to figure out how long it would take to charge an iPhone. We then put this on a graph. We did the same thing for how much power a solar panel collects so we could compare them. Once all of that was done it was time for the fun part.

The last part of the project was to make a fun video advertisement for our generator. This was my favourite part because we got to personalize it and make it really fun. We collaborated well to plan out the video. It was so much fun to film. Here is the video. I hope you enjoy it!

Unfortunately we forgot to put a lot of the math we did into the video so here is some of the math we missed. .

As with every science unit we had to do a mind map at the beginning and end of the unit to show our learning. Here are my mind maps.

All The Light We Cannot See: Book Review

For this unit we are learning about WWII. Everyone in the class had to pick a book to read that is based during WWII. This helped us to learn how different countries viewed WWII as each book showed different perspectives of the war. There were three options to choose from: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Weins, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I chose All The Light We Cannot See because I liked the idea of reading a book from two different people’s perspectives. Throughout reading the book we often had in class discussions and quizzes. Once everyone was done their book, we all had to write a book review. As a class we read a few examples and learned the important aspects of a book review, then we were ready to write. Here is my book review. Enjoy!

This historical fiction novel is a great thing to read if you have a long plane ride or a lot of spare time. It is a page turner and you will not want to put it down. The storytelling style is consuming and a very unique way to tell such a complex, intense story. It is brimming with details that fill all 5 senses. Set in Germany and France during WWII. This novel tells the stories of two kid’s struggles while trying to survive the war, and how their stories cross paths. It is written in the third person perspective and switches between observing each child’s life every chapter. Similar to one of Anthony Doerrs other books, The Shell Collector, one of the main characters is blind.


Marie-Laure is a little, blind French girl with brown hair and freckles. Marie-Laure is six years old when the novel begins, in Paris, 1934. She lives with her Papa, a locksmith and keeper of the keys at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. At the museum there is a one of a kind stone, The Sea of Flames. “It’s cold. The size of a pigeon’s egg. The shape of a teardrop.” The stone is supposedly cursed and whoever has the stone will live forever, but bad things will happen to everyone they love. The stone ends up in Marie-Laure’s care and she has to keep it safe so she can break the curse. Marie-Laure’s story was my favourite to follow because she had to face so many challenges and it always kept me on my toes.


Werner is a German orphan who lives with his sister, Jutta, in an orphanage located in the German mining town of Zollverein. Werner is 7 when the story starts. He is a tiny boy who has a thirst for knowledge and is extremely intelligent. In this book the stereotype of a mean caretaker is broken, the caretaker of the orphans is an extremely nice lady named Frau Elena. Werner starts off the story being afraid of becoming a miner when he turns 16, because his father died in the mines. He is willing to do anything to stay out of the mines, including join the war. Reading the story about a German soldier was very interesting. Seeing that point of view is very rare and it was cool to see how a German might have felt about the war.

Anthony Doerr is clearly a very thoughtful author. Writing about a blind girl must be challenging because you would have to be very descriptive, and creative to be to show how she views life. He did a very good job at this but sometimes he did too good of a job. There were some times where he would describe pointless details way more thoroughly than needed. For example when Marie is walking Doerr often described what was happening is great detail which got tiring because Marie walked a lot and it often wasn’t necessary to the story. On the other hand, there were some parts of the story that I would have preferred to have gone into more detail. Doerr often left me asking questions after significant events happened. For example Marie-Laure practically went blind in a sentence-“One month later she is blind.” The more significant parts needed to be more descriptive.


The first 100 pages of the book are a little hard to get through because of short sentences and lack of an exciting plot, but once you get through those, the book is exhilarating. It has so many different aspects that there is bound to be some part of the story that everyone would love. Doerr was very creative and made some risky choices involving perspectives that ultimately paid off. Even though just telling one of the children’s stories would have been good, telling both of them showed both sides of the war and how they connected. This book had some boring parts part the positives outweighed the negatives. I ultimately enjoyed the book but not as much as I was expecting too. It showed many aspects of the war in an honest and accurate way. Doerr told an amazing story and it deserves all of the awards it has received.

Anthony Doerr


Destination Imagination Provincials 2018

It feels so amazing to be done Destination Imagination and be able to look back on everything I did this year. If don’t dont know what it is, D.I. is a tournament that teams from all over North America compete in. There are 7 challenges each team can choose from and they have to solve their challenge. They also have to present their challenge to a group of appraisers on tournament days and compete with other teams to try and make it to the next tournament. You first compete at regionals, then Provincials, and if you’re lucky enough you can compete at globals.

This year I was on a team with Mimi, Ruby, Adam, Ryan, and Michael. Our challenge was the engineering challenge.

We competed in regionals earlier this year so if you would like to read about how that went click here. We knew after regionals that we had a lot of work to do. We came third and our scores were pretty high but we knew we could make them better. We started off by recognizing what we could change and imagining how we could make it better. Our two biggest concerns were getting more points for our team choice elements and getting more weight on our structure in a shorter period of time. We started off on working on our lowest scores which were our team choice elements.

For our first TCE we decided to add more makeup to the characters to get more points. We still did that tattoos, beard and scary makeup on ruby. We added more tattoos, wrinkles on Mimi’s character, and freckles on Michael’s character. For our second TCE the score was already pretty high but there was still something we could do. We put a pole in the bottom of the projector screen so it wasn’t wavy and it didn’t distort the faces in the phone call video. To make more time for dropping weights we cut a scene from our story. We practiced it many times to make sure Ruby could drop all the weights before we ran out of time. After all of that was done we were ready for Provincials.

When we arrived at Provincials everything started to go wrong. We dropped the podium and it broke. Luckily we were able get some tape and fix it but we were all a little on edge by that point. One of the wires in our speakers snapped but we had some people on our team who are very smart and were able to fix it. Once everything was fixed we headed up to our instant challenge. I can’t tell you what is was but it went pretty well. I’ll come back and add what the challenge was after the end of the globals challenge. After the instant challenge we spent more time practicing and everything was working perfectly, or so we thought.

When it was time for our main challenge we were very ready. We got started and everything was going smoothly until we had to play the phone call scene. The audio was not working for some reason. We had to skip that scene and continue on. When we got to the weight dropping scene, even though our structure was identical to before it broke on after the first weight. Even though everyone was very shocked and disappointed we finished our performance strong. After the performance we were all a little sad. It was so disappointing to have so much go wrong. We soon realized there was nothing we could have done and we were happy with all of the work we put into it.

Evaluating our performance after we were done was difficult. We got our scores and we were not very happy but they did make sense for our performance. Our scores went down in everything except for our first team choice element where it actually went up a couple of points. We ended up coming in 7th out of seven teams. Here are our scores and comments

Although things didn’t go as planned it was still an amazing experience. Many people often ask me why I do DI and even though I’m technically forced to do it it has a lot of really awesome benefits. I have learned so much about myself, my team members, and how to be a better learner. I feel that DI has made me a smarter, more creative person and has helped prepare me for a better future. There was a scientific study done that measured student engagement and creative attitudes and values among students who participate in Destination Imagination and students who do not. The results were amazing.

Students who participate in Destination Imagination were more engaged and imaginative when completing given tasks, more creative than non-DI participants, more self-confident and tenacious, able to elaborate on and generate more ideas than non-DI participants, great collaborators—86% of DI students agree that their teamwork skills improved within 1-2 years of participation, and they were more inquisitive—92% of DI students agree that solutions to problems are often improved by considering a variety of perspectives. If you would like to read the article about this study click Here.

Destination Imagination was such an amazing experience. I have done it for three years in a row and each experience was better than the last. I’ve have been able to look back and see how much I have grown as a learner and as a person. I have improved so many of my skills and I am ready to use them. I will never forget what DI has taught me. And I got an amazing certificate to remind me forever. 😊

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