Hamiltalons big ideas

Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events

“Put a pencil to his temple connected it to his brain

and he wrote his first refrain a testament to his pain

Well, the word got around, they said, this kid is insane, man

took up a collection just to send him to the mainland”

This passage shows that once Alexander Hamilton put his mind into his writings, he spread his talent and knowledge to others around him, impressing them and supporting him to get an education in New York. His writings influenced society to change their way of thinking about statuses.

Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies

“The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter”

Because Alexander Hamilton had no wealth or power to acquire the materials he needed to meet his goals of having a successful future, he needed to beg, steal, borrow, or barter to get them. The relationships of others with Hamilton would differ as they discover the actions he needs to take for his benefits. And as they decide their own opinions about how they felt about him.

Collective identity is constructed and can change over time

“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”

Alexander Hamilton was born of a very low status but he rose up through his hard work and became one of America’s founding fathers. No one saw him as of any importance in the beginning but once he started writing and educating himself, he started to prove people that he can break the bounds of identity and change into something new over time.

The physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change

“In New York you can be a new man”

This line states that in order for Alexander Hamilton to move further with his dream of contributing to the American Revolution, he needs to travel to the mainland where he can get an education and help with the future of America. There’s nothing he can do if he stays planted in the Caribbean and if he wants opportunities to heighten his social and economic status, he needs to go a place that can provide the chances for him.

Independent Investigation

Inquiry Question: To what extent was the leadership of James Wolfe essential to the outcome of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham?


The year is 1759, and the seven-year war has already been ongoing for three years. On one September day, one of the most important battles that decided history for the French, Canadians, and the Europeans will take place on the Plains of Abraham.
In 1608, a French navigator, Samuel de Champlain sailed up the St. Lawrence River in search of more land and more wider trade. He then stumbled upon Canada which was already colonized by the Native Americans. He allied himself with the Wendat Confederacy and settled in a place that would come to be known as Quebec City in New France. Champlain colonized the area and soon grew into a whole colonization. Walls were built to protect the city, more and more people lived in it, and as time went on, the quarrel between the French and British grew and grew, resulting in the seven-year war in the future.

Later during the mid 18th century, why was the Battle of the Plains of Abraham so important, and how did James Wolfe contribute to it? The Battle of the Plains of Abraham was a pivotal point during the seven-years war. It decided the fate of New France and what Canada would eventually be in the future.

This is British General James Wolfe. He has led many attacks on the French, and his tasks were to convey Wolfe’s soldiers to a position from which they could attack the French, maintain a blockade of the St. Lawrence River to prevent supplies from reaching Quebec, and bombard Quebec with cannon fire to demoralize the French. Although sick with illnesses and diseases, he had his final mission to capture Quebec City. He and his army of 9,000 men were set to overtake Quebec City from the French. This was easier said than done, though. Quebec City was protected with plenty of French guards, a nine-meter high wall surrounding the city and cliffs on either side. He struggled to find an opening of attack but then he had an idea. General Wolfe discovered the cliffs were loosely guarded. If his army was able to get to the top, they would surprise the French and have a high chance of victory. There was no other way for an easier win. He also knew the St. Lawrence River would freeze up in the winter and he had to act soon. In the early morning of September 13, 1759, at 4:30 am, Wolfe and a portion of his men scaled the 53-meter cliff. It was a challenging task to do, but he also knew the consequences of asking his army to do it. Wolfe’s idea seemed crazy and reckless, but he had trust in his highly trained men and if they could do it, Quebec would fall and it would put an end to New France. Britain would gain a huge advantage against France and put them farther ahead. Alas, after a great night of climbing, Wolfe and 4,00 of his men made it to the top. They marched in rows that spanned the whole plain, the plains of Abraham.

Plains of Abraham, 120m
Plains of Abraham, 120m
Plains of Abraham, 40m
Plains of Abraham, 40m

Once the French noticed this, General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm hurriedly gathered 4,500 men to the Plains of Abraham. They charged at the British army and once they were about 120 meters from the enemy line, they began firing. Although there was open fire, General Wolfe ordered his men to stay still, watching as a few of their men fall to the ground. The French were too far away from the British line to do any harsh damage. Wolfe knew they wouldn’t be effective enough to harm his troops. However, once the French line was around 40 meters away, Wolfe gave the order to fire. With the enemies being much closer, there was much more damage done. The French and British armies traded bullets but with the British destroying the French lines, they started to retreat. During the battle, both generals were fatally wounded. Montcalm died the next day in Quebec City, but Wolfe’s last words were on the battlefield. He knew the French were retreating and that the British had won.

“Now, God be praised, I die contented.”

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham lasted less than 30 minutes but decided the fate of France, Canada, and Britain. The victors went to the British and they gained control of Quebec City after the French surrendered. New France crumbled and the British took over Canada. The leadership and guidance from James Wolfe were essential to the European’s win. He had the wits of climbing the cliff, something that the French never thought they would do, thus letting the British surprise them with an attack. Wolfe had the smarts of holding fire until the enemy was close and the strategy duration of the whole battle. His approach to staying still while the enemy was still far away proved his knowledge and experience of war, he knew what to sacrifice for the greater victory. His men had trust in his decisions and they put faith that he would lead them to victory. Overall, James Wolfe made critical decisions that won the battle. The outcome is fair from both sides. What won the battle was Wolfe’s decision-making skills and him being able to outsmart the French. If it was to the standards of our time now, it would still be fair. It depended on the general’s minds and Wolfe just happened to have a more “outside the box” plan. After the loss of the French, they lost power in Canada and Britain gained control. With the boost of Quebec being in the possession of Britain, the British cities in Canada (New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts)’s confidence also boosted leaving a subconscious want to be independent of Great Britain, indirectly leading to the American Revolution.








Textbook pg 63-67

Gr. 10 http://deon.talons43.ca/2018/04/03/document-of-learning-2-hark-its-james-wolfe/


In-Depth blog post Week 11

Over the course of the last blog post and spring break, I have been steadily working on my In-Depth. It was difficult for me to sculpt during the last few weeks before spring break because of my schedule being filled up with assignment and projects but during spring break, however, I brought my heavy bag of clay home and prepared to focus. The cons of being at home are that I feel more comfortable with my own house and I can just start and finish whenever I want, I don’t really have a time crunch like at school if I only have the 30-40 mins of lunchtime. At home, however, I don’t have the tools and materials that were provided from the ceramics room. I found myself using some broken mechanical pencils, toothpicks, and playing cards as tools. I improvised with what I had but the pieces still didn’t turn out as well as if I had the correct tools. The lines aren’t as crisp and the edges aren’t as smooth as I would like. However, I really like the overall structure of my sculptures and the proportions are realistic.

During the first week, I focused on sketching diagrams of possible sculptures I could do. I finished two medium sized pieces over the last week of spring break, one being a model of an eye, and the other being a sculpture of Rowlet the Pokemon.


rough eye
rough eye
front Rowlet
front Rowlet




roughly drawn diagrams of the two pieces
roughly drawn diagrams of the two pieces

I also practiced sculpting some other body features like mouths and other Pokemon but I felt like they were not good enough for keeping.

My mentorship has been going great. Mieko has provided me with a lot of sources and information, teaching me along the way as she demonstrates what to do and how to do it. As I work with her more, I got to learn more about her. I discovered that she has been working on a big costume project which included the work of fashion, feathers, and sewing. She needed to go out and photograph her costumes in the forest, creating really beautiful works of art. She always let me know about her life and never left me in the dark. As for different experiences she offers, she introduced me to many community art shows that allow me to have an opportunity to socialize and communicate with other artists. During spring break, I was able to go to the Evergreen Cultural center and see their exhibits, as well as some smaller shows I sometimes stumbled upon. I was able to take inspiration from many pieces and they helped me see art in a new way.

I will continue to sculpt more pieces and improve my skill. In the end, I will hopefully have many amazing sculptures to show-off.

17th century Letter

Dear Matthew Hopkins,

I am a 40 year old woman and I have been accused of witchcraft. I am not a witch. I am a British citizen who lives under the reign of the king and I am faithful to God. I would have no reason to consult with Satan or do any of his biddings. I may have a birthmark on my arm but that does not mean I am a witch. I was born with it and have no control over it. I was married to a young man and failed to make children. When he died, I lost all my income. Because I am a widow, it does not make me accusable of witchcraft. I am merely a peasant, withering under your sovereign. I’m begging you to please end the witch hunts. Witches are foolish fantasies and taking the lives of innocent women is not the answer to keeping our sacred religion safe. Many have been burned, drowned, tortured, and hung just because of false accusations. They have gone through hell, being prodded with needles, trying to find marks of the devil on their bodies that aren’t there. Being forced to admit lies.  This is unfair to every woman who has been killed. We are all innocent. I’m begging for this to end, I’ve wandered the streets of Britain and witnessed the cruelty of witch hunters, not even flinching when blood of the dead splatters on their pure white uniforms. Please stop witch hunts, save the innocent.

I am not afraid of speaking up. I do not fear death nor torture, but what frightens me to the bone is the thought of this never coming to an end. I already know what horrors lie before me. Women need to declare our own justice, and I’m starting with this letter.

-Innocent citizen of England


DOL- Wheel of Revolution


The Industrial Revolution and the Digital Revolution have a lot in common. They both include the evolution of new technology. During the Industrial Revolution, new machinery and factories were made to make jobs and agriculture easier. In the Digital Revolution, new technology and media are developed to help the modern person communicate, research, and live. New developments like iPhones, laptops, and monitors are now seen in most households. In the past, the invention of steam engines helped power steamboats, trains, and factories. The spinning jenny was made to help workers spin yarn or thread into cloth, and the telegraph made communicating across long distances easier. These inventions were the grandfathers to Digital Revolution technology. Olden trains were upgraded to Skytrains and the telegraph helped spark the invention of cell phones. Steve Jobs then introduced the iPhone, a device that changed the world. More and more technology is being invented and our world is becoming digitalized. The Digital Revolution and the Industrial Revolution all changed people’s lifestyles with technology.

At first, all the new technology and factories polluted living conditions and people were not happy about it. Children were forced to do dangerous jobs and most workers worked long hours but were paid with low wages. People were replaced with machines and many lost their jobs. The public demanded education, labor rights, and political rights including the right to vote. Eventually, the government responded to the public’s complaints and instituted labor reforms and urbanized cities that were overpopulated. In the end, the Industrial Revolution ended with democracy and justice. The consequences led to better living conditions and the government became society aquatinted. People had more power with the rules and the machinery made working easier.


In Depth blog post Week sept (7)

Its been seven weeks of In-Depth and I would say I’m learning at a good pace. My mentor is busy and we’re not meeting as frequently as I would like but over the past two weeks, we facetimed and she taught me some skills via video chat, more specifically pinch pots and how to sculpt a nose since I wanted to learn more on sculpting realistic faces.

un nez
un nez
my mascot
my mascot

Over the weekends or during lunch times, I would like to facetime with Mieko and have her guide me while I have all the materials in one room. Her graduation school applications are due soon and I understand she is occupied with that. During spring break, we will both have more time and we will schedule meetings more often.

On many school days, I would go to the ceramics room at lunch and sculpt. I use the bag of clay I bought from the art teacher and I would work for the 45 mins I have. While I do accomplish and finish some projects, most of them are not good enough for me to decide to keep so I usually squish them and restart. As I keep developing my skills, I’m hoping to be able to keep more of the projects I make. On the weekends, I bring some clay home to work. That way I’m not always confined to the 45 mins I have during lunch and I’ll have more time to sculpt.

On the last In-Depth blog post, I touched on my updated goals but there are some more I want to add in order to keep me on track.

  • Learn to sculpt parts of a realistic face (head shape, eyes, mouth, nose) by spring break
  • Combine all the face parts to make one realistic human head. Work on during spring break (challenge: sculpt a familiar celebrity or person)
  • Learn to sculpt parts of an animal (depends on which animal but paws, tails, snouts)
  • Sculpt an animal (species yet to be chosen). Work on during spring break

Spring break is coming up fast and I want to use that time to focus on sculpting. I won’t have access to the school’s kiln so I’m planning on finding a public art location where I can use their kiln to fire my projects. Upon researching clay, I discovered a brand/type of Japanese clay that can be fired in a regular oven. I was really excited when I found this and I also found some YouTube videos that showed them working with it. I plan on getting some to experiment with and if I can successfully sculpt with it, it will definitely make acquiring materials a lot easier.

My mentor also introduced me to some art shows in Vancouver and recommended me to visit some art galleries. I haven’t had the time to go yet but I am looking into the dates and schedule of some upcoming shows that I can go to. Getting some tickets to the Vancouver art gallery wouldn’t be so bad either.

Significant Personal Object blog post

What is the story of Dough, the red Ox made of dough?

Dough with a broken horn and ear
Dough with a broken horn and ear

My significant object is an Ox made from dough. He was made from leftovers for a restaurant dish. A few years back in 2009 (year of the Ox), I visited China with my mom to see my dad and relatives. It was rare for me to visit but the during few times I got to go back, we would always go to a restaurant. While waiting for our dishes to come, there was a table where workers were making little dough sculptures. I was fascinated and went over to look, with my dad following behind me. I watched the dough as it was turned into different animals through the hands of the skilled workers. After watching an Ox get made, the worker handed it to me. I was surprised since I didn’t expect them to give me one but I gladly took it and brought it home. When I got back to Canada, I put him on my shelf as a reminder and souvenir of my trip.

Dough is a primary source since I was there in person when he was made, my eyes watching the hands of the worker that crafted him. He was made by one of the workers at the restaurant I was at. Dough was made in 2009 in Shenzhen, China at a restaurant.

While Dough was being made, I was making memories with my family and relatives. My dad lives in China so I got to see him in person only once for a very long time, and I always cherished those moments with him. My uncle invited my family and I to eat at a restaurant while we had to chance to dine together. Every time I visited, I had the most fun of my childhood life so when Dough was made, it was a souvenir. If I lived in China at the time and eating at the restaurant was just an everyday thing, Dough would not be as important as he is. The memories are what makes him significant to me.

Other than holding my memories, I find sculpting incredibly magical. Seeing the worker mold a lump of dough into different objects was like a magician casting a magic trick. This is probably one of the objects that made me choose sculpting as my ZIP project.

Some inferences I can make about the creator/worker is that she had to learn to sculpt, to cook, and to work at a restaurant. She might have started sculpting with clay but had to work with dough. She was skilled in making the Ox so I can guess she was very talented at sculpting prior to working at the restaurant. She could have belonged to artistic groups or in cooking groups working at other restaurants. The audience was children at the restaurant who liked food and enjoyed watching dough being sculpted. They were to entertain little kids while they wait for their food. I can guess that the worker wanted little kids to be happy and so she gave the dough creations to them. This could’ve influenced her to work quickly but skillfully in order for the kids to not lose interest.

Some things I can learn from Dough is the worker was very skilled and talented at sculpting, the restaurant I was at was unique since it offered something like this, and that the restaurant is very smart on what they should use their leftover dough on. I also know they like to entertain people and make children happy. This does answer some question to the inquiry question but not the whole story. Dough confirms and extends my understanding of the object by examining the physical material he’s made of and the skill it took to make him. It also tells me that since 2009 was the year of the Ox, it made sense to make an ox. Some questions I have are how much dough did they use to make him? How long did it take to make him? How much practice was needed to perfect an ox?

Historical Thinking blog post

I think the most important question to focus on during our socials unit is “How can history help us to live in the present?”  It targets the past and the present which I think is the most important compared to the other questions. The events and actions from history can give the future informed judgments on what actions to take. We can use history to live a better future. If issues from the past happen in the present or future, we can look back to solve these reoccurring problems. With the new knowledge of the present and the historical evidence of the past, our future can expand in success. For example, there were many diseases and sicknesses in history where people thought nothing could cure them. The Black Plague was extremely deadly and nobody knew where it came from or how to prevent it. Eventually, people found out it came from rats and fleas from overseas and found a way to protect themselves. Staying away from the infected trade route places lead to a breakthrough. Today, if a plague were to spread again, we would have the present knowledge and research of antibiotics and the past knowledge of what actions to take. Humanity needs history to help live in the present and future.

In-Depth blog post Week 5

During the past two weeks, I asked the school art teacher for sculpting materials and she kindly sold me a bag of clay and allowed me to freely use the ceramics room. Now that I have secured my clay materials, I can get to work on my main clay sculpture(s). After meeting with my mentor several times, I have decided to change my objectives and goals to accommodate my mentor’s abilities and to work outside of regular ceramic making.

Updated goals:

  • Work on one sculpted CLAY sculpture for one month using materials from ceramics room
  • Work on one METAL/FABRIC sculpture
  • Work on one MULTIMEDIA sculpture for one month

Mentor- Mieko Graham

Currently, my mentor and I are meeting on Monday after school at the library every 2 weeks, and sometimes Friday after school. The last few meetings were around 30 mins where my mentor gave me information on the different types of sculpting and some books for me to read and study. Now that I have clay, access to a kiln, and can freely use the ceramics room, I have a location to sculpt in. For one month, I will be working on a clay sculpture. I will mostly be working during lunch times and Facetiming my mentor while at school. That way, she can help me while not needing to physically be with me. She can still give me directions and feedback while I sculpt.

What learning challenges emerged?

Sculpting is a very broad topic of study and five months isn’t enough time to cover all the materials included, all the styles, types, and knowledge. While I picked clay sculpting at the beginning, I became more interested in multimedia sculpting. I can only create few final artifacts in the time given. During the planning of clay sculptures, the sculptor needs to plan, sculpt the project, wait for it to dry, fire it, then glaze/paint the sculpture. The process can take up to months to do but I only have five. During In-Depth, I would like to squeeze in more projects that are not clay based. Other media sculptures can take just as long or even longer. To overcome this challenge, I plan to set weekly/monthly goals to keep myself on track. I also need to make more time for In-Depth in order to complete what I want to complete.

What logical challenges affected your communication?

              My schedule is quite packed and the time that is most convenient for me to work is during lunch at school. The problem with that is my mentor can’t physically be with me and I only have around 40 mins to work. It will take me much longer than I want but I will have all the materials and tools around me in the ceramics room. I’m planning to FaceTime my mentor at lunch while I work but it will be harder and more challenging if I’m getting her feedback from a video call. When my schedule is less tight and when the project is less fragile, I can work someplace where my mentor will be with me.

What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

In the library where we meet, we only have a limited meeting time and we are in an environment where there are other people around and is a generally quiet place. I cannot bring my slab of clay into the library and she cannot go to Gleneagle during lunch times to work with me. While we are getting more comfortable with each other, we are still strangers and we still need time until we can interact effectively. The more we work with each other, the more comfortable we will get.

In-Depth blog post Week 3

When I met with my mentor, she told me there were many forms of sculpting. I discovered I was more interested in additive (adding sculpting materials, clay etc, together and sculpting it to make an object), figurative (sculpted objects based of a real object, opposite of abstract), and assemblage (assembling already found objects with other found objects or making other objects). These are the ones I will mainly focus on for my project. I also discovered I was interested in working with multi-media which my mentor specialized in. Multi-media including clay, metal, fabrics, wood, soap carving, etc. With my interests and my mentor’s experience, I will most likely be working with metal, fabrics, and combining clay to make separate media sculptures and adding them together to make multimedia sculptures. I will still mainly be focusing on clay for the beginning but will branch off into other media as I get more comfortable with sculpting.

During lunch, I went to the ceramics room and asked if I could use the clay and their various tools. The teacher said I had to be enrolled in a ceramics class for the semester, but she thought about it and was willing to sell me all the materials I needed for a price.

Right now, I am working on my sculpting skills with the notes from my mentor and waiting to buy the materials. I am also researching more on the history of sculpting with the books Mieko provided for me and practicing as much as I can before we meet again. Since I will be mostly working on my projects in the ceramics room at lunch, Mieko suggested we could Facetime or video call during lunch so we would work together, even if not physically meeting. I am continuing to learn and hoping to gain more skill during this week.