Monday, April 10, 2017

National History Day Reflection

     Our project was about the Gunpowder Plot and we talked about the main people involved, the actual plan to blow up the British Parliament in 1605. We also talked about the impact of the plot and what it contributes to modern day society. We chose a website to convey this information, because we thought that it would be the most expressive way to show what we learned, and because we had multiple topics that we felt all needed to be tied into one category.
     I agree with what the judges said about our project. They said that we used lots of good primary sources, which is something we definitely agree with. We tried really hard to incorporate good primary sources that complimented our facts and what we were telling, because we had to shorten some paragraphs up and figured that that was the best way to tell the rest of the story. They also said that we told history like a story, and that's how it should be told. I agree with that, I think we did a good job of doing that. I feel like we had a really well thought out project. We redid our website many times and made several edits to our paragraphs and I think that each thing got better every time.
     The most interesting about our research in my opinion was learning about the Monteagle Letter. It was really important to the plot, but really wasn't that big of a deal. It's hard to explain. The letter uncovered the plot, but it was definitely possible that something else could have happened and the plot could've been uncovered. This makes the letter unique, and probably one of the most important variables of the plot that really could've gone either way, whether it be the interpretation of the letter as a joke, or the letter not being sent at all.
     The hardest part of this project for me was definitely finding jobs for everyone to do. Most of us really didn't want to do the job we were assigned to, but had to do them anyways because they were important to our project and had to get done. Some things were researched but not necessary to our project, which kind of just felt like a waste of time. Once we had decided who was doing what, most things went smoothly except for a few debates over what should happen where.
     As a student, I know that I will never forget this project. It is probably the most pressured and most important project I've ever done, and to do well on it means the world to me. Lots of stress has been had over this project, but that's alright because I feel like that just teaches me how to manage my time more wisely and get a grip on what's really going on for future projects. I think for sure that this project taught me how to make incredible projects, and I think that's a skill that will always be handy, for school or work in the future.
     I really think we could improve our project by using more quotes and more dialogue, maybe more things that were supposed to happen but didn't fall through. Using quotes really makes a difference to me, because a quote can pretty much reveal all that a person has to offer. I think that knowing each conspirator on a level such as that one could for sure make a difference in how attached a judge or viewer feels to our website, which could make or break the next level of competition. I also feel that we could've maybe tried to explain our primary sources a bit better in our paragraphs just a bit better, but that's also what the interview is for, so I'm not too sure. That is a change I'd like to make if we had more words.
     I am definitely most proud of our finished product. Each and everything we created seemed rocky, like it would either roll downhill or stay firm. I just really wasn't sure. When we finished, it looked like everything just clicked and decided to work together to create in what my opinion is just a really solid website. It also makes me really proud that my search bar made the final cut, I feel that was a great innovation of our website and really made it shine. I'm half kidding about the search bar, but I really am proud of our teamwork even if it seemed like we were at each other's throats most of the time. I feel like that might've made us even a little closer, because none of us hate each other. Of course, I'm extremely proud that the judges decided that our website would be going through to State, and I hope that it can keep going and maybe even make it to Nationals.

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