May 1

The Jungle Book

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This weekend, I watched the movie The Jungle Book. It tells a story of an orphan boy named Mowgli raised by a wolf mother as a “man cub”. But when the dry season comes, tiger Shere Khan declares that he will be eaten after the season since he will eventually become a full-grown man. In order to keep him safe, black panther Bagheera decided to send him to human village, on the way, they get lost, Mowgli meets bear Baloo, who saved him form the python Kaa. In order to lure Mowgli out, Shere Khan killed the leader of the wolves Akela; Mowgli goes back as he expected; the final war breaks, Mowgli uses his human trick to win this battle, and for the first time, animals in jungle stand in one line.

The movie is full of imaginations and every single animal has its emotion world; they communicate with each other in different ways. One of the most touching things in this movie for me is the emotions and relationship between all the animals and Mowgli; they help each other and fight for each other, I can see love between them. The emotions are expressed through their eyes, you can see happiness, sadness, disappointment and fear in their eyes.

Another thing I learnt from The Jungle Book was always be yourself. In the final battle, Mowgli uses human trick to beat Shere Khan rather than being a wolf and fight. In the beginning of the movie, Mowgli is always taught to be a wolf instead of using human tricks. As the story goes on, human tricks works better and better, Mowgli is also being more like himself. In the end, truth proves the importance of being himself, being a human being rather than wolf and trust himself.

The Jungle Book also blames human’s actions to animals and the earth from tell a story in jungle. In the movie, fire is called “red flower”, as people travel through the jungle, they bring “red flower” and it destroys everything it meets, it kills lives and burns down trees. The reason why Shere Khan wants to kill Mowgli so much is Mowgli’s father used the “red flower” to make him half blind. This movie is a wake-up call to human beings, what we have done makes animals fear us, the only thing they know is we are there to destroy, destroy the peace, destroy the home and kill.

It is a worth watching movie, it makes people think while being attracted to its exciting story and imagination.

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March 28

Passion Project

Recently, we are working on our passion project every Friday at Language Arts class; apparently, passion project is to do something your passions are. Joey and I are in a group, we just finished our proposal this Friday. The product we plan to produce is a human size cardboard Hogwarts castle with Lego classrooms inside, so we can actually go into the castle and look at the classrooms. We got the idea from the Harry Potter series I am reading recently, I was thinking why not make the scenes in the book real. At first we just thought of making a Hogwarts model, but then we thought it was not creative enough since a lot people in the world have already done it; then we thought of making it big enough so we can go inside, but it would be a huge amount of work to make a real size Hogwarts and would also cost a lots of money; so as a result, we decided to make a human size castle with little classrooms inside, this plan combined all the advantages, it’s not too hard to make and also has the atmosphere. However, we still have some unsolved problems: the first one is we need to find a place for the castle to stay, it needs to be big enough and inside the building to prevent the rain; the second one is a problem which we need to research, we need to know the proportion of the castle and the details of the classroom. For this project, we might want help from Mr. Davidson about the design. In order to be success, it needs to stand properly instead of falling over and one person needs to be able to fit through the door and the hall.

It would be a quite excited project to do and I wish we can complete it successfully.

March 11

Reading Journal

 

 

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Harry Potter Series

By J.K. Rowling

Since Chinese New Year I have started reading Harry Potter series, now I am on the fourth book: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. The reason why I chose this series was though I have already watched all the movies, the novels give me more details and more space of imagination. Though the movies present us a better visual experience with the help of the music and all the techniques of the movie making; the books give me more space to imagine and to make up the scene by myself. This series is so attractive that I cannot stop reading after I starting the first chapter of the first book. Comparing to the previous three books, the opening chapter of the fourth one is more dark and thrilling, it leads the readers into an old and deserted house which never shows up before. The opening chapter also settled the tone of this novel—- exciting and heroic. As this is the fourth year of Hogwarts, the characters are growing up, as they become more mature, various emotions are added to their friendship and love; besides exciting adventure, this novel has more layers of emotions than the previous one—- envy, distrust, scare, regret, excitement and most importantly—love, all of the emotions mix together make it more than just a book, it leads the readers to a different world. The characters in Harry Potter series all have vivid characteristics, the build of the characters gets the novel out of just adventures, you can see the same types of people in your own life, it connects the book and the readers’ life tightly.

If I can step into the book, which is the thing I would like to; I really want to experience exactly the same adventures as Harry and his friends’, however, I don’t think I have the courage to do most of the things they did. But I think just like the other Harry Potter fans in the world, the desire of being in Harry Potter world comes from the touching by the love in the novels as well as the movies.

February 22

Media Campaign—– The End

For the last few weeks, we were learning the unit of communication. For this unit, we did a campaign on environmental issues. Our group (Margot, Joey and me) decided to make a campaign based on food wasting. What I learnt from the process of making the campaign was choosing the proper format of campaign for different audience. To achieve that, we chose the video, which was for all the people in the school; the slogans, which we stick it on each table for everyone eating on the table; and the posters, for the people who pass the windows. To make more people understand, we tried our best to make the poster as interesting as possible; and to make the slogans funny to read, we made the slogans simple but meaningful, people need to think about what it means.

One thing that we struggled the most was choosing the issue to work on. First we wanted to interview the cleaners on the streets and compare their life to ours to make people aware of waste, but then we found that was not very practical and doable, and the idea of wasting is also too wide, it was not concentrated so it would be hard to focus. Then we thought about the food waste, every lunch we waste a lot of food in our school, it’s a serious problem, so we decided on this topic at last.

The thing we did particularly well was we actually put our campaign into use, we put our slogans and posters all around the cafeteria. So it became more than just an assessment, it played a role. On that point, I think our campaign was quite successful.

Except ours, Bruce’s campaign was also quite successful. His campaign was about saving the ocean animals and was made of three parts, the first one was posters, his posters were quite simple but effective, his pretty drawing will attract people in a short time. The second part of his campaign was newspaper, although I haven’t read his articles yet, it was still a good way to publicize the idea. The last part of his campaign was the video, the video part did not have the same effect the previous two made. But generally, the campaign was effective and impressive.

What we could do better next time was we could make it closer to life, we could measure the amount of food wasted before we put our campaign into use and after, so we could use the data to judge whether our campaign is useful or not.

Overall, I learned a lot through the project and I enjoyed working with others a lot.

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January 10

Unit 2 Communication

For the second unit of Language Arts, we are discovering the ways media makes people believe what they want people to believe. We are going to do a campaign on environmental issues. At first, our group wants to make students in our school aware of their actions of wasting by interviewing the clean workers on the streets, but when we were planning it, we found that hard to do and there were also many difficulties to do that, it’s kind of rude to ask a stranger on the street about his or her personal information. Plus, waste is a broad topic, so after discussing, we narrowed it down to the topic of food waste. Food waste is a big contemporary issue which matters a lot, while we are wasting our food, there are a lot of people starve to death, but many people still don’t pay enough attention to food waste, they think they pay for the food so it’s up to them to waste or not. In our school, students also waste a lot of food, in order to achieve the purpose of make students aware of food waste, we planned to do the things below:

1.Make stickers to stick on the tables of cafeteria to make students think twice before     throwing the food away.

  1. Make posters to publicize the idea of saving food.
  2. Make a video to compare the food we have and the situation those poor people in to make students think about the actions they are doing and how does their change of the actions change the situation.
  3. Make stickers to little kids as the reward of finishing their food and give rewards (we are not sure yet) to older kids.

We have already made the stickers for cafeteria; next we are going to make the logo and posters. I enjoyed working with my team a lot.

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December 6

TED talks

This week we started a new unit—- Communication. In this unit we are going to look at different types of non-fiction media to investigate an essential question: What is truth? The non-fictions we are looking at this stage are about environment. This blog is about the TED talks. I want to talk about two TED talks. Firstly is what comes after An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore in 2009. In the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore gave us a wake-up call about global warming. This TED talk is about after 4 years, what happened? He showed the disasters the global warming has brought and his stance on “clean coal”. Through the TED talk we can tell that global warming hasn’t been stopped. It continues affect the ice and ocean as well as the human beings. He showed a graph of the amount of disaster happened in last 30 years. Global warming increased the disasters a lot. For me, this TED talk is not so interesting because it’s based on a serious topic and there are many professional issues in it. But it’s definitely useful both for this unit and me. Al Gore’s speeches and film make people believe, because behind every point of view, he all has a lot of evidences to prove that. But even though he gives audience many evidences, the source of the evidences still need to be discovered.

The second TED talk I want to talk about is also by Al Gore called New thinking on the climate crisis filmed in 2008. In this TED talk, he gave many evidences that the climate crisis is going even worse than scientists predicted, he challenged us to act. He mentioned that we had a lot of opportunities for the previous generations to act to solve the problems, but we did not act. His talk, as usual, is very effective. It makes people think about the global warming rather than just listening and then finish. For me, it’s funnier than the previous one since it added a funny ad about global warming in the talk. But behind the fun of that, it gives the audience more thinking. It’s also definitely a useful and watchable TED talk.

After watching all of these film and TED talks, I realized that global warming is a very serious issue and we really need to act on that. It’s a challenge for us but it’s worth trying.

November 21

Reflection

For the first unit of Language Arts, we explored the connection and difference between power and leadership by reading novel and biography as well as watching movies. I discovered my own path of the understanding of power and leadership through the process of doing assessment task and writing the essay. Before this unit, I know that power and leadership cannot be separated; power can be used well only with good leadership. And leader always leads and influences the group.

 

However, when I finished reading the novel The Wave, I realized that leader could also be influenced by the power of the group. So for the assessment task, I decided to do a PowerPoint to demonstrate the relation between the leader and the power of the group. But as I was doing it, I found myself fell into a strange circle: groups influence individuals, the leader influences the group, but the leader is also an individual. It became confused and hard to explain clearly, so I communicated with Mrs. Taynton about this. She said I didn’t need a result; I just needed what I found. So I grab a paper and wrote down what I have already had, by doing this, my conclusion was groups influence individuals, the leader influences the group, the leader is also an individual, so the groups can also influence the leader. To my surprise, it was a successful assessment task though it was my first time doing it.

 

For essay writing, since it was the first time for me to write a Language Arts essay, deciding thesis statement became my first challenge. After reviewing my notes, I got different perspectives on power of groups, but it was hard for me to combine them into one thesis statement, so I chose one of them as my thesis statement at last: People are attracted by the power of groups because everyone has an aspect of evil within them. This was a difficult thesis statement because it’s not easy to prove everyone has an aspect of evil within him or her. So at last I wrote about even if not everyone has an aspect of evil within him or her, people all have potential to do harm. I wrote about the situations in The Wave and Lord of the Flies to prove my idea. It was a challenge to write my first essay, but I learned a lot through the process, essay is an analyze article, it needs to be very compact, everything in essay is for proving thesis statement. I also learned about how to do work cited. It’s a very important skill for essay writing.

 

All in all, through this unit, I experienced many first times and learned a lot through the process of doing them. I also have clearer and deeper thoughts about power and leadership through finding my own path and researching. I enjoyed this unit a lot and I am also looking forward to next unit.

November 1

Reflection on my presentation

How did I come up with my research question?

For the couple of past weeks, we have been working on power and leadership. I did a presentation about power of groups and individual and it was successful, so for essay research question, I decided to keep working on power of groups. First I made a table to review my notes on The Wave, Winston Churchill, The power of One and Lord of the flies. I divided the notes into three parts: individual, group, and both and tried to find relation between them. There are my five conclusions according to the notes:

  1. The power of one can start a group to become the power of group, once it become the power of group, it will bond together as the power of one again.
  2. Distinguishing levels of power and threat and seeing clearly through the things make a person not be caught into a group and then not be able to get out of it.
  3. Once a group of people has the same thought and the same aim, they become power of one.
  4. People are attracted by the power of the group because everyone has an aspect of evil within them.
  5. Although the leader is a person who has power in a group, once the leader is caught into it and loses ability to think and judge, the leader will be swamped by the power of the group.

I found it difficult to mix them together to get one conclusion because they are completely different aspects about power and leadership. After considering and talking with Mrs. Taynton, I decided to use the fourth one as my thesis statement: People are attracted by the power of the group because everyone has an aspect of evil within them. Although it’s a very strong thesis statement and it’s arguable, it’s hard to explain people all have an aspect of evil. So in my outline, I use one paragraph to talk about even if not all the people have aspect of evil, they all have potential to do harm.

October 19

What did I learn from others?

Last week, we finished our presentation for Language Arts on power and leadership. I learned a lot through the process doing my project, I also learned a lot from others’ presentation.

Jay’s presentation was about power of students. The power of students may be more powerful than the power of a leader. Because the power of every single student is small and you can hardly notice that so you will think it won’t make any influence. But if a hundred of students or a thousand of students getting together, the strength will be unbelievable. It makes some relations with my topic: How does the power of group influence the leader? Normally is the leader leads the group, but if the whole group wants to change something, then the group will influence the leader easily. The reason why the leader can lead a group is the leader is doing something follow the group’s thoughts.

In Taewoong’s presentation, he demonstrated his understanding of the difference between power and leadership— the use of the power.

As a leader, the ways you use the power decide whether your group will follow you or not. So it’s important to a leader to use the power correctly.

Jan’s presentation tell us the inequality of the society, which gives the reason why the students in Jay’s presentation want to start a revolution and it also gives the reason why people notice the power of students hardly. Most people think only the upper class of society can decide the way of society to go, but instead of that the power of small people combine together, it will make a greater influence that individual leader.

All in all, I enjoyed doing my project and reading and listening others’ presentations. And I also leant a lot from others.

October 13

Reflection on Assessment Task

For the past few weeks, we were learning about power and leadership. I choose to read the novel The Wave and the biography about Churchill. As I read The Wave, I found an interesting fact. At first the leader started the group and influenced the group, as the group get bigger and the group began to influence the leader, the leader knew it should be stopped but he didn’t because he kind of enjoyed the feeling of being that position. According of that I formulated my research question: “ Will the leader be influenced by the power of groups?” I made a power point and did a presentation to demonstrate my understanding of that. While I was making my power point, I found myself getting into a strange circle, when I was trying to demonstrate how does the power of group influence the leader, I found that its reason is kind of the same as why we follow, we are following as individual, but leader is individual, too, individual can be influenced by the group easily. So I talked about this with Mrs. Taynton, She said I don’t need to have a result, what I need to do is showing the process of thinking. So I made the conclusion using The Wave and Nazi that the leader started The Wave but didn’t control it well, instead of that he was influenced by the group, so it caused disaster, Hitler led and influenced the group but no one in the group was trying to influence him because they didn’t think about what they were doing, that caused disaster, too. But if the group of Nazi think independently and judge what they were doing and try to influence the leader, the disaster maybe can be prevented. Generally I think I did a good job, but the logic of the structure of the power point can be stronger, the cause and result can be more obvious. During doing this, I found it important to keep you main topic in your mind all the time so that you won’t go away from the topic so far and it can also keep your logic clear all the time. And when I was doing presentation, I also have something need to be improved, first of all, I don’t have enough vocabularies to demonstrate my ideas effectively and I was a little bit nervous that I forgot to talk about something I prepared. I need to work on it next time.