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
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My journey through photography

Hello everybody, and welcome to my reflection on my journey of exploring photography.

In class we have learned about a few different skills to enhance our photos. I have found these very useful and I hope you do too. I have created a keynote presentation which I will share with you here.

My favourite skills that I think are the most helpful are rule of thirds, angles, and foreground and backround. This

I hope you enjoyed, and found these skills useful.

See you next time.

24. November 2022 by James
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Becoming a learner that learns better than before.

Hello to all penguins! Welcome to another post where I reflect on my first ever Maker unit, “Becoming a PLP learner”. Our driving question for this project was “Who am I as a PLP learner” I will show you my evidence, then give you my answer. I completed many assignments in this project, but I’m gonna show the three that I thought were the most important.

PROJECT 1. Digital Selfie:

In this project we went outside to the Myrtle Park and took a photo of ourselves doing something that symbolized an aspect of ourself that related to school. My face is blurred out as I don’t want to do a face reveal until I win the award for best school blog ever. I am falling in this picture.

I this Project I took almost one hundred photos and this was the only one that I used for my project. This taught me I can’t make everything perfect but I can make use my creativity to make things better, if not amazing.

PROJECT 2. User Manual:

In this project were practicing adapting a mentor text. We were given an example of a “user guide” but for a human. We had to adapt this so that it applied to us. I will show my favourite parts of this project.

This was a really fun project and I think I completed the assignment successfully, as I was not charged with plagiarism, which is good. I learned how to effectively base my idea of someone else’s work, but make my version unique and different. 

PROJECT 3. YouTube Channel:

Unfortunately: we did not get to create real YouTube channels Fortunately: I did. Let me explain, we plotted how our first videos were going to work and some other aspects of our channel. This was fun and really opened my perspective of how the basics of content creation work. But you see, We thought we might actually make a video, so I E-mailed a cube store (cubing out loud, huge thanks to them) and asked if they wanted to send me some cubes. They gave me a discount, and sent me some great cube accessories! I ordered the speed cubes and thought about how the video was going to work. Then we were told that we weren’t actually doing it. So yeah that sucked but I decided to do it anyways. I am currently editing the video and and I will post a link here when I am done.


So, who am I as a PLP learner? I thought about this for awhile and decided that I am a designer. I get a general idea of what I want to make or do, and try it, if that works I continue designing it, if not I reorient myself and try a different option, and a repeat this until I find something I am satisfied with. 

Then I continue creating and revising until I have a final product. I know a lot of this is basically the definition of PLP, but the difference between design and the PLP program is, well I’ll let the definition of design tell you. “purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object.” I think that PLP really shows the purpose and the intention well, design is where the planning comes in. I, without even thinking about it give myself some form of mold in my head to work off of, or format my work before I write it. 

I am not yet the best planner but I wish to be (not in the world, but actually, that sounds cool, we’ll see). That’s one of my goals, and PLP is all about goals. This is why I think I’m a designer, it mixes the PLP program and my own skills into one thing.

Thank you for not fainting when you looked at this huge wall of text. If you did faint, well sorry. *leaves

If you want to visit Cubing Out Loud’s website, and view their amazing products with great prices and $10 shipping to anywhere in Canada, just open this link!

This in not a sponsorship, I just think their a great cube store!


04. November 2022 by James
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Hello Everyone!

Hello everybody and welcome to my first post on this blog! My name is James and I like Rubik’s cubes, and penguins. Lots of other stuff too, but penguins. I mean c’mon. I’m not really sure what to write about so I’ll just keep writing about nothing important whatsoever. This is boring and exiting at the same time. Bye.


20. October 2022 by James
Categories: PLP project reflections | 1 comment

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