Colonization is kinda weird.

Hi, hello, do I have to write this? I suppose. *sigh.

Hello everyone, welcome to my all new blog post ‘bout greedy people on ships, otherwise known as colonization.

Keystone 1:

For keystone 1 we created a chart analyzing listing a piece of C.W Jeffries art. This was the piece that I was assigned:

And this is what I found when I analyzed it:

It is a bit hard to explain how we broke this all down into info we could use, but we basically looked for the key elements that conveyed certain messages about early colonization in the “new world”.

Keystone 2: 

In keystone 2, we used what we had discovered, along with some tracing skills to re-interpret the image we were assigned from the perspective of the First Nations/the other party. Here was mine:

I think it came out quite well. It shows what the arrival of the explorers from a vast ocean might have looked like to the First Nations at the time.

Keystone 3:

In keystone 3, we created a script for a video about early colonization in the Americas, here was mine: 

Final product:

In the end of this project, we created the video using AR Makr to add both pieces of art in the background, then we edited it and put on YouTube. Here is my video!

sorry that the quality is so bad, I had to compress it to be able to put it on here.

Thanks for reading, hope you liked my video!

07. May 2023 by James
Categories: PLP project reflections | Leave a comment

Science makes things go boom

Welcome to my blog post on a blog. In a post. 

I quite enjoyed this project that we did in science, we leaned about atoms, types of matter, and  the ways in which they can be affected by various conditions; so without further ado, welcome to my science story.

Keystone 1:

For keystone 1, we mostly did learning. We learnt about matter, chemical and physical properties, and qualities and quant active observations. For our final product we created a “who am I?” Statement where we listed the qualities of an object. Here was mine:

Mass = 168.58g

Volume = approximately 270cm3 

Density = 0.62437037037037g/cm3

Physical properties:

– Primary colours are white, blue, and green. – qualitative.

– Roughly cylindrical in shape. – qualitative.

– It has a height of 19 1/2cm. – quantitive. 

Chemical property:

– It is non-toxic. – qualitative.

Click underneath to see what my object was.

Keystone 2: 

For keystone 2 we learned about the different states of matter and how different conditions effected certain events and reactions. To show our learning, we designed and tweaked an experiment. We had access to gummy bears and many other ingredients and we changed the environment the gummy bears were in and we saw how that effected the diffusion of the gummy bears. My full experiment is below:

Questions: – How does the presence of different substances affect the diffusion and the gummy bear? – Does the temperature of the water affect the diffusion and the gummy bear and/or the other materials? – Does the presence of an acidic substance affect the diffusion and the gummy bear?

Procedure: 1. Put the gummy bear in tap water. (Test 1) 2. Put the gummy bear in vinegar. (Test 2) 3. Cold tap water + gummy bear+ food colouring. (Test 3) 4. Cold tap water + gummy bear + vinegar + baking soda + food colouring. (Test 4)

Ingredients: – 4 gummy bears – Some vinegar – A pinch of baking soda – A few drops of food colouring.

Predictions: – The vinegar will make the gummy bear diffuse faster, as it is acidic. – The cold tap water will make the gummy bear diffuse slower than the room temperature water. – The vinegar and baking soda might counteract each other. – The fourth test will go very slow because of the lack of energy and the amount of substance in the water/vinegar – Matter gets more concentrated with the reduction of heat, so the gummy bear in cold water – might be slightly smaller than the one in room temperature water. – The acidic vinegar might partially or completely dissolve the gummy bear.

Hypothesis: – The rate of diffusion will be affected by different factors presented to the situation. – The characteristics of the gummy bear will change depending on the substances and temperatures.


Day 1: – Test 4 is already covered in bubbles, all others are quite normal. – Test 2 gummy bear has only 2 bubbles on it. Test 1:

Test 2:

Test 3:


Test 4:


Day 2:  All of the gummy bears have expanded, some more than others. – They were all very fragile.

Test 1:

It became incredibly fragile, and broke into pieces when extracting it from the beaker. – It is also very slippery. – The colour has stayed the same.

Test 2:


The gummy bear got much bigger. It was squishy and slippery like jello.

Test 3:

I lost the photo on this one.

This gummy bear was the largest of the bunch – It was dyed mostly green, but some of the original colour was still showing due to the food colouring – It was also quite fragile.

Test 4:

Test 4 basically doubled in size. – It became less slippery and fragile than others. – It was also dyed green. – Its throat has been slit.


Q: How does the presence of different substances affect the diffusion and the gummy bear?

A: The presence of different substances in the experiment changed how much the gummy gear grew and changed in a variety of ways.

Q: Does the temperature of the water affect the diffusion and the gummy bear and/or the other materials?

A: The temperature of the tap water didn’t really affect the growth. However, it might have affected the speed at which the gummy bear diffused.

Q: Does the presence of an acidic substance affect the diffusion and the gummy bear?

A: The presence of an acidic substance seems to have made the gummy bears bigger if anything, and made one of the gummy bears slightly melty, and it made both very slippery, the others were slippery as well, but these ones were particularly so. Final statement: Changing things about the situation the gummy bears were in affected what happened to the gummy bear in various ways.

Keystone 3: 

For keystone 3 we created a video game pitch, mine was an adventure game where the player is a certain state of matter and element, and has to try to survive, and eventually they change to a different state of matter and element. And then we made it! Here is… *drumroll here. Atom Quest!

And the link if you want:

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed!

05. May 2023 by James
Categories: PLP project reflections | Leave a comment

To Science, or not to Science. That is the Question.

Dis is being a blog post… probably.

Recently we’ve had a change in our timetables, that being; we have science. Now I know what you might be thinking… actually I don’t. But you are probably thinking something along the lines of “science exists”. Well that is true! Welcome to my first blog post for PLP science.

Keystone 1: 

For keystone 1 we did a lot of experimentation and experiments. We also learned about, and witnessed the cell theory. First we looked at some bacteria under microscopes, which was simultaneously really awesome, and really gross. Like really really gross. We then took swabs of certain parts of the school, and put them in a Petri dish, then but those in an incubator, and let them grow. So gross. Anyways, we had to record the whole process in this field journal:

sorry this is slightly wonky, I tried to fix it.

Keystone 2:

In keystone 2 we made immune system characters to represent the specific parts of the innate and adaptive immune system. I made mine in the style of Pokémon cards.

I hope you like them 🙂

here is a list of the descriptions, because they were really small on the cards.

“The white blood cell looks for harmful cells  in your bloodstream. These harmful cells are called pathogens. When they find a pathogen, they will tag it, and then a macrophage while come destroy it. Overall the white blood cell is a very important part of the immune system. The macrophage looks for pathogens that have been tagged in our bloodstream. When it finds a marked pathogen it will destroy that pathogen. The macrophage cell helps keep our body safe, and is an instrumental part of the immune system. The B-cell is an important part of adaptive immune system. They are important because they create antibodies. The B-cells save the “recipes” to create specific types of antibodies to fight specific pathogens, so the pathogen gets easier to destroy if that type of pathogen comes back. Antibodies stick to the surface of a pathogen. The white blood cells tags the pathogens with antibodies, this allows the macrophage able to identify the pathogen and destroy it. All antibodies are specific to certain pathogens. T-cells help identify pathogens, they look for distinguishing features on the pathogens. When they find a pathogen, they reproduce. There are three types of t-cell, helper, memory, and killer. The t-cell is a vital part of the adaptive immune system.”

Keystone 3:

In keystone 3 we looked at some common fears and superstitions about vaccines, we also learned how said vaccines worked.

we then created a short infographic about a fear of vaccines of our choice, and wrote a short paragraph about bias, and its place in our lives.

Vaccine infographic

And this is the paragraph.

“Bias is a big part of research, writing, and our life, even if we don’t always know it; it is incredibly hard to write or think about something without bias no matter how much you practice. What is bias? Bias is basically your opinion or an idea you have on something, that isn’t necessarily a fact; it is a personal opinion. For example, I really like playing video games, and I think that they are great! However, this may not be the scientific reality, and my feelings towards video games are biased, because I enjoy them. For you, think about something you like or know about, then think, “Is that really true?” Or is that not technically true. For the record, bias is not always a bad thing, It also helps shape our personality, who would you be without opinions? But bias can also be bad when trying to write about, or think about some things. A common example, especially after/in the Covid-19 pandemic; vaccines. Anti-vaxxers all have some biased opinions towards vaccines, they think they are harmful, unsafe, and many other things, while the evidence shows that the Covid-19 vaccine, and other Vaccines are very safe, properly tested, and controlled. Bias can be good or bad depending on how it comes into play, but if you want to find an unbiased opinion on something, it is always a good idea to check multiple sources, and then make sure those sources are reliable.”

Finish line:

For the final part of this project we had to create a public heath poster that might even go up in some elementary schools, which is insane. Overall, I quite like mine.

Thank you for reading my blog post, I hope you enjoyed and learned something. My sources for the infographic are also underneath.

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10. March 2023 by James
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Exploration. It does indeed exist.

Welcome to another blog post about stuff! Interesting-ish stuff! In particular, school. Today I’m going to show you the final results of my delve into exploration, and show you how I got there. 

This project was a hard one, it started right after the semester switchover, and ended at the same time as the second term.

Keystone 1:

We started by learning about the vikings, how they lived, who they were, what they did, and what were some common myths about them. We also learned how to asses bias in information, and how to obtain a non-biased opinion on a subject. Our proof that we had learned this came in the form of a viking character card; a viking character we created along with some other facts on a template we had been given, and a character summary sheet:  

My personal favourite part of that assignment was one of my made up quotes, “anything you can kill, I can kill more.”

Keystone 2:

After keystone 1, we started to learn about exploration in the Renaissance; who was exploring, how they explored, and what they discovered, the way we showed our learning this time was by creating a short story under 200 words; I found this very hard because I like adding detail to my stories, but I managed write the story in just under 350 words! Hmmm. That won’t lose me any marks, right? Right? *hyperventilating. Anyways, here is my story, it is from the perspective of a crew mate aboard Jacques Cartier’s ship on his voyage when he “discovered” Canada. My story shows how the crew members of those ships might of felt, and how navigation worked then:   

“As we left the shore of France, I couldn’t help wonder why I had signed up to go across the sea is search of a new trade route to Asia.

As we were sailing, I was very curious about how navigation worked; how on earth were we getting home? I felt that to get these questions answered I would have to ask our captain; Jacques Cartier.

When I got to the captain’s bunk, I knocked on his door, and when he stepped out I asked, “how do you navigate so well? How are we going to get home?” He then invited me in and showed me some of the different navigation instruments. First the compass; which always pointed to the true north, used for finding your direction, then the astrolabe; used for triangulation and identifying stars of planets, then the cross-staff; used for measuring the height of a heavenly body, and lastly, the sextant; like the astrolabe, but could also find the latitude of a ship. He also showed me he navigated using the stars and how he used maps to find where we were. I went back to my bunk feeling satisfied that he knew what he was doing, and I would get home safely.

We traded with the people we found on the land we discovered, they liked trading for our goods, but eventually we had to fight them when they tried to steal our supplies. A lot of them died, which was bad for our relations with them, but they will all probably be dead soon because of the diseases we accidentally brought to them.

When I finally heard the cry of “land! I see land!” From the crow’s nest, I was relived, our journey had taken us a long time to complete, and now we were finally home.”

Keystone 3:

In this keystone we learned about cause and consequence, how something starts, and what that thing could change. We then updated our stories to include this; in my story it was the section about fighting the indigenous people, and how so many people had died, just because a few people went exploring.

We also created some images to go with our stories, here are mine,

Firstly, the compass;

And the astrolabe;

Then the sextant;

And then the cross-staff;

And lastly, a short video showing a mini timeline-ish thing of how the exploration might of happened.

Finish line:

For the last step of our project, we put our project into book creator. Here was the finished product:

Explorer’s travelogue

Overall, this was quite a fun project, we also did peer reviews the whole way through, and I learned lots of new skills.

Thank you for reading my blog post about exploration, I hope you enjoyed it! If you want to read a longer, unfinished version of my story, click underneath:

It was as I was leaving the recruitment station that the full reality of what I’d just done set in. I had signed up to go across the sea, in pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal; looking for a new route to Asia, where there could be nothing but ocean. It was such a crazy thing to do, and as I walked along the shore to my home, all I could do was wonder if I had just condemned myself to death far away from anything I knew or loved. It was already time to leave! April 20th already! How had this happened, it felt like I had just singed up for this voyage yesterday, I tried I to keep calm as I helped load the last provisions onto the ship. For the third time that day, I kept wondering why King Francis I had paid for this; did he enjoy watching sailors sail away to their death? It cost so much money that only the King could have afforded. And then there was Jacques Cartier himself. I didn’t know much about, just that he had been hired by the King to explore the seas. I had to trust him though, he was the man who was supposed to be getting me across the ocean and back alive. As we sailed away from France, I knew our journey had only just begun and I was already ready to be back. I was used to ships of course, growing up on the coast of France, I was used to the parts of the ship and the ideas of sailing, but the idea of navigation fascinated me! How was one supposed to find where they were with no land in sight, or just decide where they wanted to land, and then actually end up there instead of thousands of kilometres away. I wanted to know more, and I could only think of one man who could show me; Jacques Cartier. We had been at sea for three days, and I still hadn’t worked up the courage to ask our captain about navigation, but I was going to today, and nothing was going to stop me! But as I was walking to the captains bunk I kept having doubts; did everyone onboard already know everything about navigation? Would our captain punish me for not knowing? It was a battle just to look towards the direction of the captains bunk, but eventually I managed to get myself to the door of Jacques Cartier’s bunk. Holding my breath, I knocked on the door. I stood there holding my breath for a while, waiting for the door to open, fighting the urge to run away. When the door finally opened, there he was; Jacques Cartier! When I look at him, everything just seemed right about him, his expression focused and brooding, his hair and beard a light brown, and his blue-green eyes just went so well with what my idea of a master navigator looked like, that I just stood with my feet planted in place, looking dumbfounded for several seconds until he said to me “what do you want?” “Duh-uh… uh” I stuttered back to him. “I, I just had a few, a few questions about navigation sir” I managed to choke out. “Well then come in young fellow, and I will show the wonders of the art” he said back to me. “Really!” I exclaimed, unable to control my excitement. “Of course.” He said as I followed him into his bunk. As I looked around the bunk I couldn’t help but gasp. It was so very different from what I was Imagining, but also. Much better. I had been expecting a luxurious room, but instead I was greeted with haphazard mess. But it was amazing, navigation instruments everywhere, I was happy with the fact our captain wasn’t trying to prove he was better than us, and was just focusing on where we were going, also I found all the navigation gear fascinating. I picked up a flat cylinder with lots of markings and a needle and asked with wonder “what is this?” He responded by saying “that is a compass, it always points to the true north, so it is used for telling which direction you are travelling” I was blown away by that, so when Jack (can I call him that, or will that get me dumped overboard?) pulled out what looked like a stick standing up vertically, with more sticks coming of the sides horizontally, with markings everywhere, I was blown away. “This is a cross staff” he explained. “It is commonly used to measure the altitude of a heavenly body; something in the sky” he continued. ”wow” was all I could say. Then he pulled out a strange device and said “this is an astrolabe, it was used for triangulation. Basically finding where you are, and also to identify celestial bodies, and measure the altitude of them as well.” I found this fascinating, but there was a question I needed to ask; “why did you say “was”, sir?” He responded to my question by saying; “well, it was replaced for the most part by this contraption.” He pulled out yet another strange looking device; “This is a sextant. It can do everything that an astrolabe can do, but it can also find the latitude of a ship.” He told me. I pointed at a strange looking piece of paper on the wall. “What’s that?” I asked him. “That is a map, it shows what part of the world looks like, and therefore is a key aspect of navigation.” He told me. “Wow.” was once again all I could say. “We also look at the positions of the stars to help us navigate, celestial navigation is one of the biggest tools in navigation.” He informed me. After a few seconds of silence, I said; “thank you sir.” He then said; “you should get back to your post, and I will see you around.” “Yes sir. Thank you sir.” I said as I left.l When I got back to my bunk at the end of the day, and tried to sleep, all I could think about was the fascinating thing that was navigation. At least now I trusted to get us home if we didn’t die in hundreds of possible ways, I trusted our captain to get us home safely. However, I still found myself wondering about why we doing this, why would we risk everything just for a slightly faster trade route? I thought about for awhile, then decided to ask some of the crew who had been on voyages like this before. After a bit of searching, I found a crew member prepared to answer my question. His name was Valerian. He was a very rugged man with hard hands and many scars, I was scared just looking at him, but I needed answers, so I approached him hesitantly. “Why are we doing this you think?” I asked him. “For the loot, right?” He replied. “Yeah, but what about the fame? We get famous too?”I questioned. “We also have to covert anyone we meet though; for god” he said back. “Probably a bit of everything right?” I asked. “I guess” he said, “”now leave, I wanna relax before my next shift. “Alright, thanks” I said as I left.


08. March 2023 by James
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mPOL reflection post

Hello everyone, and welcome to a quick blog post about what happened at my mPOL.

When I showed up to present my mPOL (mid-term presentation of learning) it was very stressful. I had two teachers watching me and I just decided to start! And then I forgot to add one mandatory part. yay. 

I went though some of the key points I wanted to share about my experiences in PLP so far, and didn’t miss much. I got lots of positive feedback from my teachers and parents, the one of our teachers asked me “you missed something, do you know what it is?” I said “yes”, then completed that thing.

And that was basically my first mPOL! One down, four to go!

Thanks for reading.

08. February 2023 by James
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The Renaissance is interesting.

Hello and welcome to another blog post, this time about triptychs and the Renaissance!

This is my triptych that I made.

For this project we worked on researching and creating our own triptychs. The below writing shows my thesis and some supporting evidence.

My thesis:

Ideas from Europe and Asia changed the world by introducing new thoughts to the world that changed how many thought about various different topics, and also the world as a whole, as well as making people think more critically.

Supporting my ideas: 

New ideas in the Renaissance changed the Renaissance world by introducing things like the printing press, discovering lenses, and introducing new ideas into the religious world. I say this because of some inventions and innovations shown in my left panel of my triptych. Such as glasses, back then they were two lenses supported by a metal frame, and they looked a little weird, but now they are optimized for different people, and they have so many different variations to help everybody. In the Renaissance though, it could have helped many people who were shortsighted and shunned for it. There is also the printing press, it represented a opportunity for freedom back in the Renaissance, by allowing many more people to share their opinion, and this relates to modern communication and news innovations such as phones, tablets, and news stations, all of which provide simpler effects to the Rennasiance printing press. And lastly, the mechanical clock, it really regulated the world back then, and opened paths for more modern inventions like digital clocks and many other great things.

Traditional ideas from before the Renaissance, showed how human society coped without later inventions by using things like transcribing, sending letters, religious faith, and water clocks. Some supporting evidence that I have comes in the form of examples such as transcribing. Before the printing press, people (monks usually) would copy books by hand. When the printing press was invented, was something lost? The feeling of having a truly unique book that had been hand written by another human, with their own handwriting? I leave you that question.




There was also things before the Renaissance like water clocks, which weren’t as accurate as mechanical and digital clocks, but were arguably much cooler. Little five year old me looking though my pull the flaps inventions book was always fascinated by the water clock. There was also a greater focus on the church back then, and after the reformation in the Renaissance, people had more freedom, and opportunities for thought. So all of the newer innovations were amazing, but what did we lose? Modern ideas that were pioneered in the Renaissance changed how we think about many things today, and how we approach some problems. An example I give is the microscope, that was invented in the Renaissance, but has been upgraded by more science and vice versa. It has been used to support many Modern experiments and discoveries. There’s also the amazing things that humanity has been doing with medicine that has saved so many lives. Such as the way we had a covid-19 vaccine in less than a year.

One of the hardest things about this project was actually creating the triptych, but also learning how to take good notes, that part was surprisingly difficult, some of the easier sections were… um… moving on.

this was a fun project to work on, and it all took place in less that a month, which is crazy to think about, because we got so much work done. Overall we learned a lot of good life skills, and a lot about the Renaissance.

Thank you for reading about my journey though the renaissance, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Do you agree with my thesis? Do you not? Leave a comment telling me, I’d love to know!


27. January 2023 by James
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My Art Collection

Hello everyone and welcome to my final product for our drawing unit! For this unit, we would learn a skill, and then apply it in a certain drawing. More details are provided in the book.

Thanks for reading.
The art collection

22. January 2023 by James
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Welcome to my mPOL blog post!

An mPOL is a mid-term presentation of learning, that PLP students present to their parents and teachers, to show what they have learned throughout the year so far.

In our mPOLs, we show some of our work, not necessarily the best work, but the work that shows our growth the best. So here we go!

  • Summer learning

Over the summer, before we had even started school, we had a few basic assignments to work on, at first I thought that this was dumb, now I see why our teachers did that.

My peanuts character – Summer learning.

When I got my first revision on a piece of work, I was confused. I had done decent work work, why hadn’t I just gotten a grade? But that’s not how PLP works. We revise things that aren’t as good as they could be, but at first I didn’t understand this, so I didn’t do the revision. After the first day at school, I realized I had to do the revision. When I got home, I did, and the next day I got a response from my teacher on the assignment, and a check mark. After my first revision, all of PLP made so much more sense.

  • The outsiders

Outsiders book cover

This was our first project in PLP, it was for our humanities class. We were doing a novel study on the book “The Outsiders”. We worked in groups for this project, and I think that this meant that I learned a lot about teamwork. For example, in each section of the project, one or more of us really shined in some aspect.

  • Big life journal

Our big life journal was very fun, but also challenging. It was a journal full of things that we had to fill out. Some things were really fun, and some took many, many hours to complete. It think the BLJ was a good learning experience because it gave me a good idea of how much time to spend on assignments, so that they were good, but didn’t hours upon hours to complete.

  • The Middle Ages 

Well, what to say about the Middle Ages project. It was a fun topic as project topics go,  and I learned: a) a lot of things about the Middle Ages. b) I learned how to use a lot of online and IRL tools and tricks, c) I learned how to optimize my time. One thing that showcases my learning journey well was that for keystone 2, I spent a lot of time on it and came out with a decent quality product, but also a huge one, it had way more slides that it needed too (it was a slideshow), and they took way to long to make. But for keystone 3 (also a slideshow), It didn’t take nearly as long, it was shorter, and it was higher quality, so basically, I got the same grade on birth of them, and I put less effort into keystone 3 than keystone 2. Here is keystone two and three.

Middle Ages – Learning guide

Crusades – Slideshow

  •   Photography 

Our photography unit was fun, it only lasted a week, but we learnt a lot about photography. We learned lots of fun useful techniques that really helped my photography skills advance. For example, on the weekend after this unit, my family and I went on a forest walk, and I used my dad’s phone to take lots of good photos that I couldn’t of taken before this unit.

I hoped you enjoyed reading about my learning journey so far. Thanks for reading.

11. January 2023 by James
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The Middle Ages – Reflection

Hello to all,

I’m back with another blog post, this time about my most recent project, the Middle Ages. In this project we had three major assignments. I’ll give you a brief overview of how we made them, them I’ll show you them. Enjoy!

Keystone 1. Inquiry Portfolio 

For this project we learned about various aspects of the Middle Ages, and we completed some sort of worksheet every day, and then compiled them into a slideshow. Here is a brief overview of each slide.

Middle Ages – Inquiry portfolio

  1. Just the starting page.
  2. This was basically my prediction of what we were going to learn in this unit, along with how well I thought I did in this activity.
  3. For this slide we watched some videos of our teachers saying what to look for in a learning resource, and this was important because we created some of our later projects in this unit using this a a guide.
  4. To create this slide we watched a video about the Middle Ages and sorted what we learned into a few different categories.
  5. On this page I documented what we had learned so far about the feudal system.
  6. This page was a Venn Diagram comparing certain aspects of life in a medieval manor vs. a medieval town.
  7. The next page was a piece of writing compiling what we had learned about why the church was so powerful in the Medieval Ages.
  8. This slide compared the power between different social classes in the Middle Ages.
  9. The last slide was showing my plan for our next keystone….                                                            

Middle Ages – Learning guide

Keystone 2. Power in the Middle Ages 

For this keystone we compiled our learning from the last keystone and turned in into a learning guide. Hope you like it! 

I’ll give you a brief over view of what each slide goes over, but you should be able to gain a decent understanding of the Middle Ages from watching this video.

• intro

• overview of the Middle Ages

• what is power?

• How the feudal system came around

• Overview of the feudal system

• Peasants 

• Serfs

• merchants

• farmers

• craftspeople

• knights

• nobles/barons

• church officials

• king

• Pope

• overview of 

• manors vs towns

  • the church
  • Outro

Keystone 3. The Crusades

For this keystone we did some learning about the crusades, and then started to create our slideshow using what we had learned from the previous keystones, I’m very happy with how mine turned out.

Crusades – Slideshow

I hope you enjoyed seeing my finished products and how I made them, see you next time!

04. January 2023 by James
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Winter Exhibition 2022 – Reflection.

Hello to every and all mushrooms! And I suppose humans as well. Welcome to my most recent (currently) blog post about my first exhibition: PLP Winter Exhibition 2022! For this project our driving question was “How does James Cameron’s fantasy world of Avatar reveal about our own society?”.

When I joined PLP I knew about exhibitions, I had gone to one of them when I was looking for mini-schools and was quite impressed with what I saw. However at the time I had presumed that what was presented to me and many others at that exhibition I went to was what the students had been working on for the entirety of that term. Now that I am in PLP, I know that is not the case. Instead I ended up with three weeks to work on a project that I only got to work on in one class. Harder that I was expecting, but also a good challenge, so I got to work!

In PLP we use a system called L.A.U.N.C.H to how we work through a project. You’re probably wondering what that means. I should probably tell you. Huh. Interesting. Alright, fine! I’ll tell you!

L – Look, Listen, and Learn: Gaining an understanding of what we are going to be doing and some basic ideas of our topic.

A – Ask questions: Inquiring about the primary, and secondary, ideas by asking questions.

U – Understand the problem or process: basically research and discussion of many different ideas about our subject (we do like our ideas at PLP).

N – Navigate ideas: put together what have learned so far and start planning some sort of final product.

C – Create a prototype: this is where we really start planning the final product and then create our prototype or draft.

H – Highlight and fix: in this phase we critique each others work and give helpful feedback.

And that’s it! Now all you have to do is stand around for two and a half hours and present your project to dozen/s of people and BOOM! One PLP exhibition. Well you also get a pizza party, so there’s that. Now I’ll show how I followed each of these steps.

Phase 1. Look, listen, and learn

For this step I answered some questions and then interviewed my parents.

  1. Why is Avatar so awesome? What does it teach us? Why is a movie good topic focus for an exhibition? I think Avatar was a good movie because it was very captivating, I think the montage when the main character was learning to be one of the people was the best designed section of the whole movie, and also the CGI effects were years ahead of its time as well as a a good plot, like I felt like it could be from 2022. It teaches us how to be better people, by tuning in with our surroundings, and also not to be greedy. This movie is a good topic for our exhibition because there is lots of potential for variety in our projects, this will make our presentations more appealing for our audience.
  1. Who is our audience at Winter Exhibition and why are they coming? Our audience will be our parents, grandparents, guardians, and community members, as well as those who are interested in the PLP program.
  1. Why is Winter Exhibition a great opportunity for PLP learners? It’s a great opportunity because we get to see what to expect in higher grades, and we get to practice public speaking and presentation.

Interviews: “I’m coming because I want to see what my learner has accomplished, I am also excited to see what the school is like, and where my child learns, I also want to see what everyone at the school is doing” -My Dad “because it exists? Also, I hafta” – My Mum.

Phase 2. Ask questions: Inquiring about the primary, and secondary, ideas by asking questions.

For this phase we filled out some boxes of Know, Need to Know, and Next Steps to prepare for what we were going to next or in the near future.

There are four levels of questioning that we use in PLP:

Robot – how, who, and where questions.

Detective – why, and what questions.

Judge – do you, would you, and what would you questions.

Inventor – how would you, and what would you questions. 

We also had to ask a question about the movie “Avatar” and see what level of questioning it corresponded to. My question was “why did Jake Sully fight the humans”. This would be a detective level question because it used a “why” question.

Phase 3. Understand the problem or process.

In this section of our project, we explored the difference of themes, morals, and plots, and then created a theme statement about the movie “Avatar”.

We had a few themes to choose from: the conflict between humans and nature, racism, corporate greed, and militarism. I chose militarism and my theme statement that I created was  Avatar teaches us about how humans’ greed can be overpowering and cause us to do crazy things”. 

Phase 4. Navigate ideas.

For this phase, me and a group did some brainstorming about what aspects of avatar (characters, parts of the story, and objects) contribute to the theme of racism. Here are our answers.

That’s a bit hard to read so here’s it in writing too. When we say “They” we mean the humans.

  • They did not realize the value or the home tree to the Na’vi.
  • They didn’t value the Na’vi’s deity.
  • They thought of the Na’vi as just an annoying factor.

Here is a mind map of some ideas for aspects of my final product in this section of the project.

Phase 5. Create a prototype.

For this step we first gained an understanding of what a prototype is, and what it includes. This is what I got. “My understanding of a prototype is: something that shows a plan or design for a creation. Things it features: colours, materials, and measurements, plus labels, showing people what they are”. Here is the 3D model of my box.

After that, we set ourselves some deadlines for when we needed certain steps to be complete. 

Phase 6. Highlight and fix.

In this phase all of grade 8 PLP walked around a room where our boxes were set up and wrote each other some pointers. Here is the advice that I received.

And finally, after three weeks of planning and construction it was time for:

Phase 7. Presentation.

Really it was depressing knowing that when the end of day bell rung, we were only halfway though our school day. First we had an hour and a half to completely cover the walls in paper, decorate and set up our stands. Fun. Then we had like fifteen minutes to eat some pizza. And then the exhibition began! It was pretty boring to be honest. Over the course of two and a half hours, I presented my box to around ten – fifteen people, and got a fifteen minute break right near the end. Here is a photo of my finished product at exhibition. I know the photo isn’t the best, there wasn’t much light.

And that was my story of my first PLP exhibition. So my answer to the driving question? James Cameron’s fantasy world of Avatar teaches us about how humans’ greed can be overpowering and cause them to do crazy things.

Thanks for reading. 

Ps. Sorry to my teachers for having to mark this wall of text.

02. January 2023 by James
Categories: PLP project reflections | Leave a comment

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