In-depth night!

Welcome to Emma’s In-depth night blog post!

Hello! My name is Emma, and I chose to learn American Sign Language for my In-depth this year. I feel that communication is a large part of my day-to-day life. I found it so incredible that people who cannot speak have such an amazing way to communicate, and I knew I had to take this opportunity to learn ASL! 

I have spent the last few months learning ASL with my mentor Sandra. The following video shows a few of the signs I have learned and outlines some very basic ASL grammar used when asking questions:  

Emma’s ASL In-depth video   


When watching the “How to sign questions section of the video, you might notice that for certain questions my eyebrows are raised, and for others, my eyebrows are lowered. This is very important for asking questions in ASL. When you are signing yes or no questions, you should raise your eyebrows, and when signing wh- questions (who, what, where, when, why), you should lower your eyebrows. These facial expressions clarify what type of question you are asking.  


If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment on this post and I will respond as quickly as possible!


Thank you, Sandra, for teaching me ASL over the last five months! You taught me so much, even though half the time we couldn’t meet in person due to the pandemic. I could never have learned this much without you! 

And thank you for visiting my blog for In-depth night!  

In-depth blog post #6

Since my last blog post, I have been meeting with Sandra, my mentor, regularly, using Zoom, and I have been learning more signs and ASL grammar. I have learned a few more activity signs by watching these videos recommended by Sandra:  

ASL That 

ASL That 

ASL That 

I have also learned how to express my opinion about certain activities by watching this video, also recommended by Sandra:  

ASL That

In one of our meetings, Sandra taught me how to sign different chores and errands. I struggled a bit with remembering to use facial expressions and grammar, such as raising my eyebrows when signing the subject of the sentence and lowering my eyebrows when asking questions. I also learned how to ask questions about days of the week and activities, such as “what are you doing tomorrow”, and how to respond with proper grammar. The sentence structure for English and ASL is very different; in English you might say “I am going grocery shopping tomorrow”, but in ASL you would sign “tomorrow I am going to shop food at food store”. When asking “what are you doing tomorrow?” in English, you would sign “tomorrow you do what?” in ASL. When asking “do you vacuum every day?” in English, you would sign “you floor vacuum every day?” in ASL. They are small changes sometimes, yet they make a large difference in what you are signing.  

I have also been practicing recognizing signs and signing more quickly, something I still need a lot of practice with. I have been using ‘THE ASL APP’ to practice signing numbers and ages, and I have been going through some of the old worksheet Sandra gave me to review some of the concepts.  


Here is a video where I show how to sing ages up to ten years old:  

ages in ASL video


How will I present on In-depth night?  

On In-depth night, I plan on showing several videos in which I sign various topics. For example, I will have an activity video, where I will sign certain activities, and I will also have an ‘about me’ video, where I will sing a bit about myself in ASL. I will also explain how to use some basic ASL grammar while signing, which you will be able to see in the video as well as by reading some information in the blog post. I hope that everyone will be able to learn a bit of ASL by watching some of the videos and enjoy learning a bit about ASL grammar!  


It has been really strange learning ASL through Zoom with Sandra, but not strange in a bad way. It was weird at first, not being able to see Sandra in person, but we adapted well, and I feel that I have learned so much in these few months. I will keep learning all the way up to In-depth night with Sandra, and maybe even after on my own. There are so many videos out there where you can learn ASL! Using the videos Sandra has recommended (ASL That videos are really good for learning signs) I hope to continue studying ASL 

Ecological footprint assignment


Calculation of my footprint:  

The first step for reducing my ecological footprint was figuring out what I my footprint was in the first place.  

Using the Ecological Footprint Calculator, I calculated that I have a footprint of 8.75 hectares. Here are the results of the Ecological Footprint Calculator:  


Comparison of my footprint to others:  

According to “Size Matters”, an article by Hugh Mackenzie, Hans Messinger and Rick Smith from 2008, the ecological footprint per capita in Canada is 7.6 hectares. According to that article, my footprint would be pretty high. I asked a few of the other TALONS what their footprint was, and here are a few of the answers I got 

  • 8.08 hectares  
  • 8.43 hectares  
  • 6.95 hectares 
  • 7.5 hectares  
  • 7.11 hectares  
  • 8.10 hectares  
  • 9.05 hectares 
  • 9.35 hectares  

So, I found that my ecological footprint of 8.75 is high compared to both the article and the other TALONS, although it is not that much higher. I definitely had a lot of work to do to reduce my footprint!  


Ten actions that increase my footprint:  

There were several factors that made my footprint so large, and there were several steps I could have taken to reduce that footprint. Here is a list of ten actions I could have taken to reduce my ecological footprint:  

  1. Take shorter showers (3-6 minutes instead of 10+ minutes) 
  2. Buy clothes second-hand or from a friend.
  3. Wash my clothes in cold water.
  4. Try to create less garbage each day (make it all fit in a cup)  
  5. Try to walk where I am going more often than driving when possible.  
  6. Spend less than an hour on a computer or watching TV each day.  
  7. Grow some of my own food.  
  8. Only buy food that was grown in BC 
  9. Not eat any meat products (meat, eggs, fish) one day each week.  
  10. Use a water saving device in my toilet tank.  


Five actions I will take to reduce my footprint:  

After identifying some of the actions I could take, I selected five steps that would be manageable to complete during the pandemic. This chart shows what the actions is, and why I chose that action:  

Take shorter showers (3-6 minutes).   Taking shorter showers is something that is easy do, and the pandemic does not affect it, which means I am able to work on it while staying in my house for the majority of the day. It is also an effective way to reduce the amount of water I use, since I shower daily.  
Wash my clothes in cold water.   Washing my clothes is an activity that uses up a ton of energy each week. An article from Treehugger says that 90 percent of energy used in washing your clothes is used when heating the water. By washing my clothes in warm water, I will be saving a lot of energy as well as helping out the environment.  
Not eat any meat products (meat, fish, eggs) one day a week.  While stuck in my house for so much time, I found that I was eating more and more food out of boredom (which is not good), but I thought that I could make a small adjustment to my diet one day a week for the environment. Since there are still a ton of meals you can make without meat, fish or eggs, it would not be too complicated to complete this action, yet I would still be reducing my impact.  
Try to create less garbage each day (make it all fit in a cup).  During the pandemic I am staying at home for so long that I feared I would start to create even more garbage than usual. By keeping track of the amount of garbage I am producing, I would be more aware of my impact and would work harder to reduce it.  
Try to walk where I am going more often than driving when possible.  During the pandemic, I am spending more time inside than usual, and I hoped that by trying to walk places instead of driving I would be able to spend more time outside, while simultaneously reducing my ecological footprint. Although I am not leaving my house as much as usual these days, when I do leave I typically stay close to my home, and that is why I thought that walking would be a manageable way to reduce my impact.  


How I will change these actions to reduce my footprint:   

After having chosen the actions I would take to reduce my ecological footprint, I had to figure out how I would change these actions. This chart shows how I am going to change the actions: 

Take shorter showers (3-6 minutes).   I am going to set a timer for five minutes before showing so that I can keep track of if I am actually taking showers that are less than six minutes.  
Wash my clothes in cold water.   I will wash all my clothes in cold water, and this will reduce my ecological footprint and reduce the amount of energy used each time I do the laundry.  
Not eat any meat products (meat, fish, eggs) one day a week.  Each week, I will choose one day where I will not eat any meat. This will reduce the amount of meat my family will buy, even if the quantity of meat bought is only a little bit smaller.  
Try to create less garbage each day (make it all fit in a cup).  Each day, I will keep all the garbage I produce, and at the end of the day I will place it into a cup to make sure that I am not making too much garbage and to be more aware of the amount of garbage I use.  
Try to walk where I am going more often than driving when possible.  Whenever I am planning on leaving my house, I will think about if I am able to walk to where I am going instead of driving, or if it is possible to walk part way.  




Changes that were easy and why:  

The easiest change to make was washing my clothes in cold water, since I, personally, did not have to change much for that action. I also found it easy to take shorter showers because I was able to track it and make sure I was showering for less than six minutes. Creating less garbage than usual was another action that was fairly simple and easy. Each day I just made sure to produce less garbage, which was not too challenging.  


Changes that were difficult and why:  

Two of action that I found more challenging were trying to walk instead of driving and not eating meat, fish and eggs one day a week. I had to keep reminding myself to walk instead of drive, and sometimes I had to drive because I did not have enough time to walk. It turns out that making even such a small change in my diet is challenging, as I had to find new meals to make that did not include meat, fish or eggs. I did not realize how often I eat eggs on a daily basis, and I was reminded how much I love eating fish! It was difficult to go without those two food items for even one day.  


What were some of the obstacles I encountered? 

Take shorter showers (3-6 minutes).   There were not too many obstacles here. I did realize, however, how much I love taking long, relaxing showers, but I was able to reduce the time I took while showering by using a timer, which put some pressure on me to not shower for more than six minutes.  
Wash my clothes in cold water.   Again, this was not very challenging to do as I did not have to change anything in my daily routine.   
Not eat any meat products (meat, fish, eggs) one day a week.  One obstacle I encountered was planning out meals that avoided meat, fish and eggs. This was more difficult than I thought it would be. I also found that I really missed not eating eggs, which is probably one of my favorite foods.  
Try to create less garbage each day (make it all fit in a cup).  This was not too challenging, but I did find that I sometimes forgot I was keeping track of how much garbage I produced and would throw away some garbage without keeping track of it.  
Try to walk where I am going more often than driving when possible.  One obstacle I encountered here was that I often did not have enough time to walk wherever I was going, so I had to drive. But, when I did have time, I liked walking since it was a way to get outside, something I am missing during this pandemic.   

Steps to take in the future:  

In the future, I plan on getting a water saving device for the toilets in my house, but it might be a while before I will be able to do this since I am currently trying to avoid busy stores. I will continue to try to walk places instead of driving when I have time, since this was a nice way to get outside and reduce my footprint. I will also continue to reduce the amount of garbage I produce by keeping track of all the garbage I make in a day. I will keep trying to take shorter showers and will keep washing my clothes in cold water. Since spring is coming, I plan on growing some of my own food in our garden, and I will try to buy food locally.  

I feel that I am now much more aware of how I am impacting the environment, and I hope to keep working towards reducing my ecological footprint!  


Here are two websites I used for a bit of research during the planning phase: 



Emma’s In-depth blog post #5

I have met with my mentor, Sandra, twice now using Zoom, since we are not able to meet in person. I have had to adjust my project slightly, but since I am still able to meet with my mentor online to learn ASL, I can continue learning from Sandra. There have still been certain aspects of my project that have had to change. Luckily, there are several videos and sources online that I can refer to that teach ASL signs and grammar. Before each meeting, Sandra sends me a few online resources that I can watch or read that give an overview of what we are going to learn in the following meeting. Meeting using Zoom online is very useful, as Sandra and I are still able to communicate and there is a ‘chat’ function where we can type to communicate as well.

In the past few weeks, I have learned quite a bit. We spent time reviewing some of the signs I have learned, and then Sandra taught me family signs. She showed me how to sign all the family signs, as well as how to explain the ‘ranking’ of siblings (who is oldest, youngest, genders, etc.). I am super grateful that Sandra is still willing to meet with me and teach me American Sign Language!


Here is a video about me in ASL


  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does my mentor provide to expose me to new learning?

Since Sandra teaches ASL as her job, she has access to worksheets that help show the signs I am learning and explain the facial expression and grammar that must be used when signing certain phrases. Since she is no longer able to give me these worksheets in person, Sandra emails me the PDFs of the worksheets before each meeting, and I print them so that I am able to refer to them during the meetings. She also knows of some very helpful videos and online recourses that help learn ASL signs.


  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

One of the learning opportunities that exists to reinforce new learning are YouTube videos and other online recourses. Before meetings, Sandra will send me videos teaching what we are going to learn the next meeting, which means we can go more in-depth into the learning each week since I already had a brief overview of some of the signs and grammar. Here are some of the YouTube videos Sandra has recommended for me to watch:

 Family signs 

Age signs 


  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Some of the learning opportunities that might accelerate learning are online recourses such as YouTube videos and ASL apps. There are a lot of videos that teach ASL signs, but I am still looking for a few videos that will teach some new ASL grammar. I have also downloaded ‘The ASL App’ and ‘Sign Me ABCs’ on my phone, where I can practice signing some basic signs such as animals and numbers, and I can also practice recognizing finger spelled words rapidly.


  1. When we get together what do we talk about?

When Sandra and I meet, we only communicate using ASL, which makes communicating challenging. We often will discuss what it is I am learning. For example, when Sandra was teaching me how to sign leisure activities, we learned what each of us enjoyed doing in our spare time. When I was learning how to sign family signs, we talked about our family and our siblings and our pets. We also occasionally talk about her work as an ASL teacher, as she must also adjust to teacher her classes online. Although it is challenging to communicate with Sandra when we are not talking, it encourages me to pay closer attention to the signs and I feel I learn faster.


  1. What is going particularly well in my mentoring relationship right now?

One thing that is going particularly well in our mentoring relationship right now is that I am getting to know Sandra by asking her questions during the meeting about the topics I am learning. In our last meeting, we discussed our family. I learned a bit about her siblings and her pets. Another thing that is working well is that we are both flexible. Trying to find times to meet when both Sandra and I have busy schedules, especially now that Sandra has to work from home, and we are doing ‘online learning’ for school, so we are both flexible for when we will meet. Sometimes we will decide a day to meet and them realize that we are actually unable to meet at that time, and we work together to schedule another time where we are both free.


  1. What are we learning about one another?

One of the things I am learning about Sandra is what she likes to do in her spare time and a bit about her family. Because I learned how to sign leisure activities, we asked each other what activities we liked doing in our spare time. From that, I got to know that Sandra likes cooking and sewing, and that both Sandra and I enjoy knitting. When I was learning family signs, we would tell each other a bit about our family and our siblings. I learned that Sandra has many siblings and that she is the second youngest, and that she has a cat.


I am super excited that I get to continue meeting Sandra using Zoom online and learning ASL!

Assignment #4: A Midsummer Night’s Dream skits (English)

This is a link to the script for our play

Summary of the assignment and learning objectives:  

After we had read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, we got into group of four people, and chose one scene from the play. We then had to write a script and put on that part of the play, either live or you could video your play to show to the class. When writing the script, we had to change the language to make it modern English and add a modern twist. My group was putting on a scene in act three, and our twist was that all the mechanicals were part of a band, not an acting group.  


I respond to the work or ideas of my peers in a way that is compassionate and productive (3)  

While we had to time to write the script in class, we still had to do a lot of the writing at home on a shared Word document. This was challenging because we all wanted to input our ideas but also did not want to delete what others had already written. Therefore, we would sometimes slightly change certain lines here or there, but we were compassionate and would typically just build off of the ideas others had put on the document, instead of trying to change them. We then met up the next day in class and went over the script. Because we included everyone’s thoughts and did not try to change the writing, we ended up being more productive than if we had argued, and we were compassionate because we were including everyone’s ideas.  

I constructively build upon or synthesize the ideas of my peers (4)  

Before creating the script for our play, we had to first come up with a modern twist for our scene. We all had ideas, and we worked together to merge and work off of ideas of the others in the group. For example, I would have one idea, and then another group member would build off that idea. We would then take that new idea and think of ways to come up with other ideas or expand our concept based on that idea. We did this until we found a concept we all agreed on, and then we started writing the script.  


Assignment #3: ZIP (English)


This is a link for the written part of the children’s book


Here are the images for the picture book that I drew:

This is a link for my annotated bibliography

Summary of the assignment and learning objectives: 

There are three parts of the ZIP project: proposal, research and learning artifact. The first step, the proposal, included coming up with an inquiry question and explaining why you want to research this topic, as well as how you are going to present this information. The second step, research, was where we conducted research to answer our question. At the end of the research, we also created an annotated works cited. The final part, the learning artifact, included creating something that would show your learning, and then presenting that artifact to the class. My inquiry question was “What are the most essential elements of children’s book writing?”. For my artifact, I created a children’s book titled “Soggy the Doggy”.  


I critically assess research sources for Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose (9) 

A large part of the ZIP process was conducting research and creating an annotated works cited to show which sources we used. For my research, I made sure to check that all the sources were reliable by checking when they were published, the last time they were updated, the author, and if there was any bias in the source. I only used sources I thought were reliable, recent and were unbiased.  

I attribute credit to ideas that are not my own by preparing a Bibliography/Works cited and by using in-text citations (13)  

After conducting the research for my inquiry question, I created an annotated Works cited using the ‘reference’ tool in Word. In the annotated Works cited, I had to cite all of the websites and other sources I used, as well as choose five sources where I had to write a paragraph about how they helped me answer the inquiry question. By creating this annotated Works cited, I was giving credit to the sources I took information and ideas from to answer my question. 

Assignment #2: Infographic on gooseneck barnacles (science)

My infographic on Gooseneck barnacles

Summary of the assignment and learning objectives:  

For this project, we were each assigned one organism that we had to research. There was a list of criteria and questions we had to answer about our organism, such as ‘how do they reproduce?’ and ‘what are the advantages and disadvantages of the way your organism reproduces?’. We then had to show our research in a clear and concise way. I was assigned the gooseneck barnacle. I researched and answered all the questions and presented my research using an infographic that resembles a flow chart and a mind map 


I design my work with consideration given to aesthetics and design, such as consistent colour schemes, symmetry or organization of visual elements, and overall layout (7) 

We were not given a specific way to present our research, just that it had to be clear and easy to read. I decided to do a combination of a flow chart and mind map. This layout was easy to read and clearly showed how each point connected to other points. I put in a lot of effort to make the infographic aesthetic, using bright colours and a format that was easy to follow. I also used visual elements that were engaging and helped the audience understand the information in the infographic, such as diagrams and pictures of the barnacles. I tried to make the infographic as easy to follow and organized as possible so that the audience could easily learn more about gooseneck barnacles.  

I determine and use the most effective medium to present my work (6)  

As the presentation of our information for this project was up to us to decide, I had to find a way to show my research in a way that was clear and concise. I thought of many different options for how I could show my research, and in the end, I decided that a combination of a mind map and a flow chart would be the most effective. The flow chart/mind map showed how ideas and information were connected, which made understanding and reading the research more interesting and easier to understand 

I tailor my work to appeal to my intended audience and use language and visual design elements appropriate for them (2) 

While creating the infographic, I had to decide what visuals to include, knowing that my intended audience was the rest of my class. I wanted to make the infographic interesting to look at with bright colours so that people would be interested, and I also wanted to use visuals that would enhance their understanding. When choosing the language, I used words that we had learned in class, such as embryo, and then I explained other words that were more specific to the barnacle to make sure people understood.  

I enhance the impact of my research or presentation through creative use of technology (5)  

By combining pictures, diagrams, text and in a format resembling a flow chart and a mind map, I creatively used technology to make my infographic more interesting to look at, concise, and easily understandable. By adding diagrams from the internet, I made it easier to understand the concepts on the infographic, and by using pictures and bright colours, I made the infographic more interesting to look at, which makes people more likely to read it. The use of shapes and format made it easy to follow and clearly shows my research and answers to the questions.  

Assignment #1: Part Time Indian presentations (socials)


This is a link for my presentation


Summary of the assignment and learning objectives:  

For this project, my group created a PowerPoint on Indigenous women’s rights. We worked together on a shared Word document to gather information from reliable sources about how Indigenous women are treated in today’s society. We then split up the work and created a PowerPoint and script for our presentation to the class. At the end, we all made a works cited page for all of our sources using the “reference” tool in Word.  


I look at controversial issues or topics from opposed perspectives to gain a more complete understanding (12)  

For this assignment, I had to look at the issue of Indigenous women’s rights through several perspectives. I researched the various ways we can view this issue, and although it was hard for me to be unbiased, I tried to go into it with an open mind. I researched the different ways the government has approached the issue, even when I disagreed with several of the opinions. I looked at statistics and information to back up each viewpoint when possible, to get a better understanding of why people have conflicting viewpoints on this controversial topic.  

I go beyond google and use databases to find scholarly research sources (11)  

To find sources that were reliable and unbiased, I looked in the school library online. I used sources like The Globe and Mail and The Canadian Encyclopedia, as well as other reliable news sources, for the majority of my research. We also made sure that all the sources were current so that we could confirm that the information was more accurate. I also looked at the authors of the articles to make sure that they were credible and were informed on the topics they were writing about. We put effort into finding sources that were reliable on the school library online.  

I use digital spaces to plan and execute collaborative projects with my peers (1)  

To make the PowerPoint for our presentation, our group used a shared PowerPoint presentation on Office 365. We were each responsible for two or three slides, and the shared PowerPoint presentation was a good way for us to all collaborate on the same presentation, while still having our own slides. We were also able to make our separate parts, while still maintaining consistency between slides by having the same background and format. We also had a shared Word document for us to put our script. On that document, we were able to see what the others in the group were going to say so that we did not repeat information 

My work demonstrates a positive, productive, and empathetic worldview (15)

For this project, we were bringing awareness to the issue of Indigenous women’s rights and the large number of Indigenous women who are murdered and go missing each year. We were also showing the different viewpoints of certain governments, and we explained what we can do to improve this situation. In the presentation, we informed the audience of the problem based on statistics and without bias, as well as explaining how different government have reacted to this issue, which was giving an empathetic worldview. Then, we gave examples of what we can do to improve the situation, which was a positive way to raise awareness and help this problem.