Animal Investigation Labs: Self Assessment

Mussel Dissection
Squid Dissection

Curricular Response

Throughout the animal unit within my life-science eleven class, we had the opportunity to dissect a various number of animals. My two favourite dissections were the squid dissection and the mussel dissection, which are pictured above. Although my teacher provided the class with diagrams of each animal, seeing them up close and in real life, allowed me to improve my understanding of each body system. An example would be the squid lab, there were so many different body parts that I had not heard of before, and I was nervous going into the dissection. Once we arrived in the superlab and I had my squid in front of me, I was able to look at the provided diagram and figure out where each part was. My teacher also went through each body part, pointing to where they were. I am nearly certain that if we did not go over that, I would have been confused as to where each part is, what it looks like, and the function of each. When I was dissecting the mussel, I opened it with a razor blade and studied the parts. Seeing all of the parts in real life helped me to memorize where the parts were, which is important to know for my upcoming animal exam. Within the animal unit in my life-science eleven class, using the dissections to my advantage furthered my understanding and helped me to learn each part of the different animal body systems.

Core Competency Self-Assessment

The Mantel, Arms, Pen, and Tentacles of the squid.

The dissection I am most proud of is by far the squid lab; and not only because we made calamari with it. I believe it is important to celebrate your accomplishments, it is a great way to award yourself after doing something challenging. I was nervous going into the squid lab, as it is the biggest animal we have dissected within this course. There were many hard cuts that I had to be precise with, or else I would have messed up my entire dissection. I am proud to say I completed everything successfully, and in order to celebrate the class’s accomplishments, we made calamari with the squids that we dissected. After a long lab, eating calamari with the squid that we dissected was the perfect way to celebrate. As seen in the photo to the right, my final product can be seen, which I am very proud of.

Throughout the various animal labs, I faced physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. A physical challenge that I face in almost every dissection lab was my shaky hands. It was hard to make precise cuts when my hands were shaking. In order to overcome this challenge, I went slow and took my time. I eventually made those precise cuts, although I fell behind the class. I really wanted to make sure that all of my cuts were perfect, and by taking my time I did just that. An intellectual challenge I had was in the mussel dissection lab. I was confused as to where all of the body parts were. In order to overcome this challenge, I had to look at multiple diagrams and ask my partners for help. Eventually, I identified all of the parts, but it took me some time. An emotional challenge I had was during my worm lab. We got to play with the worms one day, and then the next day they were dead and we had to dissect them. It was hard for me to dissect them, as I was sad that they were dead. Emotionally it was hard to cut into them with a razor blade, as I had previously named them. I overcame this emotional roadblock by realizing that in order to get a good mark, I would need to dissect the worms. I also realized that they were already dead, so even if I were to dissect them, it wouldn’t matter, as they were already dead.

English 11 Poetry Reflection

My Poem: Ode to The Candle

This is a poem that I wrote about my favourite inanimate object, a candle.

Curricular Competencies Reflection

For my third poetry cluster, I decided to write about my favourite inanimate object, a candle. The main purpose I had in mind while writing this poem was to encapsulate the overall feeling that a candle gives me. I wanted to describe how a candle looks, including the shapes and sounds that it creates. My main intended audience was my teacher, as this poem was part of an assignment. When writing this poem, I kept in mind the criteria as that is what my teacher is going to be looking for. Although I intended for the targeted audience to be my teacher, this poem is personal to myself. Candles are everywhere around my room, they provide comfort for me. I can light them while doing homework, reading, or listening to music. There is always an appropriate time to light a candle. I find candles make me more productive, they are an object I use to find comfort. While planning out this poem, I knew I wanted to include a lot of different poetic devices to make it interesting and engaging. I developed a body of words that tell the story of a candle, from its initial lighting to the candle being put out. I tried to include words that are not entirely boring, and comparisons that are not bleak for the reader to read. I included a variety of figurative devices, as well as a variety of auditory devices. I used similes, personifications, oxymorons, metaphors, and hyperbole within my poem. I also used alliteration, consonance, and onomatopoeia within this poem. While trying to encapsulate the imagery of a candle, I used three senses: smell, sight, and sounds. I described how my favorite candle has hints of woodland within it. I described how a candle looks through the lights and shadows it casts, as well as the smoke it lets off. I demonstrated sounds through the whizzing of the wind that puts out a candle, and the sound of woodland that may arise after being transported there through the smell of a candle. In choosing a candle to be the subject for my third poetry cluster, I encapsulated the overall feeling that a candle gives me, as well as the overall look.

Creative Thinking Core Competency Reflection

Within my third poetry cluster, I was given the choice to write about a vegetable, fruit, or an inanimate object. I decided to choose the inanimate object, as I found that would be easier for me to write a poem about that topic. I chose the candle because I always have candles in my room, it is easy to say it is my favourite object. Candles are versatile, you can describe so many senses when looking at a candle. I wanted to be passionate about my given topic, writing about something you actually enjoy will make a better poem. I developed my original ideas by lighting a candle on my windowsill and observing it. In looking at a candle while writing a poem, it was easy to visualize and describe using poetic devices. This was also a strategy to stimulate my imagination. In having a candle right in front of me, I could touch it, smell it, view it, and listen to the sounds it gave off. In doing this, it really advanced and flowed my imagination to write a poem. The innovation within my poem is it tells the story of a candle. It shows the initial lighting, all the way up to the candle being put out. In doing this, I described all the senses using figurative devices. For my next poem, I could improve by giving myself more time to write it. I wrote this the night it was due, which is generally not the best of ideas. For my next poem, I will make sure to give myself ample to complete it. In giving myself more time, the quality of the poem will inevitably be better.

Fashion Industry 12 Core Competencies

Profile 6 – I can develop a body of creative work overtime in an area of interest or passion.

I have a strong commitment to a personal aesthetic and values, and the inner motivation to persevere over years if necessary, to develop my ideas. Fashion Industry 12 is a project-based learning class, I have created multiple pieces of work that all fit my own personal aesthetic and values. An example of this would be my fashion sketches. I have created over 15 fashion sketches for various projects. Each outfit I have drawn fits my personal aesthetic of style and values. I have discovered that I have a motivation for drawing, one that I can work on and persevere with over years, continuing to develop new fashion sketches and outfit ideas. I also style outfits using my own wardrobe, or other people’s wardrobes within this class. We have certain themes we have to stick to, but each outfit I add my personal aesthetic and flare.

An outfit that I styled that sticks to my personal identity and aesthetic

I can challenge assumptions as a matter of course and have deliberate strategies for netting new ideas intuitively. The main part of this fashion class is being creative and constantly coming up with new ideas. I personally struggle with coming up with new ideas and thinking creatively at times. To find my creativity, I have developed strategies to net new ideas intuitively. An example of one strategy I use is to listen to music while drawing. Listening to music and sketching new ideas is a perfect mix for me, it allows me to let loose and continue to be creative. During each project, I always have music going as it helps me think and work better.

Profile 5 – I can think “outside the box” to get innovative ideas and persevere to develop them.

I have interests and passions that I pursue over time. I look for new perspectives, new problems, or new approaches. You are given a lot of freedom over project choices in this fashion class. Having interests and passions that you integrate into these projects are a great way to give it a new flare, or a new perspective. To stand out in this class, you have to think creatively and give new approaches to projects; I do this by adding my own passions and personal flares to each project. An example of this would be when we got to choose a fashion icon to make a PowerPoint about. I chose David Bowie because I have an interest in his innovation in fashion, as well as his music. I took this opportunity to do a project that I immensely enjoyed, for I got to pick the topic that I was reporting on. I gave this project a little flare of my personality, which I believe helped me improve my mark, as I enjoyed it.

Photo of my title slide of my fashion icon project.

Natural Selection Critical Thinking Self-Assessment

Collecting and sorting red and black prey, while they are camouflaged in a red environment. An example of natural selection.

I demonstrated that I can collect and analyze evidence when I recorded my data for both labs. During the first lab pictured, I successfully went through the steps of the lab, executing them properly and efficiently. Afterward and during the lab, I collected all of the evidence I had found; an example is when I counted the amount of red prey vs black prey and compared them towards each other in each environment. A second example is when in the second lab, I analyzed all of my collected data and came to a conclusion. The conclusion was that the spoon-feeding tool was the best for gathering food in each environment.

I demonstrated I can collect evidence and connect big ideas when doing lab questions. After each lab, we were asked multiple questions regarding the data that we found. This is a perfect example of connecting evidence/data to big ideas. An example would be within the pictured lab; I connected my evidence/data and discovered that, over successive generations, there would be genetic changes based on the specific environment that the prey are in. In a red environment, as pictured above, over successive generations due to natural selection the black prey would slowly turn more into a red colour, as demonstrated the data recorded, the red survived/thrived more within this environment than the black.

I demonstrated that I can make predictions based on evidence during the second lab. Within this lab, we were each given different feeding tools, (spoon, fork, knife, chopsticks, broken fork, and handle,) and we had to pick up various food with them, to fill up a small-sized cup. During the lab, I recorded evidence and data to make and prove predictions. One of the predictions I made was that the spoon-feeding tool will become the most common in each environment. This is because of the data I found; in each of the four environments, the spoon filled up the cup in the fastest amount of time and was efficient doing so. Based on this evidence, I can confidently say that the spoon will be the “alpha utensil,” within each tested environment, with the other utensils either migrating, dying off, or struggling for survival due to starvation and competition with the spoon.

I demonstrated that I can come to reasonable conclusions when completing lab questions. During both of the labs, multiple conclusions were made based on the data and the process of doing the lab. An example of one of these conclusions is from the first lab; the ultimate conclusion was that when prey are camouflaged, they will survive compared to the prey that are not. An example of this conclusion is within the red environment pictured above; the data was a clear depiction of camouflage equalling survival. The data collected shows a significant number of red prey survived, and a significant number of black prey died. This reasonable conclusion uses both knowledges of natural selection, as well as using the data to its full advantage.