In Depth Blog Post #6


My In Depth project is on creative writing, and includes story arcing, character planning, and chapter writing for a book I want to publish for my first book series of my author career. My mentor teachers in a hands-free, autonomous learner way, so not many face-to-face meeting are required. We also email each other on check ins and updates.

Important Days of Note:

Monday, February 19: Acquired a mentor and planned for a meeting

Wednesday, February 21: Rescheduled the meeting

Monday, February 26: A full mentor meeting. Packages were given to me, and a completion due date was set for the character sheets/planning for after spring break

Tuesday, April 10: Meeting with mentor during CL, new plan to complete story arc for book by Thursday. Next scheduled Meeting: Thursday CL

Thursday, April 12: Big Meeting. Mentor checked over story arc, and explained the steps for ideas, suggestions, and what comes next. New plan: complete first chapter of story (6-8 pages) using character sheets and story arc, and email it to mentor soon (estimate: end of April/First Week of May) for meeting, check-in, and editing.

*Work, reading, writing, and research was done autonomously between meetings. Spring Break/March was used to practice writing with different character personalities.

So far I have completed the character sheets, the story arc/narrative, and have small pieces of a 1,500 word short story contest copy for a piece of the book. My next task will be completing the first chapter (6-8 pages) and sending it and meeting with my mentor for editing by the end of April/Early May. After that, I will write the next chapter, and continue the process until either my mentor has a new suggestion or the end of In Depth.

For In Depth Night, I am doing a performance on stage, as my project is about writing, so naturally I have too much text for a learning centre, and it is not the most effective way to share my new writing knowledge. I plan to go on stage, introduce my project {what I planned, what I accomplished, my mentor [and how awesome they are], and the process I went through}, read a piece of my writing {depending on what chapter, I might add a plot summary up to that point}, and a conclusion on my learning. This performance will push me out of my comfort zone immensely, as not only am I presenting in front of a large audience, I am also sharing my writing with that audience. I am very insecure about sharing my writing face-to-face, but I will do my best to remain calm and deliver an ‘author’s book sharing’-like performance.

Hamilton #1 – “Alexander Hamilton (1)” Big Ideas

-> Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.

  • “Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of/The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter.”
  • The 13 Colonies (and Hamilton) wanted to be self-sustainable, to govern themselves, to have control of their future/freedom/rights, to be more than what they are assigned to be people of higher social class. They all felt there was something more in them, and something more in the 13 colonies. It wasn’t just another British colony. They weren’t just another member of the low class. They had the power to shape their own destiny. This ideology was stem of the revolution, and was a revolutionary idea at the time.

-> Disparities in power alter the balance of relationship between individuals and between societies.

  • “Another immigrant comin’ up from the bottom.” “In New York you can be a new man.”
  • Low class citizens of the 13 colonies began to realize that they could be more than low class. In fact, the class system didn’t matter; the revolutionary idea of skill over family decided class and ability began to spread, and people who previously thought to be inconsequential moved to the 13 colonies and New York to control their future, and united to rebel against the British (their society/the people with power and control)

-> 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 but providence impoverished, In squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar.”
  • Hamilton, like many 13 colony citizens, realized his identity as a low class nobody could be changed. The 13 colonies decided it was better for them to be independent from Britain, after centuries of dedicated loyalty. They began to see themselves as ‘Americans’, and not ‘British’.

-> The Physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.

  • “In New York you can be a new man.”
  • Hamilton realized that he could decide his own future, but he couldn’t achieve his dreams and wants of having an impact on the world in a forgotten spot in the Caribbean. He, like many others, immigrated to New York, in the 13 colonies, where revolutionary new ideas were being formed. The 13 colonies, separated from their controlling mother country Britain by an ocean, started changing and developing their own identities and freedoms.

I made a little mistake by looking at the Yellow sheet and thinking the ‘Big Ideas’ were the three topics (Character Development, Connections to Historical Elements, Thematic and Personal Connections). I started and completed the first topic before realizing the others were impossible to answer in the same way we had discussed it in class, and I finally realized my mistake. I didn’t want to waste the work, however, so I posted it here:

A: Character Development

  • Context: “Alexander Hamilton” is the opening song of the musical, and explains Hamilton’s past from ‘birth’ until 1776 (Arron Burr, Sir). It includes Hamilton’s past, how he got to New York (The ship is in the harbour now, See if you can spot him), and shows his character traits.
  • Character Development: The main character in the song is Hamilton, as the song is called “Alexander Hamilton”, and is about Hamilton’s past. Lines like, ‘Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of/The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter’ and ‘There’s a million things I haven’t done/But just you wait’ show Hamilton’s wants to have a big, positive impact on the world. This will lead him to join the revolution. He doesn’t want to be Alexander, the ‘bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean’, he wants to ‘be a new man’ in New York, to be a ‘hero and a scholar’. Hamilton fears not reaching that goal, but he doesn’t let anything stop him; he keeps fighting through sickness, poverty, and storms.

Independence Investigation #1: Canada 1605 – 1763


New France was established by the French by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, and was taken over by the British in 1659 after the Seven Years War. My inquiry question is ‘What was life like in New France under the French rule compared to the British rule after the Seven Years War?’ I used 6 different sources, all secondary, to synthesis what life in New France was like, specifically what they had on entertainment, socialization, and economy, and compared it to the British rule. I wanted to see what the culture of New France and the French-Canadians of the past was and compare it to the British rule and even modern day culture.

It is important to understand how the lifestyle of New France citizens was because they are some of the original French-Canadians, and their culture influenced the customs, economy, and growth of Quebec and Canada. New France was one of the most famous and important French colony in Canada, and it influenced the entire province of Quebec’s language, culture, and expansion.


Flag of New France

As you can see by the mind map and notes, there was a lot to do in New France under French rule. Just like us, they enjoyed reading, performances, and art for entertainment, and traveled to see, share meals with, and play with their friends. They knitted, sewed, and played cards. In addition, fashion, specifically using furs, became very popular. The marketplace and it’s furs and fashion caused the peak in French Musketeer popularity.


French Musketeer

New France did not have modern technology like screens, cars, or modern telephones, so they rode in horse-drawn carriages and visited taverns and inns to socialize. Samuel de Champlain created a social club called the ‘Order of Good Cheer’ in Port Royal where the citizens would take turns hosting the meals, and they had friendly competitions over who could make the best meal. However, life in New France wasn’t perfect. Winter was long and harsh, there were many hardships that came with having a slow-starting independent economy, and most citizens lived a ‘peasant’s life’ before the economy rose.


Seasons Scedule of New France

The citizens of New France prioritized fur-trade and farming, as those were their biggest source for economy along with fishing, hunting, and trading at the marketplace. The boost of economy helped keep their other priority, the Catholic Church, in a position of power and public service. However, the Feudal system, the state of land government that France used, was changed in New France to the Seigneury System, where Seigneurs took the place of lords of feudal manors. This gave the people of New France a sort of ‘independence’ mindset, but they remained loyal to France and the king.


Farming in New France

When the British first took over, there was a lot of initial changes. First, the British prioritized farming over the fur-trade. Second, after the passing of the ‘Royal Proclamation’ in 1763, all citizens of New France were forced to learn/speak English, which they did not know, and they were denied freedom of laws and religion. The British were Puritans, and did not allow the Catholic French to uphold their religion. Religious tolerance was not common at the time, and the Puritans considered Catholicism to be the ‘un-normality’. In addition, the British disrespected the First Nations, and banned the interaction of First Nation cultures such as the ‘exchange of gifts’ with the French. The British thought they were better than the First Nations, and it took decades, even centuries for realationships to smooth over and be fixed.

The British realized that the French would not except British laws, customs, and rule, and decided to pass the ‘Quebec Act’ in 1774, granting the citizens of New France the freedom of their french law, language, religion, and culture. In order to keep the peace, a priority after the huge price of the war, Britain was open to extend and oppose their own beliefs on what was ‘normal’, and accepted what was ‘unnatural’.


The British take over New France

In conclusion, not much changed during the British rule compared to the French rule. The citizens of New France lost many of their rights and customs for 11 years, but received it all back after the Quebec Act. In addition, the citizens of New France had many ways of dealing with harsh, long winters and other normal seasons, and had a variety of entertainment, socialization, and economic culture (see mind map and notes).



  1. Crossroads: A Meeting of Nations (second edition) Socials 9 Textbook

Grade 10 Individual Investigation consulted:

In Depth Blog Post #5

What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
My mentor is a very experienced mentor and creative writing teacher. He gives students like me the information and some packages they can do, but he mostly just tries to nudge students on the path they want to learn. He has a very ‘hands-off’ approach that gives students the tools they need, such as packages
or a link to a video, to do some autonomous learning while still keeping the mentorship role

What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
The packages my mentor gave me and the information they contained was extremely interesting, talking about the ‘hero’s journey’ story arc and characterization. There was a link to a video if you wanted to find out more. That link was a reinforcer of new learning because the package peaked your interest, and the video explained deeper afterward.

What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
My mentor gets straight to the point, in a good way, and has a very deep understanding of writing and creative writing. He can share that learning in a laconic way that students get a deep understand quickly.

When you get together what do you talk about?
We get straight to the point, and talk about creative writing. My mentor explains parts of writing I never knew about because I told him my experience, and he responded by showing me different worksheets and packages he made and videos he found. Together we found what I want out of In-Depth, and he gave me the information I needed and wanted.
What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
My mentor has experience in being a mentor/creative writing teacher, and he knows how to teach while still giving the student all the choice and autonomy. He is very understanding, gentle, and knowledge, and he shares that information in an easy-to-understand way.

What are you learning about one another?
My mentor is a creative writing teacher at our school, and he was experienced In-Depth before because one of his sons was in the TALONs program. He was a laconic and easy way of speaking that you can understand all the information he teaches even when he’s talking about deep and complex things. He also prefers to let students choose what they want and what they are passionate in learning about, even outside In-Depth.
I have read the packages my mentor sent me at the end of our meeting, watched multiple videos from the package he sent me, and am scheduling our next meeting.

For those with an interest in writing, here is one of the videos I watched! It is called, “What Makes a Hero”, and is a TED Talk video.

I recommend watching the other TED Talk videos recommended about writing in the ‘play next’ section.