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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Jessica Maiorano

Final Portfolio

  Before I came into his class I wasn’t sure what we were going to do. When I first walked into Mr. Block’s class I wasn’t a good writer and I didn’t like history class but Mr. Block made his projects different and creative. Every project was unique in its on way and that’s what I liked about it. We had the freedom to write our thoughts in our papers.

I wrote a poem the first day of Mr. Blocks English class. He told us to go home and write a page tonight and let the page come out of you then it will be true.

“I am me and that’s who I want to be

 I am fifteen cool, fun and free

 I see and hear just like you

 But very different I am to you”

About a month ago Mr. Block told us to make poetry wiki of all different poems we are going to write in class during our poetry unit. One of poems I was most proud of was my riff poem.

“The feeling you get when you realized you can run all those miles
Every step we take were getting closer
Is that want we want?”  

That quote was only part of my poem but you do not even need to see the rest of it to know that my writing has changed. I have grown as a writer and as a student in Mr. Blocks English and history class.

  There were projects that I found hard and there was projects that I thought were easy but I made sure I turned in my best work. Hard work leads to a lifetime accomplishments. My language autobiography was a writing that I worked hard on. In my Language autobiography I wrote, “Yes, it may take a lot of work and you may struggle and at times it might not make sense but language helps you accomplish greater things.” That is true with language but also with everything else if you work hard enough.

 In history we were learning about sweatshops and revolutions and something I heard a lot when were talking about these topics is “ Once something negative happens then more negative things happen.” When I think about this subject I just think that hope will get you through your challenges. People are making our clothes for lower then minimum wage. They will punish you if you do not do your work correct and all you want is the end. Struggles help you work harder to achieve your goals.

Overall Mr. Block’s class is a class that will help you think outside the box. Create things and write about things you never thought you could do. His collaboration with companies outside of school makes you want you explore new things.
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10% Project Science Experiment

Lesson Plan for Grades 3-6

Purpose: Kids should be able to demonstrate why leaves change colors in the fall 

Objective:Kids will learn the science behind colors and leaves.

Question:How do leaves change color in the fall?



Small Jars

Plastic Wrap

Rubbing Alcohol

Coffee filters

Shallow pan

tap water(hot)



plastic spoon, clock


1)Collect leaves(different leaves from different trees)

2)Add rubbing alcohol to fill the jar and leaves

3)Cover the jars but not to tight and place jars into shallow pan with 1 inch of hot water

4)Keep jars in pan for 1/2 hour

5)Remove jars and uncover while placing thin strips of coffee paper in, so it's touching the alcohol

6)The colors should travel up the paper and you can see the colors

7)Remove the paper let it dry and hang it where you want.

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Kimberly Parker's 10% Time Project.

   At first for this project, I had NO idea what I wanted to do. So I thought about some of my talents and I know I'm a pretty good writer. So, I decided to work on a SciFi novel for the 10% project. I'm really interested in becoming a neurologist, the brain really interests me, so I based a story around it. I also incorporated religion into the story to give it some character. Sometimes, I disagree with modern science, so in my story, I wrote about science going wrong. Scientists discover a cure or brain cancer, but this treatment makes the patients go mad. This resembles the doctors trying to play god, which can be bad sometimes because it might not be the dying person's fate to live. That is why I turned those people into zombies because it was not their FATE to keep living. That's why I talked about faith and fate so much, in hopes that the readers will understand what I am trying to get across.
     My process for this project went very smoothly. I didn't really plan a plot or anything, I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I did not face any challenges, I actually enjoyed doing this project and writing this story.
10% Time Project Novel
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Teens and prescription drugs

I did my 10% on why people specifically teenagers shouldn't to prescription drugs. In my project I included the science and the reasoning behind it . I added the motivations for abuse and other things that have to do with it. My project is a reflections of what teens and parents should look out for and why these drugs are no good
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Olivia Smith-10% Project!

For my last project I worked on Ecosystems in general. I wanted to learn more about the Ecosystems mainly in our state and around us. Throughout this process I researched all of the different kinds of ecosystems in Pennsylvania. I thought it was really fun to learn about what is happening around us and what we can do to help make the woods stay as clean as possible. I also listed some ways to keep our environment clean and sustain what we have.
10% Project
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Cells Gone Wild? O.o

Cancer. What's your definition? What do you think of? When I think of cancer, I think about old people get sick from this disease and can possibly die. Cancer is something that I don't wish on anyone. For this project, I decided to dig deeper into this topic. The reason why I chose to do this project is because I've seen or heard about people dying because of cancer and I want to know more about it. One of the other reason is because I want to know how can I prevent myself. My keynote is basically talking about the cause of cancer, facts that people might not know, how it starts, and how we can prevent it. I've learned that obesity and diet are two of the main causes. If you wish to learn more about it, just download the PDF. Honestly, I didn't know that those two things can be a big cause, but apparently it is. You always learn new things everyday right? I learned some things, maybe I can teach you today. Enjoy my PDF. [:
10% project
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CELLS Jamelia Barrett

​For my ten percent project I wanted to do something that im interested in. One of my favorite subject is biology , so I choose to work on the basics of cells. After researching and thinking of how I could do with the information i had found and the knowledge of cells. I decide to create a work sheet thing for cells. this include what a cell is , how it function , the different part of a cell. This a very basic notes on cell. I thought it could be useful  for a ninth grade curriculum or even 8th and 7th. the idea was that the teach could use this in class when discussing cell . so the student would fill in the blank while she talk and explain the necessary stuff of understanding the system of cells.  
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Foundation and Earth ~ Summer Reading Reccomendation

Foundation and Earth is part of the famous "Foundation Series" written by Isaac Asimov. The series encompasses the lives of human beings that have spread throughout the galaxy within 20,000 years. Specifically Foundation and Earth focuses on Golan Trevize, the pilot of one of the only "gravitic ships" known in the galaxy, and his quest to find the origins of all human beings in the milky way, Earth. It is very exciting and gives an interesting perspective on the future of human discovery in our galaxy. This is a must read for any science fiction fan!
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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Diamond Blenman

In my 10th grade English and History class we learned about many things that go on in the world. Many problems and many situation past and present. Both of out English and History classes interlaced with each other. Specifically in class we were taught different things about revolution and how they start. We also were taught about how money effects people’s status around in the world. Also we learned about Power in different ways. Clear examples of this were our Haiti unit with Jean Dominique , Papa and Baby Doc, and Jean Bertrand Aristide. That unit showed us a lot of what we’ve been learning about all year. What we have mostly been learning about is Power, money and how many situations in the world are solved that involve those things. 

1st General understanding 

                One of the topics of study that stood out to me the most were talking about a world renowned author named “Edwidge Danticat”. She wrote a book called Create Dangerously that is a collection of essays. The essays were essays she wrote in the past and incorporated in her book. She talks mostly about her life in haiti and in the united states that involves lots of personal struggle. One thing that i noticed from reading this book is that When there is personal Struggle, successful people seek outside help to change their reality. In the first chapter of create dangerously she writes, “Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. ... Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.” When i first read this quote it had me thinking, and that’s exactly what our year had in it, topics that had our brains thinking wildly. I wrote about this quote in one of my journal entries. I said “how about you think deeper than face value, when it first says. “Create dangerously is for people who read dangerously” and before reading anything else in that quote to me it said that the book create dangerously is for people who are willing to risk something and be in danger to read that book, because that’s what it was about. Then later on in that unit the class wrote a letter to Ms. Danticat and in my letter i made an honest statement and said “I have told my grandpa about you and some essays in the book and he seems a little less interested. But then I told him to give reading it a try and he honestly fell in love with it. I barely have time to read it my self, it’s always in his hands.”  Now looking back on it i was interested in the book a lot. 

2ndGeneral understanding

In my English class we started off the year with an intro mini unit. We had to write a poem about just about anything. I first thought that it would be dumb and boring but when i did it it was wonderful. My feeling along with that tied in with the feeling of the class at first. I thought that everything would be dumb boring and pointless. Even the starting thing off in the class was interesting. That started me off with a new idea of what the class would be like. After that i knew everything would be interesting and a new approach to learning. In my poem i called it the prisoner of love. It was deep and i was new to things in the class. One thing that stands out to me now that i look back on the poem i wrote is a line that says “
But love can be thrown out, To express your feeling And rampage can be due to anger, Anger that drives a whole in your heart, And kills love Then there is no show of that feeling, So now there is just hatred and sorrow, And since there is no love, You hold in that anger as if it’s a prisoner, Not just as an angry prisoner, But now A prisoner of love…”. That was how i ended the poem off and it is amazing to know i was capable of something like that in the beginning of the school year. I have learned a lot through the year which is in retrospect  a short amount of time but i was capable to get it in and learn and try my best. I had my bad moments in class but in the end i learned a lot and i know it’s going to be helpful in the future, all thanks to my English/History teacher, Mr.Block.

Thesis Paper 
Edwidge Danticat Letter
English B poem
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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Throughout the year in English/History I have learned and experienced through many different and disputable topics. On the very first day as I entered through Mr. Block’s classroom and as several weeks gone by, I was still uncertain about the expectations in his classroom. Later in the year, at some point there were times when things had came to mind on many controversial lessons that was taught in class, and I have always questioned myself because of these classes. How are these units that we are covering in class going to have an impact on me? In many substantial ways, it did had an impact on me and I was struck by it, especially through written essays, the poem studies unit, as well as The Art in the Open Festival, and all of these controversial topics has lead me to the general understandings of struggles, challenges, and hard work.

One of the greatest understandings that I have experienced and learned from was Struggles, and all of the struggles that I had gone through was told through written essays that were assigned in class. In English class, we are often given a writing assignment on a topic that addresses to our ability of understandings in the storyline of a book, which can also correlate to our own life, or a written  essay of a reflection from our past experiences that we struggled through in which can be learned from when is expressed through writing. At the beginning of this year, the very first day of school, Mr. Block assigned us a “One page” paper that night where can just write about anything; your intentional thoughts, current situations, life, anything that you want to put down in that one page, and the next day in class, we would have to gather around in a circle to share out a part of out one page story. The start of this assignment started out as, The instructor said Go home and write A page tonight. And let that page come out of you --- Then, it will be true.”  Before Mr. Block gave us the writing time in class to get a head start on this one page assignment, I thought it was going to be easy since it was only a page of a writing. I though I could write this paper and get it done in less than twenty-minutes, but as writing time as come, I struggled through the writing time we had in class and several hours at home as I tried to think of what I wanted to write down for this one page. I came to an idea after several hours later thinking in mind, “This is my sophomore year, I am in a new stream, I will be in a same classroom with different faces that I have not met nor worked with last year, I am in a new learning environment, and with a different teacher who will be instructing me for the year.” This gave me an idea of wanting people to know a little more about me. I started this paper off as a basic intro, then worked my way through the life in crisis which was such a hassle for me to go through. Sharing was one of my biggest struggles in the beginning of the year. I can confidently say that the struggles had impacted on me from wanting to share my stories, but one of the greatest release from those struggles were having some feedbacks from people in the classroom, and feeling good about expressing what I wrote, which made me had more confidence to have my voice be heard. The only reason that held me back from speaking up was the thought of judging from people’s opinions, but those were the main reasons from how I managed to break out from my own little bubble and had more confidence to share out some my own thoughts. 

Another general understandings that I experienced and learned from was challenges and hard work. As I already said before, the topics that was taught in Mr. Blocks class are controversial, which made some of the assignments difficult and challenging for me. There was one project that I had a very hard time with was the project to The Revolution Guidebook. For the Revolution Guidebook, we had to design and create a guidebook that presents unique perspectives about revolutions in the world, it was more of a project as a creation of “Revolutions For Dummies,” in a slides/presentation format, and in a way to show our project, we would have to present it front of class along with a voting on the best project presenter to present again at a final round. It was one of the most challenging projects I did this year for History class. It took me several days to adjust the point of this project. Although it took me rigorous time to figure out the point and what to do for this project, I managed to put in all my efforts complete this project the way it’s supposed to be done. 

Another example of a challenging process in English/History class was the dancing performance that was coordinated by Leah Stein group.  From the very first day ( when we started our first steps by introducing ourselves using our own movement that matches the syllables of our names, first workshop at the Amorine, and working our way towards to put together this dance performances, there were many expectations that I had in thought, that changed my mind into thinking that there are many other ways where you can possibly expressed yourself through dancing (freestyle) than just dancing in general. Working with many different objects to make sounds, using different techniques to express yourself in a way you want others to see, and many of things which makes your movements seems unique in other people perspectives. Before we started this whole process, I thought dancing was more like a technique where people would danced to or follow by the rhythm of a certain song; more like free-styling in some sort of ways, but it has changed my perspectives in many ways. The most challenging part of our Art in the Open performance was coming up with various techniques that we want to show the audience. I thought I couldn’t do the dance that my group came up with for the performance, but all it takes was practice. During the performance, I gave in and pour out all of the energetic power inside of me to my dances as the audience glides their eyes towards the performance, and it was the greatest success that I was very proud of al wished to go back to the beginning and start over at the very first step. 

This year has been one of the most struggles and challenging for me, but all of these determination to hard work has been the greatest success for me. I would also like to thank Mr. Block for teaching and showing me an open door to my comfort zone in sharing, as well as speaking up, and the experienced from classroom in which I have learned more from. this one one of the greatest learning experiences and I will never doubt any of the works I have done, hard work pays off. 

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Go read Soulkeepers 

God, Love, Death and Mystery

A teen Fantasy

Mother gone missing

Danger Paves the ground and sky

The Magic Defies

All laws of Reason

A tree warps time and season

Cat with mind of man

A knight with aquatic hands

An innocent heart

You best be quite smart and 

click here for a deeper start


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