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Periodic Table Wikispace Reflection

Project: Periodic Table Scavenger Hunt


- For this project I wanted to know what exactly nickel was and what where it’s uses and properties. I also wanted know why it was called Nickel and who discovered it.


- To gather information I researched my element online and I also used the periodic table.


- In this project we had to compare some of our element’s properties to others. By doing this we collaborated to learn more about other elements. Other people also helped me learn how to make the graphs for the wikispace.


- For my presentation I included some pictures so that people would be more interested in reading my project. Also I used CARP and made sure all the font and alignment was appealing.


- Next time I would add more pictures. I would also add more details about how it was discovered and how it was named.
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DNA Sequence Project

My most intriguing project in my ninth grade science class was my first benchmark. It consisted of writing a paper on DNA and making a 3D model of it. I started out think of my school’s Core values, inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection. Inquiry is thinking of questions you want to ask and thinking of what you want to learn. I specifically wanted to learn about genetic mutations. Then I moved on to research and gathered my information. I searched online and asked my classmates and peers for help in order to put together my project. This also coincided with the third core value of collaboration. I was able to work with my friends and help them with their projects and in return they helped me with mine. In the picture below you can see my presentation board. I created a poster which included a full DNA sequence on top of the board, and I also included an up close version on the beneath it. If I could do this project any differently I definitely would start my board earlier. I wrote the paper fairly quickly, but I waited until the last minute to make my 3D model. I had so much fun working on and completing this project.
DNA project
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DNA - Who Am I?

  • Inquiry:

    • I wanted to know how DNA works and affects the human body.

  • Research:

    • I gathered and organized information by using useful sources and knowledge that I’ve learned in class.

  • Collaboration:

    • I worked together with my partner and would collaborate with my classmates sometimes, when I needed information I did not know.

  • Presentation:

    • Our presentation was a DNA structure sample made out of pipe cleaners. They were color coded according to their part.

  • Reflection:

    • What I would do differently is time management. Everything was done last minute really and if there was more time, maybe there would've been more thought into the presentation.
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G9 Science Mini-Capstone

SFP-Battery made out of coins

Inquiry- wanted to know how much electricity a nickel and penny can produce compared to a AA battery.

Research- I gathered information by research on Google and also finding different websites.

Collaboration- I asked many of my classmates for nickels and pennies to donate towards the experiment.

Presentation- The most effective write-up for our presentation was by drawing people in with our homemade battery.

Reflection- If I was to do this project over I would definitely work on the presentation setup because it was a very boring design.
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Acid Wiki Reflection

Inquiry:We wanted to know what made the effects of acid rain so terrible and how it was created.

Research:We searched up the effects of acid rain on google and wrote down what we knew on a google doc. We found about 5 useful sites for the info gathering and utilized them for our information gathering.

Collaboration:All if us: Ari, Hanna, and Reily shared the work we did equally on the google doc and the retaining of information. All of made a diagram of acid rain in action and the symbolic equations as well as the pictures of it on a particulate level.

Presentation: The fact that all of us had focused on a certain portion of the project ensured that all of us knew a lot about our information. Also, the fact that all of us went back and peer edited the project contributed to our success in this area.

Reflection: I would probably try talk more because I am a sort of quiet person and i’m not good at talking to others. Maybe if I had communicated more with my teammates it would’ve gone quicker.

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Science fair

Reily knott


1- My partner and i wanted to know which soda contained higher corrosion levels.

2- We gathered our information from previous research that was done online and through asking questions.

3- I was part of an community by asking others for help and having my peers review my writing that was done for projects.

4- I feel what was effective about our presentation was definitely the fact that  both partners knew the information and we were both able to speak knowledgeably.

5- I would not wait till the last minute and be more proactive.
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Inquiry Science Fair - Filtration Project Mini Capstone Reflection

My most interesting project so far and what I have learned the most from has been the SFP project.

Inquiry: We wanted to know more about water filtration because of things we had done earlier in this class, and so we focused on that.

Research: We did research online, but we also researched stuff from a pamphlet.

Collaboration: I worked with a partner, Ben, and Mr Sherif.

Presentation: Our presentation looked cool and colorful.

Reflection: I would make the graphs right and be more precise in my measurements.
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G9 Science Mini-Capstone

​The most intriguing project that I have worked with was my SFP project and board.

Inquiry: I wanted to find out how long it would take chocolate to melt when it's wrapped around different materials.

Research: Most of our information was gathered online. Also, we were given information by our fellow classmates.

Collaboration: Me and the person in my group were able to spread the work out evenly. I handled most of the text while he handled most of the board and experiment.

Presentation: We were able to explain everything on the board without actually looking at it. We were able to create a discussion with the viewers of the project.

Reflection: We would try to use different types of chocolates so we could compared the times of original chocolate, to the different types of chocolate.
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DNA Model and Earrings

​My most important and interesting project that I have done this year was my DNA model and earrings.

Inquiry: In this project I wanted to learn about the different parts of the DNA and the different nitrogenous bases in it.

Research: I gathered information from websites and text books.

Collaboration: I completed this project with my classmates Reily and Hanna. Therefore, I collaborated on this project.

Presentation: What we did that was effective was the fact that we made an interactive piece of the project. We made a model as well as a pair of accurate DNA earrings. 

Reflection: If I were to redo this assignment I would keep it the same. I felt I did very well in exercising all of our core values in the process of this project.  
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Microscopy Project: Ben Fink

Inquiry: When I completed this project with a group, we wanted to know how the cells of different kingdoms of organisms are organized and to see the similarities and differences between all of the kingdoms.

Research: We organized our information by using the microscope to examine the cells of each kingdom and found internet sources to distinguish each kingdom.

Collaboration: I was part of a community because I helped to gather up the necessary information and I described a few of the kingdoms.

Presentation: I think that our presentation was effective because we used photographs of the cells to emphasize what we learned.

Reflection: If I were to complete this project again, I might use organisms that can be seen without a microscope instead of micro-organisms.

Link To Microscopy Portfolio:
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Negative Space Drawings


Negative space is everything in a picture except the subject. It defines the subject so that it is the main focus of the design.

I found negative space in my cut out picture and in my stool drawing within the spaces in and around the subject. For the cut out piece I focused on the black and grey in the picture we were given. First, I cut out all of the parts of the picture of the house and traced them on one of the pieces of construction paper. Then I arrange the pieces that matched the black parts of the picture onto one half of my other piece of paper. Then, I arranged the remaining pieces that matched the grey parts on the second half of the full sheet of paper. The finished product was a picture of a house with the negative and positive space colors reversed on each side. Also, my technique for my stool drawing was that I shaded the entire paper and then erased the shapes of the subjects which were the table, stools, plant, and wire.  

It helps an artist to see in negative space so that it is simple for them to notice and portray the subject. When they recognize negative space, either they can sketch everything around it so that then they have a guide to make their subject. From that point the artist can pay attention to the details of the subject in order to finish the piece. They can also alter the proportions between negative and positive space to make the design look good. From there the artist can easily focus on details inside of the outline and finish the piece.

Negative space is useful in creating art, because it brings balance to the composition. When negative and positive space are unproportional in a picture, it looks wrong and unpleasing. Also, negative space is used to define a subject. Therefore, when there is not the right amount of negative space there is either too much of the subject or the subject becomes lost.

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World History Final Portfolio 2014

I entered Mr. Block’s classroom on the first day of school, the euphoric touch of summer still lingering in the air. It seemed like we were immediately split up into groups- sharing M&M’s amongst each other, trying to understand global inequality. I figured this was probably a one day thing, an interactive icebreaker- a little fun for the first day of school. Little did I know, all year I would be learning and engaging in the world around me with projects, worksheets, class discussions, role plays, and mock trials. From the Age of Exploration to following the Ukrainian Revolution day-by-day, I learned more and more about myself as a global citizen. I realized that, in order to comprehend another person’s lifestyle, culture, situations, etc., it is imperative that you step into the shoes of that person as best you can- and this year’s World History course helped me do that.


“Understand that everyone has their own spiritual beliefs- whether those beliefs are varied, similar, trying, or nonexistent (even the belief in the nonexistence of something is still a belief). Do not drown in your ignorance, but grab onto the life preserver that calls itself the pursuit of knowledge and happiness therein.  “Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace” (The Dalai Lama)”

In this class, whenever we spoke about religion in any way, I was fully intrigued. Usually a topic like religion would be overlooked or heckled by someone like myself- a 16 year-old, God-mocking, ball of inquisition. However, just as we have been required to walk in another person’s shoes in an attempt to truly understand who they are, I treaded uncharted territory and uncalm waters. I found that whenever we spoke about religion, I was pulling back bigger things on life, on society, on cultures, filling my knowledge bank with lump sums of information, gaining interest with each new drop of knowledge I gained.  I found this especially pertinent when it came to our first quarter benchmark, which explored and compared two religions and debunking (or proving) some of the myths that social media has put forth. In my benchmark, I dissected Satanism and Scientology, two of the most popular, yet occultic, religions. This opened my eyes, forcing me to overlook my previous convictions and explore a new realm as open-mindedly as possible. Granted, I did end up backing up some of my previous thoughts, but I came out of the process having so much more knowledge that I entered it with.

Another piece of writing that explored religion, rights, and belief systems is my response to and analysis of an excerpt from Battle for God by Karen Armstrong. The novel, an explanation and exploration of fundamentalism in different religions lead me to create a very dense and almost insignificant piece of writing, but one that I’m extremely proud of. The excerpt actually dove into the idea behind extremism and what may even be beyond extremism and I found that very interesting, wondering what could possibly be worse or more extreme than, well, extremism.  


Our Revolution Guidebook was one of my favorite projects although my end result was less than desired. After long nights of perfecting Keynote animations and timing, exporting it to QuickTime, and further editing it in iMovie (which kept shutting down)- I finally had a finished product.

Well, an almost finished product. There was a requirement for me to have some sort of voice-over or narration during the project- but sweet irony played its role when the technology wouldn’t work on a project about how great technology is. Regardless of the lack of narration in my project, I loved what lead up to this benchmark- all of the videos we watched, all of the research we did looking at the news, following the Ukrainian Revolution day-by-day. This revolution unit was truly an exceptional experience; it was one of the few times in my short high school career that I’ve truly felt engaged and part of something much greater than myself. We were able to step into others’ shoes and see what freedoms we would not be granted in other countries. At one point, we were split into groups and had to research a specific part of the Arab Spring and we also read an excerpt of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution; at one point, the narrator said the following:

“From that point onwards, I lost the ability to estimate time, in fact, from that point onwards we stepped outside time altogether; lost our link to the passage of night and day.”

I found that particularly interesting. My commentary on that quote was “I think that time is the thing humans truly value most because it is the only thing that is both very sure and unsure. We know we have now, but we many not have later. To take away someone’s perception of time is one the cruelest acts.”

All in all, this part of our revolution unit really harbored a sense of awareness within me. It fostered an understanding that I have a myriad of basic human rights that I take for granted on a daily basis. But that wasn’t the end of it. We then went on to learn about the famous French Revolution and how it affected Europe and other parts of the world, namely, Haiti. The highlight of this unit was a role play that we did, indicting the King for his crimes against the French citizens. Many people were asked to step out of their comfort zones to become a bit more humble or incredibly pious, which made it all the more interesting. 

I played the Duchesse de Tourzel, a noblewoman and close friend to the royal family. As a woman of her status, she didn’t want to be bothered with the revolution, swatting it away as if it were a gnat near her tea. She thought very little of it, seeing it as nothing more than a nuisance and a danger to her nobility. When all was said and done, we were told to write a reflection on the entire Revolution. My favorite quote from my reflection is something that I never really thought about before, but is incredibly important.

It says, They chased after liberty as if it were something to be saved from captivity, or something being held for ransom. They ran after justice as if it were something that would disappear with time. This race against the clock, this idea of “We want it now!” being carried through with immense bloodshed is something that embodies the decline of a revolution. Revolutions must happen with urgency, but without haste. They must happen effectively, but rationally. When weapons and rebel yells come into play, that is when people lose their judgment. That is when people lose sight of the original goal. Granted, it may do the job,, but it doesn’t always harbor a sense of calm and security, a true sense of The End, when all is said and done.”  I think that goes for anything in life- there must be a balance of fervor and calm, of passion and humility. I loved the French Revolution unit, as it was one of the most interactive units I’ve ever had in any of my classes.

Finally, one of my favorite responses that I’d written was to an article called Return to Nigeria written in the New York Times by Enuma Okoro. The article explains how Okoro, growing up the United States, began to lose her African identity. Because of that, she decided to return to her motherland, Nigeria, and dive back into her heritage. I think a really important quote from that response is, Why not return to a place where, as Enuma Okoro mentioned, you don’t ‘have to explain some aspect of your identity on a daily basis, where you did not have to offer people a reason, no matter how subtle, for why you were among them.’ It’s something we require in America that segregates this melting pot. It’s like when kids pick all the vegetables out of a stew and eat just meat and potatoes. I think that it’s important for people to identify where they are from with conviction, especially because there have been hundreds of unprecedented and unwarranted diasporas of people of color throughout the years...”

This year, I found myself thinking about my surroundings and how I affect the world rather than how the world affects me. I enjoyed having the spotlight taken off myself for a while, being asked to try and mold myself into many different types of people and characters to try and understand what I could not come close to comprehending before. I learned more about myself as a global citizen- and that’s something that I’m very proud of.

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Final Portfolio

Throughout the year in World History Class, there was a rush of many thoughts and ideas that rooted within the minds of students as well as I. Working on certain topics that focused on issues past and present in the world, we gain an understanding of how the world and people think.  

   Participating in the sweatshop trial was a turning point for me in this class. It was an awakening, I realized how certain governments and companies (ie. ours in the US) only look out for themselves. I believe that for the world to ever change, selfishness must cease. In the sweatshop trail, the US multinational corporations, the US consumers, and the government of the poor developing countries were taking advantage of the sweatshop workers. I played one of the sweatshop workers in the trail, what I had to say to all of the people who were forcing me to work was: "We are just a worthless tool used to fulfill greed. But by today, you shall know that we worth more, and we deserve more. You are nothing without us." (Iron Sweatshop Trial). In the trail it made us, the workers, seem as if we had a choice to work in the factories. The workers choices are very slim. It’s either you work in a factory and get some type of income to support you and your family or you along with your family die from poverty, starvation, disease and other things. Also being in the factories exposes you to disease so either way life all around is just crashing. Us, the U.S. consumers also have a part in this because we are blind and naive because we don’t know what’s going on but it’s our responsibility to find out because the government and the corporation tried to put a wool sheet over our heads to make us think everything is fine. Basically human life means nothing to them as long as theirs isn’t endanger.

However, people’s struggles wouldn’t be going on if colonialism didn’t happen. If countries weren’t greedy and took over other lands people would be living peace in their our society. "Colonialism in Australia forever changed the natives, these changes can’t be fixed. They left a scar on the people that will continue to the end of their exist." (Colonialism Benchmark) Colonialism in Australia started with the English taking over an invading the land where the aboriginals once lived and thrived. Colonialism dramatically affected the people, the English exposed them to alcohol and they killed most of their people.  

In countries when the people are worn out to the maximum of what’s happening, rebellion begins. In our Revolutionary Digital story, I focus on revolutions from the past, researching I came to the conclusion that "All of these revolutions are just evidence that a revolution is a continuous battle that seems like they’re over but it’s actually the physical fighting that has ceased." (Revolution Digital Story). With selfishness, people who are degraded will never get what they are entitled to. Therefore revolutions go on and on… "Revolutions don’t end, they kindle on like an ember deep down within the hearts and minds of freedom seekers."  (Revolution Digital Story)

Even in our own country (ha! It’s not really ours because of colonialism!) troubles from the other countries knock us in our faces. The media tries to make the Keystone XL Pipeline seem like it’s a good thing. Actually it’s not. The corporation building the pipeline is forcing people to move from their houses so they can place those pipes where their houses once stood. For the monologue project, I was a reporter that went corrupted because I turned my back on the lies the media was feeding the people of America. "But I’ve got news for you, your cheap propaganda doesn’t work for me.  I will not conform to your image. You are not going to turn me into something i’m not. You thought that I could be another mouthpiece for the creed but I'm not ashamed to tell you that I'm not." (Pipeline Monologue) I thought it was important to tell the people what the government tries to cover up. Even though the pipeline creates jobs and made gas cheaper, people were suffering because they were going homeless and the earth is being ripped apart to dig for this oil.

Reading an article about this women from Nigeria but lives in the United States, she talks about how the media made her country look so bad. "An ongoing problem in the United States is that the media tries to only show the bad problems within a country instead of the good things that are actually happening." (Return to Nigeria). This not only happens to other countries but it happens in the US too. The media targets certain areas that are poor urban communities and always talks about all the bad that happens there. Rarely any good is talked about.

This world only looks out for itself. There are deceivers who only look out for themselves and steal from the poor to gain more profit. There needs to be change, in order for that to happen, we need to lend a helping hand to our neighbors. We can’t leave them worrying, and feeling helpless.  "The 50 year old child who has to rome the streets worrying about what to happen in his future." (The Somebodies - Journal # 50).

My greater understanding of the world leads to my change which all started from Mr. Blocks World History Class. Thank you Mr. Block.  

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This year in world history I experienced things and explored new levels of thinking. History class wasn't basic or boring as I expected. With a new topic came a new lesson. Each lesson was unique and creative. Mr. Block used food and made us interact with each other. These lessons challenged me to do SLA's core values, inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection. Overall I learned a lot through this history class. I've learned how to put myself in others' shoes and how to respect others' culture. Here's a link to a project were I had to do a momolouge. I also learned how we as people all grow and learn with the help of others.

Throughout the year Mr. Block has given us a numerous number of projects and papers we had to complete. We've done plays, trials, roleplays, and more. We've gotten a chance to experience the different aspects of people in different places over the world. We’ve learned about sweatshops, human trafficking, colonisation, and more.  Out of these three topics colonisation stood out to me the most. It was intriguing to me how someone can feel like they have the need to fix one’s society. Its like social media. In social media people are always painting a picture of how things should be. It’s either you’re too fat or your hair isn’t straight enough. And sometimes our worth and equality is based off that. In an assignment “Pathologies of Power” a similar topic was discussed. I think that “A cause of our society’s failure to face up and deal with is the erosion of equality”.  As a society we base too much of our worth on external things rather than eternal things.

Colonisation can be described in different ways. It can be good or bad. If colonisation happens in a multipathing way then it can hurt the colonizer and the natives. I think that variety is a great thing. If everyone was the same life would be pretty boring but, with variety new conversations and ideas strike. Its the same with Biology. Everyone couldn’t have the same DNA because if one person became infected then every onc would become infected and die. Knowing this I was a little frustrated to why colonizers would try to change someone’s culture. In a journal I wrote “I think everyone grows and learns from the people around them. One can’t develop himself”. I think the world would be a better place today if people were respective of others’ way of living. I think that they should have learned from each other instead of despising each other. I also think that colonizers tried to hard to push their opinions on people who didn’t need them. In an assignment “Custer Died for Your Sins” I wrote “American try to fix things that aren’t broken. Sometimes when the oppressed side is fed up they rebel and start a revolution. Here's a link to a project of similar topic.

In conclusion I think this world history class was a great experience. I was never too thrilled about coming into a history class but Mr. Block’s class was different. It was a lot of reading but Mr. Block incorporated many activities to balance it out. I think I had a pretty successful year.

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Final History Portfolio


here is my word art

We (students) in some ways create our own quality of education by how much effort we put in. Looking back at my history class, my classmates and I did a great job of creating a quality education for ourselves. On all our worksheets, journals, benchmarks, and mock trials I found that community was extremely important in our history class. Opinions would not have been shared so openly while journaling if we did not have a great sense of community in the classroom. Even though SLA is small we are still able to make a change through analyzing, researching, and collaborating with one another.

  Social change happens when various communities can come together in a non-violent way. Over the course of this academic year I have come to learn that conflict does not always have to lead to violence. All people are set apart by their religion, race, culture, and social class. However, one thing that makes us all the same is that we are all human, and once people can look beyond their differences they can see their shared humanity. Placing your beliefs behind you is a very difficult thing to do of course because it is hard for people to let their guards down. It is easier to dehumanize people rather than try to understand others cultures and beliefs. However, what I have learned this year is that problems can be solved and voices can be heard if various communities work together.

Over the past academic year I have challenged to think outside of a structured box. A box in which I was comfortable in, and knew no other way. I was hardly taught to believe  that my opinions could be the answer or solution. During quarter three of this academic year, I was challenged to define what made a revolution successful. My definition was not based on what wikipedia told me or what a history book informed. It was all solely from my intelligent brain. In my benchmark I claimed in my video, “Non-violent revolutions are so important, so people can see how humanity can triumph politics.” (Quarter Three Benchmark) Before I began my research on violence in revolutions I already knew I was personally against violence. However, I felt I needed to learn more about violence in revolutions before I could make a definitive opinion or response. Moreover, I actually ended up learning that non-violence truly is a better way to conduct a revolution through reading online articles and watching YouTube videos of revolution. This taught me that my opinions do not always have to be validated or prompted by a history book. 

Furthermore, the third quarter revolutions benchmark was not the only thing in history class that taught me more about having an educated opinion. Class discussions and journal entries were certainly an outlet for thoughts to be shared. For example, in a journal entry I wrote, “It's always men first.” (Journal Entry #24) This of course is a controversial statement to people from various communities. However when various groups of people come together to work with one another then you merge into one whole community. This relates to how social change can be achieved. Social change is  happening in school classrooms when students work together to listen to one another and make a better society. 

In my first quarter benchmark I stated, "It is important for them to let go of desire because Buddhist believe in being selfless and that all things are interconnected and that nothing can exist independently." This reminds me of Science Leadership Academies core values because we believe that collaboration with others is essential to learning. We as a school recognize that we are interconnected in our education and we cannot do our best work without learning from each other in one way or another.  In my thirty-ninth journal I stated, "Colonization changes any/every man because anytime one human tries to take power over another human it ends badly." At SLA the teachers and administrators are of course leaders, but a overwhelming power is not help over students. This is how a strong community of all diverse people is developed. 

Furthermore, collaboration requires people to be able to find similarities in their differences. This reminds me of a statement I made in my first quarter benchmark, "Both religions recognize themselves as servant leaders. Muslims are servant leaders to Allah. They worship and give all the glory to their God. Anything good that happens to a Muslim is because of Allah's grace. Buddhist are more servant leaders to the world… Buddhist however do this to maintain a positive Karma and to be interdependent." Islam and Buddhism are too very different religions but they meet common ground because they are both servants to someone or something. When Buddhist, Muslims, Christians, and Jews (or any other serving religious followers) recognize that they are all living for a similar reason they can collaborate to make an improved society. 

Additionally, through learning about what we can do to achieve social change I have learned what we should not do. For example, during colonizations the Europeans were trying to create an improved society, however in the end they helped industrialize. However, they did not improve or help humanity. This happened they the colonizers looked with a distant view never trying to understand others. Journal forty-five reminds me of their distant view. In my journal I state, “Africa has been written historically with an outsider tone.” Social change nor collaboration can be successfully achieved if people look at each other in a distant or dehumanized way. 

In conclusion, over the past year I have learned about having an open mind. This open mind has helped me form and develop thorough opinions to share with others. Furthermore, I have learned that social change happens when various communities can come together in a non-violent way. This general understanding has come from my first quarter religion benchmark because I learned so much about how many religions are actually very similar. This then showed me that if various people from different communities came together and learn more about each other then there could be positive social change in the world. Moreover, another general understanding that ties into communities functioning cohesively is collaboration. Collaboration that requires people to understand differences, but also seek for positive similarities. Even though I did a lot of research on my own; I could not have learned as much or grown so much as a student without the help from my classmates and Mr. Block. So thank you! 

Some other quotes from this school year: 

1.)  "I do not think it is important to apologize for something that happened one hundred years ago….. However, I do not think you should completely disregard the injustice that happened." - Journal #19


2.) "In conclusion, Buddhist are more focused on themselves creating their own fate and interconnecting with the universe. On the other hand, Islam is more about making Allah happy and doing what Allah calls the Muslims to do. "  - first quarter benchmark

3.) "I think it's very interesting how people in the muslim religion believe the hijab is liberating, but people outside the muslim religion have an opposite opinion."  - Women and the Hijab worksheet


4.) "If culture limits how an individual can advance, then it is underdeveloped." - Different Views of Development worksheet



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Final Portfolio

Taylor Washington

Final Portfolio

In september of my sophomore year I found out that I was in Mr. Blocks world history class. When finding this out I went to my sister which is and alumni of SLA for advice, thinking back I didn't really take it. I walked into the class thinking that it was going to be super boring because history is not what I would call my favorite subject in school. But immediately Mr. Block shut down the idea that it would be boring. The first day he gave out m&m’s and did an activity with us which I believe really engaged the class to learn more so they could possible get more m&m’s. This was just the beginning of many more interactive activities.

11 quotes from my work

1.) A messages that "The world is just" cartoon may be trying to get across to its audience is that the world will never be able to agree on what justice for all really means- Journal # 40

2.) People who work for social justice see the world as incredibly sad - pathologies of power worksheet

3.) American live in a fantasy land and fall in love with un real things- Vine Deloris worksheet

4.)It made us seem like freaks and that we do a lot of unnecessary things that when in reality thats not what the american culture is really all about. They totally twisted up our culture so just for this reason its not acceptable to judge another culture.- Journal #3

5.) How can another child of Buddah be trusted with knowing the truth?- Sacred text analysis

6.) Go to combat with HIV/AIDS, malaria and other popular diseases , without the education no one would be able to have the knowledge on how to control or overcome the disease.- Different views of development

7.)The point is that foreign investments are not the key to solving poverty. it might just be making them sink even deeper into poverty.- "Globalization worksheet"

8.) All I do is try.. I try but can never succeed in what I do. Being a stay at home has not been as good as the rich people make it look. My husband can not do this all alone… He is constantly losing his jobs because of his pride.-  Keystone pipeline monologue

9.) The Congo exhibit it to show that colonialism comes from hatred of one culture to another culture and trying to enforce change- quarter four benchmark

10.)Good afternoon jurors we are all here today to to figure out who is the blame for “dehumanizing" workers and corrupting the environment of the workers.- Sweatshop Trial

11.) Though each party shares the blame we believe the consumers and poor party allege make up the largest  portion of the shared blame. the country ruling elite are responsible for encouraging global sweatshops which is an important part in the problem. Without the encouragement from them there would be nothing pushing to have people working in ridiculous conditions. The consumers also take on majority of the blame because more than most of them are aware of the conditions the poor workers are living in and the ridiculous wages they make (or a lack there of), but they decide to ignore what they are paying for. we the System are innocent. the system is completely run by the people and the people who are running us  could also put in the effort to change us if they feel the system is not good enough. there is us  there are many other systems  that need some changes but we can only change if the people change.-Sweatshop Trial

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Final Portfolio

Final Portfolio

This year in World History, I learned about different countries throughout the world. If I was asked to give a theme about my history class this year, I would say the main idea was change. People all over the world have been fighting oppressors for their rights since the beginning of time. Earlier in the year during our revolution unit, we focused a lot on Ukraine. The people were trying to start a revolution to change the government. They read books and studied different revolution tactics. They took a lot of strategies from Egypt's revolution a few years earlier. The key thing they learned is that the point of a revolution is too see change, and in no circumstance should you leave before you see drastic improvements. I learned that strategies in revolutions evolve over time due to trial and error.

Majority  of the countries we learned about this year are not considered first world countries so I did not learn a lot about them previously. One thing a number of these countries had in common is that they started off wealthy. When I found this out, I spent the first three marking periods wondering how they went from these amazing dynasties to the state they are in today. When the fourth quarter began, I learned how this decline was possible. The explanation behind it is colonization. And another thing these countries had in common is how they were colonized. The countries acknowledged that the land was not theirs but everyones. Western civilizations had a different opinion on the land and felt that they should claim everything for the name of their lords. I find it fascinating that every group of natives accepted the explorers and welcomed them into their land. In some cases the natives even seemed to help and aid the explorers in taking over their land.

Alot of people have problems with the way society is today, but they seem to forget you don't have to sit back and wait for an epidemic, you can start one yourself. In the beginning of the year, we learned about the Keystone XL Pipeline. We talked about the pros and cons to extending the pipeline. Alot of people in the classroom had different ideas and views and opinions on what should be done. We didn’t realize it, but we ourselves can really get involved and make a difference in our communities. Petitions are a great way to create awareness about problems and issues in our communities. This may not be the biggest way to create a change, but it is a great start.

This year I learned many lessons I will never forget. I think the one I remembered most was in the Things 
Fall Apart unit. I will never forget this because Mr. Block bought in cola nuts to eat. These were the most desgusting things I had ever eaten, but it shows how different cultures are. Come to find out people in Africa love them.
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Final Portfolio

In September 2013, I entered my World History class I was assigned to and found that my teacher was Mr. Block. I wasn’t very excited to have history because I never really liked the class, or the the things that were taught in it. But, the first day of history, we actually were having a discussion and ended up using M&M’s. M&M’s? Oh, I could tell that it was going to be a fun year!

My favorite activity and project in history this year was the first trial. Actually, it was all of the trials. I loved those. I loved that I could put my opinion in the trial along with all the research that I did, depending on what I was assigned to. It was also hard for me because other peoples opinions weren’t always right in my eyes and I don’t agree with people easily.

In one of my first journals, I said, "Not to procrastinate and to get my work done when I first get it.." (Journal Entry #4). This made me think about all the struggles I had in History class this year. It was hard for me to adjust  to the “sophomore lifestyle” but I think I did an okay job. I did slack for some quarters, and in the end I tried to pull everything together and I think I need to work on that the most. Next year I really need to begin to procrastinate less, because it is a very crucial and important year.

Creativity happened in history class this year during the keystone pipeline monologue project in the beginning in the year. For that project, I used creativity in the way I wrote my monologues, the way I talked in my video and just the whole thing overall.

So I did have some bad expectations and things that I didn’t like, but it turned out okay. There were a bunch of assignments I loved and a bunch that i hated. The projects and the worksheets were a little intense since we did sometimes get them back to back, but it was fine. I think that from all of this, I have learned to just be more productive at an earlier time.

Links to my work:

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World History General Understanding

I remember sitting in class one day having a debate about how whether or not you are allowed to criticize someone’s culture. It was a good debate, in the sense that everyone contributed their opinions respectfully and thoughtfully. In that moment, I realized that we were all collaborating to come up with an opinion. Social change happens when people’s views begin to coincide.

During the first quarter, we received a benchmark that asked us to create monologues that talked about the Keystone pipeline XL from 3 different perspectives. At first I thought that a project like that would be pointless. I felt like making monologues had nothing to do History class and it wouldn’t go with the circular. But it turns out, the more we progress into the unit, the more I began to  see that there was a connection between the monologues and the overall unit. Many people didn’t want the pipeline  to be built, as they believed it would cause problems in the country and it’s just more money being taken away from the people. We ended up  watching videos of people protesting the pipeline and it was then that I finally got the connection. The video showed that"the economy was the biggest concept being thrown at you (Keystone Pipeline XL video)".

After moving on from the monologues units, we jumped back in time to the revolutions of the world. From the French revolution to the Haitian revolution, we broke down what it happened at the time and what the people were doing to express themselves and their emotions. My opinion on this unit was that it already happened and that there isn;t much to talk about. A bunch of people came into a country or small village, began to rule over them, and changed the place around. It didn’t feel as engaged with the unit until we began to discuss the Egyptian and Ukrainian revolution. I think it was the fact that it was happening at the moment, so it wasn’t like I’ve already heard about what was going on. When it came time for  our 2nd quarter benchmark, I did a lot of research and actually became interested in the topic. The reasoning behind the revolution was that the people of Ukraine didn’t want to be ruled by the Russians. Also, everything the government did, the people didn’t agree with. They were not on the same level of thinking as the other group was. One side believed what was happening was for the better of the country, when really, the side who thought it was bad for the country was right. My general understanding was further proven by that. Since their ideas did not coincide, there was not any social change.

With the last two quarters of the year, we focuses manly on cultures and colonization. We had many discussions, similar to the one in the beginning of the year, about them. We tried to understand why one culture criticized another culture. It was brought up that no culture should be able to criticize another culture solely for the fact that they all have different beliefs. A quote that from one of my journal entries about this was “ Basically, unless you have had an experience or something similar, you have no say in how they live they life. (Journal #3)” It is the truth. You can not and should not have any word in how somebody should live or act unless you’ve had an experience of their lives for a long period of time. I think the last two units, the culture and colonization unit was my favorite unit out of the entire year. Maybe it was because of the projects that we did or the conversation we had, but something about those last two units allowed me to express my feelings on how the world works.


1.“Ideas abad other things become popular when it A, appeals to the consumers/viewer’s eyes or B, the consumer/viewer can relate to it” (Journal #23)

2.“But the downside is that people never tend to care about non-violence and focus more on the violence” (Journal #31)

3.“Traumatic experiences can be an excuse for altered behavior but never negative behavior” (Journal #47)

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Final Portfolio

The passion and struggles people experience and go through when trying to make a change, whether or not the change actually happens, can make a country or group of people stronger in the end as a whole. 


During World History this year we focused on the the cultures, traditions, and religions of people all over the world. The topics were always broad and left for us to make opinions about. The commonality all of the topics, I at least saw, was that there was a significant change in the strength of a country or a group as a whole after experiencing some type of change that either benefitted or threatened their culture, traditions, or religion. 

Through the year, there were many assignments I was proud of, but the following  that I have chose to share with you are ones I feel will help portray to you the overall idea I got from this year’s research, as explained above. 

The first assignment I chose to share is a journal entry (page 1) that speaks to the idea of when it is appropriate to criticize another culture. I felt this was important to include because a lot of change that happens upon a country, culture, or religion stems from the criticism of one person. History has shown that in the past that different religions or cultures weren’t respected by one another for being different, but that they were changed. 

The second assignment I chose to share is also a journal entry (page 2). This one speaks to the idea of believing in something strongly enough that you are willing to die for it. I felt this was important to include because this initial passion that causes for countries or groups of people to fight back during these changes are what helps things like revolutions. Without this passion, a lot of different religions, cultures, and countries would have been ripped from their roots and changed even more than they are today. 

The third assignment is another journal entry (page 3). This one is a response to a poem called The White Man’s Burden. My poem is called What Is The White Man’s Burden. It speaks to Natives and how I interpreted their feelings were towards the changes happening to their culture. I felt as though this was important to include because it gives everything a new perspective. It shows how those who are being changed feel about everything. 

The fourth assignment I chose to include is a written response to the French / Haitian Revolution (page 4). I felt as though this was extremely important to include because it focuses on revolutions. Revolutions happen when changes are trying to made and aren’t wanted. For revolutions to even start there needs to be that initial passion, spoken about before. It talks about what makes a revolution successful or not and I believe that after looking at several different revolutions, there is one thing in common. Whether or not the revolution was successful, and regardless of if the goal of the revolution was accomplished , there is still always strength gained after the revolution is over. There needs to be a lot of passion to even begin a revolution and even more to carry one out. Revolutions also come along with a lot of struggles, but this causes so much strength to be gained. 

The fifth assignment I decided to include is a poem called The Somebodies (page 5). I felt as though this was important to include because it gives example to the passion that is talked about. It feels as though you are reading from a person who is passionate about a change happening to them.

My sixth and final assignment I chose to include is my quarter 4 benchmark. It is a colonialism exhibit based on Ireland. I feel as though it is a great way to sum up the year because it shows the process at which a country goes through during change. It portrays the passion and exemplifies the struggles. It shows both sides of the story and the strength gained after it all. 

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Final Portfolio


World history is a very broad and expansive subject. Throughout the year we have not only studied things from the worlds past but subjects that are making history now. From sweatshops to Revolutions, even the Keystone XL pipeline. One conclusion that I have came to throughout the year is that beliefs can be used as a way to oppress many people and also that no opinion is wrong. Using collaboration this year has been full of unlikely discoveries pertaining to equality. One day at during this class we started off writing in our journals. The journals always make us think about issues that are usually ignored or not thought about as much in everyday. Mr. Block does not stop at us just writing our ideas in the journals but makes us share them with the class or our small table group. This gives us different ideas that we did not think about from other people. What you say someone else might of never heard so it brings another sense of learning into class. Also in the class when we could go around the class and have everyone share an idea or discussion question which leads into a new units.

In my journal that was required for the year I wrote multiple opinions on different topics that involved the current part of history we studied. “There should be no reason for them to apologize for something that they did not do or cause.”(Journal #19) This journal we were talking about how the people shouldn’t feel guilty for the things that happened in their history hundreds of years ago. An example is the British being sorry and apologizing to the native americans for Columbus coming to America and taking their land. There should be no reason for the British to apologize for the acts that their ancestor committed. Apologizing for someone else makes it less important, and less meaningful.

I found a lot of my journal entries had very interesting subjects when I went through it. “People are not concerned with what is just in the world.” (Journal #37) This quote is from a later journal entry that involves a cartoon of a fish cartoon (See cartoon here). The cartoon shows how the world looks from different social standings. I said people are not concerned mainly because the people that need justice are the ones that are barely heard or looked at. This gave me an idea of how the world actually works. The world is not full a piece but full of fake justice that is meant to make you forget about the real errors in the systems of the world. This relates back to the Sweatshops trial that my class did. The trial explained why sweatshops are a problem but people do not notice the actual effects of it. In trial, workers, system, multinational corporations, poor country elites and US consumers were tried (Notes from Trial). The point was to find out the true group responsible for sweatshops.

In the last quarter the class read a book about an Igbo tribe in Africa, called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In a journal I wrote.  “I believe he wrote this book so people will not make assumptions about this culture. He wrote it to show the importance understanding something in depth rather than just guessing and/or assuming.” (Journal #45) This was important because it does bring out people assume about different cultures rather actually learning about them. This gave me some perspective on opening my mind to different poeple around the world rather than just ignoring them as just another part of the world.

One thing that we did that is really going to stick with me involve the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeling is a pipeline thattransports oil from tar sands in Canada throught the United States. This pipeline could result inthe loss of lives, jobs, many other things. We wrote muliple monologues about the pipeline that explain poples views. From calling to the people who will be most affected from the ones who did not even know about the pipeline. It shows that everyone should know about something that be such a drastic change in the country. “Talk’n bout jobs.. ya’ll ever thought about who’s jobs you’ll be taken, did ya? 7 million bucks, for what? Some frick’n oil and this country can’t even give people a damn job at a grocery store. If ya would just give them what they want, they’d shut their snouts and people like me get some damn rest. Ain’t nobody asking for some 1,179 mile metal tube through the damn country. Now let me go, cans aint gonna collect themselves.” (Keystone Pipeline Monologue)

Something we did in the beginning of the year an assignment involving Hijab life and story behind why women of Muslim culture wear them. This was really the starting point in seeing that world is not as it seems. No one should really judge a women who wears a hijab before they learn the the meaning of the hijab. The hijab is not because the women are oppressed by the men. No the hijab is used to show a different way of looking at the world. It is apart of a culture we do not fully understad and show learn mroe about.  “The authors perspective is that a woman's hijab a sign of morals. Hijab allows men to chase women due to their personalities and not their bodies. Also that they guard their modesty.” (Women and the Hijab)

In conclusion you can see there was a lot to be learned this year but I found it most interesting that everything we studied lead back to unequality and oppression. It gave me a new outlook on the world. That makes me feel grateful for everything I have and also will forever teach me not to just believe everything that I have heard. It taught me to research, and that ignorance is not bliss.

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Final Portfolio

World History Final Portfolio 2014

Social change happens when a revolution is started. 

There have been many different revolutions and many different types. During our world history class we discussed these themes and topic. I found the revolution units especially interesting. "I think revolutions are interesting because they make the world what they are today." A moment in the year that stood out to me was writing in my journal after we looked at and talked about he Past Of Protest. When I was writing in my journal I was thinking about all the different ways and methods people used when fighting for their rights/freedom. I continued to think about how this impacted the world, and what would have happened if people didn't stand up for what they believe in. 

 One thing that we explored on our own in class was a unit on an organization that created shirts."People have to believe in the product to become hooked on it. " This organization wanted to explain the process behind how the t-shirt was made. This might not seem like a type of revolution but I believe that it is. "Behind the T-shirt is a industry." One thing that is in the world of T-shirts was the collapse of the garment building in Bangladesh. When cracks were discovered on the bottom floors people were told not to go near the building, but the next day the factory workers were ordered to go back and work. The building collapsed during rush hour that morning. 1,129 people were killed. A few day after the building collapsed the factory workers form all around Bangladesh rioted destroying cars and buildings and factories. I believe that the people were right to do that, because there is no excuse what happened. I'm going to assume that they were also upset because they are paid one of the lowest wages  in the world (80 dollars a month/who can support a family on that?) and the condition they work under aren't safe at all. I think that this qualifies as a type of revolution. These people were fighting against something that they thought was wrong and wanted changed. The fighting didn't just stop with destroying buildings and cars. A few days later thousands of people protest in the streets. They were demanding safe working conditions and better wages. 

 Current events can be understood by people's opinions. 

Later in the year our world history class had a discussion on if we thought child labor was acceptable or unacceptable. My perspective on the matter was: "I think child labor is unacceptable in any circumstance." We also had to come up with one question to ask the class. Before posting my response to the question I read what some of my classmates had written. Some people thought it was acceptable where as others thought it unacceptable, But what I noticed was each response was different and I thought that was really cool, because you could literally learn something new from each person, response or question. This goes for all the discussion we've ever in class. The question I posed to the class was: "does having children work in these condition effect them in the long run?"


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Final Portfoilio

During the course of the first quarter we were introduced to many different religions and cultures that are practiced all around the world. Near the end of the course we were assigned a benchmark on the unit, I choose Buddhism, and Hinduism and my topic was on the afterlife. During the process of completing this assignment I was very amazed and interested in those two religions, not only because it was different from my religion but because of it’s background and how people practice it. For example, in Buddhism there is no god Siddhartha Gautama is commonly known as the Buddha (the awakened one). He is recognized as the awakened teacher who shared his knowledge to help others end suffering and escape the cycle of suffering and rebirth. To understand another culture, you should to try it through your own eyes, even though I may not have experienced Buddhism first hand I was amazed on how Buddhism makes you see the ways of your actions and make you rethink of the world around you. Which helped me come to the realization that religion can be influenced through knowledge of others and through the resources given to us.

Now that we have discussed religion, lets move to revolutions. In this unit we discussed how revolutions were caused and how they have changed over time. For example, in the French Revolution the people of France demanded change and a more meaningful life, they believed in a better way to live. 

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Final Portfolio

Symbiosis is “the living together of two dissimilar organisms in more or less intimate association”. This means that the two parts cannot live without each other. You can apply this idea to a huge amount of things. I would like for us to take a look at the term when it comes to understandings. You cannot have an understanding without other understandings, as every understanding is reliant on the understanding of something else. Take, for example, the slicing of an orange. You have a knife and an orange. To have the intention to slice the orange, you need to have an understanding of what a knife is used for, and the fact that the orange is soft enough to cut with said knife. We were asked to form this final portfolio around an understanding, and the understanding that I want to focus on is “Understandings have symbiotic relationships.”  So, let’s take a journey into the world of understandings.

In my World History class, we use this idea of understandings to see beyond the established, textbook facts. We synthesize this information into a more cohesive form. I want to take you through some examples of this intriguing structure. We will begin with something from the beginning of the year. In October, we conducted a trial that involved Cortes’s conquering of the Aztec nation. This started with research, as we had to establish a basic understanding of what happened, and who should be tried for what crimes. Once researching was initially finished, we had to adapt strategies for winning the trial. We had to use our prior knowledge and mix it with the knowledge we had of the trial participants speeches. From this, we formulated questions. Questions, such as “What justification do you give yourself for killing your own men, and people of your country?”. We used our understandings from each response and each group’s arguments to form questions as we went, creating a full, constricting understanding with which to pin our opponents. The full contents of our group’s look at the trial can be found here.

One of the more interesting projects I did this year for World History involved the creation of a play. We had to write a play, one that had grounding in the world, and involved world issues. For this project, I wanted to take a more personal approach and take a look at crime in Philadelphia, my home city. I did research, analyzed the crime in Philly, and used my knowledge of many events like these to write about my own, fictional version of one of these crimes and craft a story around the potential motivations behind it. In my play’s case, the reasons behind the crime can be summarized quite nicely by the main character and perpetrator of the crime’s, mother “Jeremy, I would rather die than let you get caught doin’ something illegal. I will pay for my chemo myself. And then, I’ll get better, I’ll go back to working in the office, and we can have a nice life again.” The full play is here.

Another project involved the analyzation of revolutions, finding a way to talk about and relate revolutions. The project itself asks for the fusing and synthesis of understandings. One of the major things I talked about in the project was the fact that revolutions can take many forms, which I found of import after trying to find a new way to angle my project, so as to promote a different way of understanding revolutions. So, I made the claim that flat design was a design revolution, so that I could show that things like design have revolutions too. You can find the video here.

Throughout the year, we have been using a journal to answer daily questions. These questions are used to assess our current understandings, and to wrack the minds of multiple people in the class to come up with greater understandings based on everyone’s individual thoughts. In one of my Journals, my very first one, I talk about how people are abused for the sake of labor. This is reciprocated, mixing more symbiotic understandings, towards the very end of the year, where we do another trial, this one about sweatshop labor and who is at fault. We began the year with a concept, and learned more about it later in the year. Another of my journals (found here) addresses how people’s understandings are influenced by more correct understandings.

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