Category: Social Studies

Unit 1 Humanities Reflection

Recently, we finished our first writing and social studies unit. We focused on Ancient River Civilizations and personal narratives. I wrote a written reflection and created a Storehouse. You can click the link to access my storehouse and read my reflections and look at my photo evidence.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a disease that affects neurons in your brain and spinal cord. The disease causes muscle weakness and can cause death. The ALS Association has started an Ice Bucket Challenge, where people dunk buckets of ice water on themselves to raise awareness and money. For each bucket, you can nominate 3 people for the challenge. My nominations are Ansel Y., Boey T., Fedor B., Jackie Z., Brook X. and my aunt Ann. I was nominated by my mom and we have donated money to the charity. I hope this video spreads awareness and I hope that everyone that reads this post can donate money to the ALS Association. Even though this challenge has been criticized, I believe that it has had a profound effect, raising millions of dollars just in the time in has gone viral. So, here is my attempt at the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

To conclude, this challenge is VERY popular, and very high-profile celebrities have done it, maybe even your friends, teachers and parents have done it. ALS is very serious, and every dollar counts in helping conquer ALS.

Here Is A Thank You Poster From The Website!

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Here Is My Ice Bucket Challenge E-Card!

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The Bee Movie – How It Relates To The Economy

Today our class watched a movie called The Bee Movie, in which bees sue human beings for taking their honey illegally. The movie had quite clear relations to the economy, uneven distribution of resources, unfair trade and even human resources/forced labour. Although the main purpose of the movie was to entertain young people, the movie also showed examples of various economical issues that countries and international corporations have.

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The movie was focused on bees that worked all their lives to make honey, and humans taking the honey away from them without their knowledge and permission. That can be connected to forced labour, with the bees being the human resources, and the humans being wealthy buisness owners (technically, the humans WERE wealthy business owners).

Another connection I made from the movie is that if 1 part of the economy stops working, in this case the producers of honey (bees), there could be disastrous effects. Although the movie was extremely exaggerated, it clearly showed that even 1 tiny part of our economy (environment in the movie), could change things massively.

The movie also showed unfair trade and uneven distribution of resources when the humans had most of the honey, but the very makers of the honey were overworked, and didn’t even have most of the products they produced! This is actually a clear sign of the uneven distribution, and also the unfair trade between humans and bees.

Anyways, the movie was generally entertaining, although extremely impossible (I didn’t even count the talking animals!), and there was a lot of conflict in the movie, with bees using the humans towards the end, but it ended in peace, and the bees returned the flowers, but also learned to rest more.

To Educate A Girl

Today our class watched a movie named Educating A Girl regarding female rights to education in a few African countries. It made me feel like the world was split completely. Some people are really fortunate and have rights to education and resources, while other completely do not. I saw many girls who had to drop out of school at a very young age to get married! There are two things wrong with that, and they are both very important. The first is that teenage girls shouldn’t even be getting married! And secondly, they should come back to school even if they get married , because if they earn a steady income, the family could be in a better economical situation.
The movie showed many groups like GEM, the girls education movement and Young Champions going to rural villages and trying to persuade parents to send they’re female children to school. I saw the conditions these children and adults had to live in, I saw the schools they went to, and I thought “Wow… All my life, I’ve taken school for granted, I’ve had books, iPads, and pencils, and I thought the rest of the world had that!” And I saw how selfish people in developed countries have been.
Now that I’ve seen this film, I really want to make a difference. I want boys AND girls to go to school, all over the world! I don’t want girls sacrificing schooling to earn money, I don’t want girls in school being gossiped about for not being married. I want to help this stop. So I am going to start donating little by little to foundations like GEM, so that they can help those girls in those developing areas.

Social Studies Trading Stimulation

After having learning a lot about capital, natural and human resources, our class had a trade stimulation in which our class got split into 5 unnamed “country” groups. Every country had an amount of resources at the beginning, our group had a lot of water, but nowhere as many as another group, which had 100 buckets of water. Every group also had a ending goal with a few different trading sessions in which people tried to reach their ultimate goal. The countries had to send out a representative, and everyone got numbers from 1-6, and when Mrs. Huiet rolled a dice, the number that was rolled was the number of the trader, with a new number each time. It was really fun and I learned a lot about unequal distribution of resources from this very interesting stimulation.

At the start, our group had quite a lot of mixed resources, and our goals had 1 resource from every resource category. We needed 1000 RMB (capital resource: money), 4 teachers (human resource) and also 10 gallons of fossil fuels (natural resource). Capital resources include money, infrastructure and technology, natural resources are any resources created naturally and human resources are people who do things for other people. Our demand was actually the maximum amount of teachers and fossil fuels in the entire stimulator world, and we ended up 3 teachers short from our goal and 1 gallon of fossil fuel short. We did earn extra RMB though, which was really fun. Overall, I think most of the groups were very successful, with most groups only 1 or 2 resources short of their goals.

Because some groups had minimal resources, and some groups had resources that weren’t demanded, they were slightly short of their ultimate goal. Some other countries demanded more than the supply, and went short of their goal. During the trading, the countries weren’t allowed to talk to their representative, but Mrs. Huiet could announce changes in the market.

I think that the distribution of the resources were very unequal, with massive lack of human resources like teachers. Distribution with fossil fuels was unequal too, with many countries demanding it, but only ours receiving most of it. At the end, when everyone looked over everyone else’s things, people were VERY angry because of the unequal distribution, and we actually learned a lot about the world, and I learned to appreciate that we have all we have. Unequal distribution is actually a major issue in our world, and while we take water, food, electricity and even doctors and teachers for granted, it’s completely different in other places on earth, so we have to appreciate all that we have.

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What We Had At The End

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Trading

The Breadwinner

For the past month, Mrs. Huiet has been reading the book The Breadwinner (Link To GoodReads), and I really loved the book. Although it was really kind of shocking to hear, a lot of the writing was really wonderful. I recommend that people above 11 years old to read it, but don’t let young children read it because it really has some disturbing scenes including a part where Parvana, the main character, and Shauzia, her friend, witness a group of men’s hands being cut off by Taliban soldiers.

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The book is really centered on hope, and the journey of a girl called Parvana, who has to transform into a “boy” to feed her family when her father is captured by Taliban soldiers. I couldn’t even imagine how Parvana suffered so much discrimination for being a girl, and how her entire family starved because they didn’t have a male escort to take them out to buy food. The family almost starved to death, but whenever they held onto hope, they survived trial after trial. Here is a quote that was said by an unnamed old man at the end of the book. It really depicted how horrible it was, but also that if you are optimistic, everything is better.
“Afghans love beautiful things, but we have seen so much ugliness, we sometimes forget how wonderful a thing like a flower is” -The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis

My Student Led Conference

Last Friday, we had a student led conference, which is like a parent conference, except it’s led by students! I had to create a keynote that showed my learning to my parents, which was quite fun to do. I also had to find pieces of work that I worked on during the year, and I also had to talk about my goals that I set at the beginning of the year, and set new ones for the last weeks of school. Boey and I sort of worked together because we gave each other ideas for what to do. 

Mainly, I talked about what I’ve learned this year, I also talked a lot about having the oppotunity to have a blog, and more importantly, a school issued iPad, at such a young age. I also talked about my goals. My original ones were to make 1 true friend and to double check my work, which I often fail to. I achieved these goals, and is set 2 new ones, the first one was to learn 5 more complex ideas of physics, but I would like to know more especially about quantum physics. The other one was to talk to people in a respectful tone, which I do pretty well. 

The conference was an overall success in my opinion because I showed my learning in a variety of subjects by showing videos I made, tests I took and my various journals. I also enjoyed just showing how school was like to my parents! I hope we get to do that next year!

My Keynote

Movers and Shakers Unit

General Work
Hi! For the last 2 months, our class has been studying Movers and Shakers, or people who have had an impact over the world. First, we studied people like Ghandi, Martin Luther King Junior, and Malcolm X. We compared the ways of more peaceful Movers and Shakers, and the more aggressive ones. Personally, I believe in peaceful protests and pacifism, but sometimes people have to be aggressive to get results. We also studied some key words, like prejudice, political prisoner, ethnic, discrimination etc.
End Of Unit Project
At the end of the unit, we had to choose a Mover and Shaker and write an biography about their lives. But we had to write it in first person, and infer their feelings during specific times in their lives. We then had to make an iMovie and pull out information from the faux autobiography to use. We also had to act in the movie, and explain general information. I chose Albert Einstein because I have always been fascinated by his works.
Research
During research, I visited numerous sources. like Encyclopedia Britannica online. I paraphrased information from these sources and used them in my writing. I remembered to cite sources though, because if I didn’t, I would be breaking the law. I made sure to only include information that more than 1 reliable source said was true, and I made sure that my sources were true, and only stated facts, rather than opinions.
Some strengths I’ve had during research was always writing down my sources, paraphrasing, making sure I did not use inaccurate information, and making sure my sources were trustable. An areas of growth for me during this unit are citing my sources in proper form for my bibliography. To do this, I will record the dates of when I access sites, and learn how to write the bibliography in proper form by asking some friends. Another area of growth would be to access more sources, so that my information is as accurate as it can be, and to do that, I will make sure that I access at least 2 more sources than I did during this project.
Faux Autobiography
On the faux autobiography, I drafted, revised and edited multiple times in first person. In my drafts, I made some errors with word choice and some of my information was outdated, but generally, it was okay. After I revised multiple times, I started editing. I sent my faux autobiography to Mrs. Huiet for extra support, and she found places where I used commas instead of periods, and found some awkward sentences. After that revision, my piece was quite enjoyable.
Here is my piece for you to enjoy!

Some strengths I had for my autobiography was that I worked hard, that I revised and edited multiple times, that I portrayed Mr. Einstein’s personality quite well and that my piece came out as quite entertaining, while still being full of information. Some criticism I received was that it was too long, I will try to make my next informational piece shorter, while still being information packed. To do this, I will make sure my piece will be less than 1,200 words long.

iMovie
For the iMovie, I first reviewed the expectations, and then I wrote a script, taking information from the faux autobiography, but having it more like someone speaking to you. I then practiced multiple times with my friends. And finally, I shot my video. After shooting, I dubbed my voice, in a German accent I learned from youtubers. My friend Than also dubbed himself, as an Australian tour guide. My movie also had cameos of my friends Matteo and Hoon.
Here is the video for your enjoyment!

For this movie, my strengths were that my voice was loud and clear, I was in character with the accent and – bad – costume, I had different shots to make it enjoyable, I dubbed to make the volume clear and I used humor to make it reflect on Mr. Einstein’s humorous personality. Something I have to work on is having my lips look like what I am dubbing, because you probably can notice that my lips are moving, even when I am not talking! I will work on that by memorizing the script, but just dubbing for better volume.
Conclusion
I really enjoyed this unit. And I think that I did quite a good job, and from the feedback I got, I did. I hope you give me some feedback in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading. And for your support for this blog.

The Civilizations Keynote Presentation

On November 18th, I presented a keynote to a group of “nomads”, aka forth graders about how to start their own civilization. I had a slide about each of the ten cultural universals (Basic needs, economy, government etc.) and an additional slide about expansion and decline. I wrote notes for my slides, researched and found examples of civilizations from history and found really good picture.I thought I did a good job and am proud of myself. Here is my reflection on the steps I did to finish this presentation. They are research, planning, creation and presenting. Here are some things I did well and some things I need to improve on.
Research
During research, I spent a long time trying to find a good source. Although at the end I found one, I could have asked for advice for some sources so I could have more time for actual research. I also think that during research, I should have looked at the author and the site before I used the information.
Some things that I did well were paraphrasing and writing a bibliography. I had the correct format for all my information. I am also proud of how hard I worked because I did research for an hour each night. I also think that I was good at using information. Because I all my information was quite interesting.
Planning
During planning, I drew a very in-depth plan that I followed while creating my keynote. My plan had all my slides in order and all the words and pictures and where they were going to be. Planning was one of the most important parts because if I didn’t have a good plan, the next steps would be very hard. I am also proud of my notes for my script. I put a lot of effort into them.
What I did that needed improvement was that my script for the first few slides were too hard. So I had to shorten them to make them a lot better. I think that I wrote a long script because I wanted to share too much information and it might have been overwhelming for the audience.
Keynote Creation
During the creation of my keynote, I spent a long time finding pictures and writing long bibliographies. But I also spent a long time choosing the right design. And I think that I picked the absolutely amazing industrial theme, and I used contrast and alignment for my words and pictures to make sure they looked fine. I also used cool animations that made my keynote better. I am proud of my keynote and I can see the effort I put into it. Something I need to work on was not spending too much time with fancy animations and cool fonts. I should have done more important things like finding pictures. But I still got everything done.
Presenting
During my presentation, I think was loud and clear. I also presented with a nice pace. I enjoyed presenting and was proud of myself. I got a lot of positive feedback and I learned a lot about presenting.
But I did get a piece of negative feedback. It said I was very quiet and that I didn’t do good. So I hope that I can satisfy the person (whoever he/she was) the next time I present.