Hey there! Dylan here. Again. Today, as usual, I’ll be talking about our latest project for humanities, Revolutions on Trial. This was a very interesting and enjoyable project. I’ve always been interested in learning about revolutions and have usually just stuck to reading about them and watching videos/movies about them online, but it was really cool and fun to actually learn about them in school.
I was away for the start of this project, so a little bit of this will be from the perspective of me in Toronto. That being said, we started this project by starting to read Animal Farm by George Orwell. This was a really interesting book because, well, of course it is a classic and the using of animals to represent the Russian Revolution is really cool, but I actually didn’t enjoy the book while I was reading it, but once I finished it, I started to really appreciate it. Now, about a month after finishing the book, I’m still kind of reflecting on what I read and realizing that even though it didn’t really grab my attention whilst I was reading it, it was honestly a really good book.
Next, we learned about Crane Brinton and his diagram of how revolutions play out. If you don’t know, Crane Brinton (1898-1968) was an American historian. He created a diagram of the anatomy of a revolution, likening the process of a revolution to that of a fever. (Looking back on this, I realize the Wikipedia article on him is very similar to what I just wrote, I’m not plagiarizing I promise.)
Here’s what he looked like If you’re curious:
I feel like he kinda looks like Dwight Eisenhower.
Anyways, Crane Brinton’s diagram is still used today. Learning about it was very helpful for this project and it was a very good reference.
Next, we made graphic organizers. These were our way of illustrating the Crane Brinton diagram in different forms. Here’s my own graphic organizer:
It’s a little bit messy but it gets the point across. I feel like it helped me a lot with understanding the way that the Crane Brinton diagram better.
After that, we got into groups based on revolutions to study. There were for groups for four different revolutions. The American Revolution, The Hatian Revolution, The French Revolution and the Xinhai (pronounced “zhinhai”) Revolution, which took place in China. I was assigned the French Revolution group which I was pretty happy about, considering the fact that I have always had a deep interest in, and with topics related to the French Revolution. After we studied our revolutions for a while we were told to make a Crane Brinton style diagram about our revolution. Here is mine:
French Revolution – Graphic Organizer
Also, around this time we watched the movie adaptation of Animal Farm. Personally, I didn’t love it, but it was alright for the time it came out. I’m excited that they’re making another one sometime in the near future.
After this, we started preparing for a mock trial to determine wether or not our revolutions were effective or not. We would be split into two groups, prosecution and defence, with one of each for each revolution that we studied, save for the Russian Revolution, since there was no group for the Russian Revolution. We would be presenting these in front of our parents/family/friends at the PLP Winter Exhibition. We spent lot of time working on it. In the end, it turned out really well, and my parents thought it was really cool. I played our defence witness, who we chose to be Maximilien Robespierre. I was going to do a stereotypical comically thick French accent, but for it to be funny, I’d have to keep a straight face while doing it which would be just about as easy for me as building IKEA furniture (very hard). I also would be completely unintelligible. Nevertheless, without the French accent, I honestly feel like I did quite alright on this!
In conclusion, this was a really cool project. This was the kind of stuff I was hoping we were going to be learning this year, and it was great to actually do it! I learned a lot during this project, and it was great experience and practice for learning how to do research for a specific topic that I will hopefully carry onto the real world.
I hope you enjoyed all 748 words of this blog post, and I’ll see you next time.
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