Every student in Stephen Sellers’ Sophomore Humanities class was a poet laureate for a different country or area during WWI. We each were responsible for choosing an event that was relevant to our country during the time of WWI. We chose poetic forms, as well as perspectives to write them in, and an essay containing historical context of our chosen even, as well as incorporating the context of the even into our poems. students edited and designed a book that contains all of our poems and essays. While this book was being published we created presentations to inform the rest of the class of our new found knowledge, thus advancing everyone's knowledge of the world's involvement in WWI. We created a student-run book launch party to promote our book, every part of this event was fully created and organized by students.
Our project website was generated by students and contains poems and essays from the class, in addition to things such as project information and a book trailer.
Book Launch Teams:
I was a member of the Local Promotion Team that participated in making our Book Launch Party the best it could be and making sure that the public knew about it. From the start, I took a leadership role as I do instinctually. I started my group off by setting goals for ourselves and generating ideas of what we needed to create, as well as to whom and where we wanted to advertise. I led my group to create both Spanish and English posters for our class' Book Launch Party. I created the main image on the posters, as well as the majority of the text. I initiated critiques on our poster designs, as well as taking charge and calling local printing companies to get them printed. I picked them up from the printer and spent a Saturday hanging them up around town.
Throughout this project, I produced and accomplished many things, whether that be on my own or with the assistance of others.At the beginning of this project, I poured a lot of myself into researching the British West Indies’ involvement in WWI. I struggled to find anything on my area from the time period, not to mention how difficult it was for me to find record of an event that they participated in or influenced. This resulted in me being very pleased with my research notes and stuffed outline. In addition to my research, I was able to learn and apply what I had learned about writing poems, so that is definitely an accomplishment for me considering that I absorb things, but I don't apply them to my learning all that often. I produced a, in my opinion, lovely poem that I am greatly proud of, as well as an essay that I worked very hard on. I also led my group to create both Spanish and English posters for our class' Book Launch Party. Lastly, I fashioned and performed a presentation that I put a lot of my research into. As I mentioned previously, I am very proud of the poem that I wrote for this project. I learned a lot about poetry and different poetic forms, as well as how and why poems are written. Even though my poem was not completely consistent with its meter, some stanzas were iambic tetrameter and others were trochaic tetrameter, I really enjoyed the flow of it. This poem is definitely the best one that I have written in my life. I am proud of it because I worked very hard on it and went through many drafts as I struggled with it. I mainly had a tough time with the rhymes and making every line the same amount of syllables and the same meter. I am most proud of this because I persevered and applied my new found knowledge of poetry. I'm glad that I could put something that I am so proud of into our book.
The thing that I remember best from this project was what a difficult time I had at the beginning of this project, the research portion of it. I had chosen the British West Indies as my location. this was particularly difficult to find an event for because they were a quite small population of troops, were not originally recruited by Britain, and were not close to the war. British West Indies troops were mainly laborers as well as many dying, so this also made it quite difficult to find any record of them in specific events. I advocated my difficulties to my teacher and he gave me more sources to try and ensured me that I would be able to work it out. On my last day of research, I stuck it out and found an event and from there I was able to dig deeper into this event and get the information that I needed. This is so memorable for me because I learned to persevere and it paid off. I will surely remember this part of this project for quite a while to come.
After completing this project, I wish I would have kept better track of my critiques on my work. Some were verbal, some were handwritten, and others were comments on google documents that I deleted as I edited my work. Our critiques should have been stored in our project archive that will be graded and weighed heavily after this project. I have learned from this mistake. I will definitely keep track of all components of projects in the future and load them onto my google drive as much as possible. Within my drive, i will keep it organized throughout the project so that it is easier in the end.
Through this project, I definitely developed my ability to lead a team. I naturally take a leadership role but I deepened this in my book launch team by organizing the discussion of our goals and general ideas and an outline for local promotion. I applied speaking effectively to the task of calling businesses and getting quotes and other things along those lines, I tried my best to make things as efficient and understandable as possible. I also developed my decision making skills through this project. I feel like I was the main one in my group to make decisions in order to keep things moving along. I also made many decisions on individual work, I had to make the decision to persevere with my research, as well as many decisions with my poem and essay. These are just a few skills that I developed, there are definitely many more, but that’s for another time.