Rise of the Frankenstuffies


Today I will be reflecting on my most recent project called “Rise of the Frankenstuffies.” This project was all about story telling, and the industrial Revolution. This seems like something normal to have as a project, right? Well it would be if that was all we had to do for this project but instead of just writing a boring story of the Industrial Revolution, we added a twist to it. For the story you had to have a character that you made using stuffed animals. In class we cut them up and would trade for different parts and then you would sew them together to make a Frankensuffie. For this part I learned a lot about the different ways to be creative when telling the story of a fictional character. I loved creating the character and making a profile describing its characteristics and personality. My character’s name was Ralph, he was born 437 years ago, and lives at NASA space station in Florida.

The next big thing we did in the project was write our short story about our character. I learned a lot from this part because of the way that we took a bunch of different events that were seen as historically significant and we were able to change them to fit our story.  Here is my story:

I learned all about different things that changed the way our society works today. One of the things that I found most interesting about the Industrial Revolution was that if it were not for this revolution we could have not switched over to electricity and we would have been using steam to this day. How different our world would be. This brings me to the driving question of our project which is “How do revolutions transform the world?” I think that revolutions transform the world by fundamentally changing the beliefs and ideas that our life is based on through expansion and travel. 

After we wrote the short story we were tasked with making a film based on our short stories and the feedback that we got on them. I learned a lot of things from this stage. I learned a lot about the different ways that films get planned out and made. For example, we made a screenplay to show the way that our film would play out. We also made a storyboard to explain the different shots and the plot and actions of our story before we filmed it. I think I did a good job with making them because of the way that I showed the different causes and consequences in my film. In my story there is a part when Ralph is flying the first draft of his flying machine, and the engine sputters and he crashes his machine. Here is the screenplay and storyboard I made before filming my final video

The final stage of this project was making the film of our short story here is what I made.

The Revolutions


Today I will be writing a blog post on the latest project that we have finished in class called Storm the Barricades! In this project our driving question was “How do revolutions transform societies?” This project was all about revolutions. We started off the project with learning about Crane Brinton’s theory of the “anatomy of a revolution”. In this part we took notes on how revolutions work and how Crane Brinton compares a revolution to a fever or illness. When we were learning it was easy to remember the different stages because of the way the theory related to things that we learned about last year about diseases. One twist that we had with this project was that we had 4 groups that we would do work with, instead of just one group or by ourselves. Each group was called a direction so there were North, South, East, and West groups. Each of these groups had a different job in the entirety of the project. The main group that made most of the stuff throughout the project was my North group. In this group there were 4 people: me, Raymond, Annie and, Ethan. This group was responsible for doing most of the building for the project. Another really important group was our East group, this group was our video/history/creative skills group. The next group that we had was our South group and this group was responsible for our book that we were reading in class called Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. The final group was our West group which was our writing and critique group.

Now that I have explained the structure of the groups, I will talk about the different parts of this project. In the first big part we had to make a Rube Goldberg machine that would represent the different stages of a revolution following Crane Brinton’s Theory. for this part we had to use metaphors to show the different stages. Here is the video we made of our machine:

The next part of our project was to make modifications to adapt and make metaphors for the machine to represent the American Revolution. The change that we made to our machine was adding a white house at the very end that a marble would role into to represent the final stage of a revolution which is where there is a new leader and everything goes back to near normal. We also made a few changes with how we decorated our machine to represent the American Revolution more, such as how on the bucket there is an American flag and when the ball rolls down the American flag unrolls. We made a video to show off this part of our machine. Here is a video of our American Revolution machine:

After this we had to write a paragraph explaining the historical significance of the American Revolution  the paragraph that I wrote.

In the next segment of our project we adapted our machines to fit the French Revolution. For our modification on this machine we decided to add an extra ramp, and made it so that the bucket falling down would act as a guillotine to cut off the kings head. We also decorated to make it look French with flags and such. Here is the video that we made to show off the machine we built:

Then in the next part of the project we had to make a story with our machine and some other apps, mainly Puppet Pals. The idea of this part was for us to show a few different ways that societies are transformed by revolutions and what it would be like to be a French citizen in the French Revolution. My team and I started to brain storm and we came up with a character named Joseph who lived on a farm. Here is the final video that me and my team made:

Now that I have gone over everything we did in the project, I will answer the driving question “How do revolutions transform societies?” I think that revolutions transform societies in many ways that can be grouped into political, social and economic changes. Politically societies get transformed from a change in power and the structure of the government. A discontent with the ruler at the start of the revolution is usually one of the main causes of the revolution. For the French Revolution the political change was from a country ruled by monarchy and nobles to a republic. The social part of transformation results in people get to choose what happens more, the common people gain more power and control, and the important ideas and ideals of the society are solidified. An example of this from the American Revolution is the birth of a new country with its own identity. Economically, societies get transformed as the expense of items and the value of resources changes. At the end of the French Revolution, price and wage controls were lifted, and trade in the market was restored. Goods made to the market and a degree of prosperity was restored.

Now I will reflect on the core competencies of this project:

Creative Communicator: How might I use technology to create and communicate?

I believe that I demonstrated this competency when I was making a story in Puppet Pals. I think that I communicated my ideas well with this story presentation.

Designing texts: Have I used writing and design processes to plan, develop, create, and refine engaging and meaningful texts considering purpose, audience, and message?

I feel that I met this while writing the paragraphs about both the French and American Revolutions. I feel that I showed it well specifically when I provided supporting evidence for my paragraphs.

Discussing, Listening, and Speaking: have I respectfully exchanged diverse ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking using appropriate speaking and listening skills for the context and purpose?

I feel I showed this when I was brainstorming with my peers about what we needed to do next with our machine and making storyboards.

Establishing Historical Significance: How do we make choices about what is worth remembering?

I feel I showed this with my paragraph about the American revolution as I feel that I did a good job showing what it means for an event to be significant.

Analyze Cause and Consequence: Who or what influenced events to occur and what were the consequences of those events?

I feel that I showed this well in my French Revolution paragraph as I feel I did a good job with making sure I explained what caused the events to happen and the consequences.

And that is what we learned about revolutions.