In my 10th grade Iron English and History classes I have accomplished so much. From writing daily journals to completing quality benchmark projects. After finishing a entire year’s worth of work and assignments it is time for me to wrap it up with a final portfolio. In this blog post I will be focusing on two-three general understandings that will help me reflect on some of my selected assignments that I have compiled this past year.
General Understanding #1 and #2: Hard Work and Challenges/Struggles
One of my very first project’s in Mr. Block’s history class was the XL Pipeline monologue assignment. The assignment being our very first big project alone was a huge challenge to surpass. My partner Jessica and I had to do a lot of research and back up our thoughts with many different sources and facts. Something that was a struggle was choosing the five different characters, who’s point of view we had to write the five different monologues from. After a lot of thinking and discussions we decided we would write from the point of view of a police officer, construction worker, an Exxon representative, a jobless person, and President Obama. After choosing the five people, we had to build up their character and make the monologues realistic. Jessica and I had to talk to our peers and teachers and go through revisions of our monologues to make sure that they connected well with the XL Pipeline debate.
Along with writing monologues, Mr. Block also wanted us to choose 2-3 of our monologue’s and record them as a video. Going into character of the person in whose perspective the monologue was written in was difficult. Even after many mess-ups we continued to try our best and make the videos as best as possible. We worked really hard to make sure that we were in character and that we weren’t making any mistakes.
From all of my projects this year I think my favorite benchmark is my Language Auto Biography essay. The reason why I like this essay so much is because of all the hard work I put into it and the challenges I overcame in the process of completing the assignment. When Mr. Block first assigned this project he told us to to start off by writing a scene on a google doc that relate it to language in our own personal lives. As a class we discussed many the different ways language is weaved into our lives. Whether it’s code switching or speaking multiple languages. For me language was speaking two languages; Bengali at home and English outside. After righting out few scenes it was time to piece together the entire essay with quotes and analysis’s. This is where I started to struggle. Transitioning from writing small scenes to putting together an entire language auto biography was a challenge. I was confused on whether I should include the scenes or just start from scratch and write something new/ I talked to my peers, teachers and SAT’s (student assistant teacher) and I finally decided on using the scenes I wrote about my experiences with language, quotes by Amy Tan, dialogue and analysis to sew together the different parts of my essay into a whole. I worked really hard and make sure that my paragraphs/quotes made sense with my main theme. I also made sure to get my peers to look over the essay and revise it so that everything would turn out perfect, which it did.
General Understanding #3: Deeper Analysis
Through deeper analysis I was able to understand the different aspects of a larger idea by engaging in in-depth group conversations. An example of this is in our poetry unit. During most the third quarter of Iron English, Mr. Block would start of class by giving us abstract and hard to understand poems. We were told to analyze the poems with our groups by highlighting and marking up the poems with different colored markers, symbols and thoughts. One of the poems that we were given was “Dream Variations” by Langston Hughes. In this poem my group and I realized that Langston Hughes repeats the same ideas in both of the stanzas, but he uses different words and switches up order of the sentences in both stanza’s to make them different. We also used colors and letters to match up the sentences that are similar in both stanza’s so that we can visually see the connections in the poem.
Another poem that we analyzed in class was the poem “Praise Song” by Lucille Clifton. In this poem we analyzed each sentence separately because reading the poem as a whole didn’t make a lot of sense. we noticed that the poem didn’t have any capital words accept for the words “Praise, Praise, Praise God” After talking about the poem as a class we all came to the conclusion that the main person who the poem was about was trying to kill herself because of her family, but was saved and was accepted back into her family.
Overall I can say that I have done a a lot of work this year, and that all of my hard work and effort has paid off. I have completed many quality projects that I am really proud of. Some thing else that shows all the different things I’ve learned in Mr. Block’s English and History classes are shown in the wordle below.
(Click on image to enlarge)