WWII Podcast — Svend Hansen

I always am listening to music, in my headphones or blue-toothed to my speaker in my room. But, recently I’ve been replacing some of that music with….. PODCASTS! I’ve always dabbled in the idea of being a podcast listener like suppose, Kai who is constantly listening to some people talking about sports, different perspectives on topics, politics, stories fiction or non fiction, etc. Its always been one of my goals to enhance my day with a nice podcast, and well this unit I achieved that goal. Every year we have a media that we express our learning through. Grade 8 was STILL IMAGES, Grade 9 was VIDEO, & Grade 10 is PODCASTS. So, what’s the actual content for the podcast?

Last year was World War One, so this year we are tackling the just as significant and painful war that comes right after. World War Two. We began class lessons, class discussions and Individual research with the driving question in mind. 


 This was the base to how we perceived all new found knowledge about WWII. Everyday we watched 5-20 minutes of a film that basically broke down the timeline of WWII and details about everything. We took notes, and discussed the video after watching it. Pre podcast we also came up with a long list of open ended questions we have about WWII. We didn’t directly do anything with these questions, but it opened our eyes to how there are endless amounts of perspectives and stories about WWII. We also kept a collaborative document that had all needed and necessary info to do with this project.

A collaborative document that had all info we needed to know

Getting into the actual podcast aspect of this project, we talked a lot in class about podcasts we like, why we like them, and what style they are. Individual? Fiction storytelling? Conversational? So many different types. Some podcasts people said they liked were H3 Podcast, The Life School Coach (shoutout to Ms. Maxwell), Story Corps, Those Conspiracy Guys, Unladylike, and so much more. Take a look at the links to hear some of these podcasts! 

 Through my years of PLP, there has been little logo beside the names of some programs PLP works with that looks like a maple leaf in a circle. Ive always wondered if they were connected or if I was imagining things and well long story short, I wasn’t imaging things! Our class worked with something called The Memory Project which is connected to Historica Canada, the program than ran the “This is my Canada” competition which I made a video for in grade 8, which is connected to… Encounters with Canada which is the program behind my amazing Ottawa trip! So, Ms Maxwell reached out to the Memory Project and they hooked us up with a few amazing Veterans open to doing interviews! 

I was placed in a group with Morgan and Emily with the opportunity to interview a WWII veteran named Svend Hansen. (See video above.) We were given the task to interview him, and make a 7 minute podcast with the interview. This means listening to the one hour clip of your interviewee on repeat until you decide on a part you want to focus on. This podcast was collaborative and individual as we worked together to decide things like music, podcast thumbnail, intro/outro scripts and other smaller things. This was challenging at times as 18 peoples ideas being thrown around can sometimes be hard to all look at. But, we did it and ended up on the decision of Emily J’s song, and Logan’s Thumbnail. The picture you see beside this text was the voted winner on what the podcast image is!


Svend in the Navy (man in middle)

The interview itself was a really big deal for me. I contemplated not going as talking to new people who I’ve never met, who aren’t my age, and that live far away, causes a lot of anxiousness in the luca brain… But after many many many attempts from Ms Maxwell, my mom, and Emily J to convince me to go, I decided to say yes. Less for the reason I felt I needed to, and more for the reason I thought of “when I’m writing my blog post about this project, how am I going to explain why I did go to the interview? Is not going just as stressful as the feeling of going?” Stuff like that. So I told myself I would be okay, and agreed to go the next day to Port Moody with Emily after school to interview Svend. I’m very happy I did.

Emily, Svend and I at a cafe in Port Moody!

This interview was such an amazing experience. Svend was one of the sweetest, smartest people I’ve ever talked to. Hearing a story come from someone who was actually in WWII at an age not higher than mine, is something I’ll never forget.

I had trouble with deciding what part of his story I would include in my 7 minute podcast, but I decided I wanted to focus on what his role was in WWII, and what his daily life was like. I don’t want to spoil his amazing story as I want you to listen to my podcast!!!! So, here it is.


The script writing and interview were definitely the hardest parts of this project. Script writing has always been something I’ve handed to someone else in a project to do, and I would film or edit. 2/3 of the times it was like that in other projects, but podcasts you are forced out of your routine. I was stuck with writing this script and I knew It had to be good to do Svend’s story justice. So, I sat down after school and wrote, listened to his interview, wrote, listened to podcast, read over my script, revise and repeat until I had written and recorded something I was happy with. 
Editing was pretty easy as there weren’t photos or videos to crop and fix. The hardest part I found was getting to know garage band and figuring out how to use it. I’m so used to iMovie so this was definitely a big change. Before I end this blog, make sure to check out Emily and Morgan’s podcasts about svend. 

A Canadian Navy ship in WWII

walking away from this project…

I honestly loved the outcome of this project, and can send around my podcast to my friends and family feeling proud and accomplished. I learnt so much about something I wouldn’t necessarily learn excess amounts about, the Canadian Navy’s role in WWII! I’m happy our class did something new (podcasts instead of videos) as I felt videos were getting repetitive and I wasn’t learning anything new editing and filming wise. This project was the perfect opportunity to strengthen my script writing skills as well, there are no visuals to distract from the words. With podcasts you have to make a engaging, clear, and well made way to tell a story without videos and pictures. This could seem easier than a video as you don’t need to film or do any of that, but I felt it was harder, and it was good to challenge myself. I’m ready to tackle the next podcast project! 



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