growth and wellbeing of mankind in some ways, it can be harmful in others. Health is one of the factors that are affected by technology and development both negatively and positively. Were past generations healthier? Or are we healthier? The answers to all these questions are all included in this projectâ€¦
The goal of my Personal Project is to raise awareness about the impacts of having a healthy lifestyle by making a health guide comparing people’s lifestyle in the past and present.
My aim is to show the foreigners living in Saudi Arabia a wider glimpse of the cultural and traditional cuisine, and to compare the Saudis’ health (lifestyle and eating habits) in the past 40 years or so, to the health of the majority of the Saudis in modern life. To fulfill this goal, I will create a health guide with different themes containing information, traditional Saudi recipes, and health tips
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I will describe the changes that had occurred during the years as food became more artificial, unhealthier, and lifestyles of people became more dependent and reliable on technology and other sources of the wide entertainment available nowadays. My aim is to prove that people in the past were healthier, therefore they were physically stronger even at an old age, and they lived a longer life. I want to prove that because I want people to look after their health and adapt a healthy lifestyle, and I wanted to provide an example from the past so that my ideas will be well-proven and adapted.
I have chosen Health and Social Education as my Area of Interaction, because I am attempting to teach people how to “look after themselves”. I would like to raise awareness about the health of people nowadays, since it is deteriorating for most of them. By making this project, I will also be taking care of my own health and gaining greater knowledge about the society and the changes happening, as well as the effects of these changes and the consequences resulting from it. There is no specific age group in which I am targeting in my personal project, but I would like to introduce the Saudi Arabian traditional cuisine to them since it is the most questioned; I would also like to clear the misconceptions about it. In order to support my hypothesis ‘ that people in the past were healthier’, I will be providing facts and statistical information about the social changes and development throughout the decades, and how they affected the environment thus also affecting the people’s health. For example, I will explain the evolution of genetic modification of crops and how it had affected the foods we eat today. Health and Social Education is an area which focuses on development issues that affect people socially, culturally, physically, and emotionally.
To achieve my goal, I will conduct a research using various resources, and I will also calculate the statistics by conducting a survey to support and assert my hypothesis. My plan for creating the product is as follows:
Theme 1: Facts and Researches
Research about health in the past (eating habits, lifestyle, daily routine)
Observe and research about health in the present, and make a comparison between it and that in the past.
Ask for people’s opinions, by passing a survey.
Calculate and provide statistical information as proof
Conclude (reassert hypothesis and assess it)
Theme 2: Recipes
Research recipes from the past Saudi cuisine.
Compare these foods with the ones we normally eat today.
Put pictures of recipes and ingredients used in them.
Theme3: Tips and Advice
Collect tips from all different sources (internet, magazines, booksâ€¦etc)
Include these tips between quotations along with the correct citation.
Add quick facts on margins to make it more interesting.
To achieve my plan, I am going to present and create a health guide (book) with facts and information about my topic. I will try to make it creative and interesting as much as possible, so it could catch the attentions of all different ages of people without any complexity or ambivalence.
”Description of Process”:
Which techniques did I use to reach my goal?
THEME1-Facts and Researches:
1- Research about different aspects of health in the past.
In order to make my personal project accurate, I had to provide evidence by making a research and getting background information. I found some very useful information and facts on the website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7148534.stm) about the health of people in the past. According to Dr. Roger Henderson, “while people of the past consumed more they burnt off calories in a workout of 12 hours labor. The same website also displayed the amount of calories people of the past and their lifestyle. For example, it was mentioned that they consumed 3500-4500 calories per day.(Refer to Appendix 5 for more) Research included different aspects that affect health such as weather and development (in general). Knowing the different parts of health made me clear my goal and set my final choices. I soon decided to focus on ‘lifestyle’ and ‘eating habits’ of people in the past, with general information about the rest of the parts.
2-Observe and research about health in the present, and make a comparison between it and that in the past.
Besides research, I had to make some observations on people’s eating habits and way of life. I also had to distribute a survey on several people from different age ranges and different nationalities. The survey I conducted simplified a lot of concepts and cleared my hypothesized ideas about the health of people in the past in comparison to it in the present; it also helped clear my goal, which is my main focus. Nowadays, people are free to eat what they want; they can both care about their health and maintain a healthy, balanced, and active diet, or they can just eat unhealthy food without caring about the quantity or quality of what they are eating. In brief, people in the present are the ones who choose their lifestyle, and that is due to the development and technology available for them.
3- Provide research and statistical information as evidence.
The survey I conducted served as statistical information collected from people of different ages and nationalities, thus providing me with further and deeper diversity of information, as well as accuracy. In my product, I used different methods of presentation to display the information in an interesting and convincing- at the same time- way. The results were like what I had expected; most people had agreed that people in the past were healthier, and most had thought that the media affects our eating habits. However, there were some who objected, with the clarification that ‘there is greater technology nowadays, allowing for greater ways in which one could maintain their health’ ( Refer to Appendix 3 and 4). I wanted to have reasons for whether people thought people in the past were healthier or not, because I wanted to observe different points of view. I had to present the results of the survey in a bar graph, and I tried as much as I could to avoid ways that might make my graph misleading such as making great differences between intervals. As for the information I collected from different sources, I presented it in different forms such as inserting bullet-points, listing, tables, and short paragraphs.
Provide a conclusion, based on reasons listed previously.
At last, I had to make a conclusion whether people from the past or present were healthier. Of course, my conclusion was based on the information I collected from the variety of sources from internet to books to personal opinions and surveys. The final conclusion was that people of the past were healthier because of the balanced meals they ate and their long, active work hours.
THEME 2- The Saudi Traditional Cuisine:
In this theme, I had to make a totally different type of research. This theme is about recipes of traditional dishes of Saudi Arabia.
Research recipes from the past Saudi cuisine.” The Saudi Kingdom is well known for its variety of traditional dishes that reflect the diversity of the regions and the custom of the people” (Diana Viola & Elinoar Moore, Bibliography1*)
I had to collect information about the traditional dishes of Saudi Arabia, and I had a ‘personal contributor’ provide me with most of that information. That ‘personal contributor’ was my grandmother. She helped me write the recipes and take images of these dishes. My goal for this theme was to introduce foreigners and other people to the authentic Saudi cuisine, and to correct the various misconceptions about it.” Genuine Saudi cooking, but for a few of the sweets, is rarely to be found in restaurants” (Diana Viola & Elinoar Moore, Bibliography1*)
Compare these dishes with the ones frequently eaten today.
Although numerous traditional are still eaten in various households, there are other foods that are more frequently eaten because they are either ‘faster to do’ or ‘tastier’. I made a comparison to show people that most traditional are much more balanced and healthier nowadays.
THEME 3-Quick tips and interesting Facts:
This theme will contain tips that help improve the health and lifestyle of a person, along with interesting facts.
Collect tips from all different sources.
I collected tips about different ways of improving types of health such as lifestyle, eating habits (food alternatives), and other simple ways that all people from all age ranges can benefit from. The tips I have provided might be known among some people, and might be unknown among others. In spite of that, the tips could act as both reminders and new information to all readers.
In addition to that, not all the tips I provided are my own. So, to avoid plagiarism, I included them between quotations and added correct citation
Add quick facts on margins to make it more interesting.
To prevent boredom while reading the tips, I added quick and brief facts on margins. These facts act as quick and fun general information. I assumed that adding the quick facts on margins of the pages will increase the attention of the readers towards my product, thus responding by reading the facts then continuing on to read the whole health guide.
What was the most suitable way to make my product?
Making a health guide was the best and most suitable way to present and make my product, because there were no limitations to how much information I wanted to add or pictures, and I also had complete freedom to how I wanted to design it. I tried different ways with multiple software and programs, but I ended up facing some problems that I was not capable of fixing easily. Besides, making a health guide with my own creations and designs fulfilled my vision of the complete product. My goal in this was to reflect my own personality on my project, to prove that it is my individual work.
What are other ways in which I could have made my product?
There were different variations of ways in which I could have made or presented my product. One of these ways included making a brochure, which – in fact- was my first decision of making the product. However, I soon faced problems with the brochure format. For example, I was not able of figuring out the type and size of paper I was supposed to use for the brochure, and I could not find suitable software for generating the brochure clearly. Other ways included making a video, or creating a website, or even writing an essay or a report. From all these different ways, I picked making a health guide, because it was the most suitable and proper way in which I could make my product .
Justification of Techniques:
Making a health guide was the best way to reach my goal because I was able to write all the information easily and simply with all the freedom I wanted. I was free to write information and details and add pictures with all the effects and colors, and I was not limited to one thing only. In brief, I had all the freedom I wanted and my goal in this is to express the emotions and feelings and to reveal emotions of geniality and friendliness.
I looked at different resources before I did my research. For example, I observed different samples of personal projects relating to Health and Social Education. They were really beneficial because I learned different techniques of presentation that I could use in my personal project. I tried as much as I could to make my product precise and accurate, that is why I gave evidence for every piece of information; I also conducted the survey especially for this purpose.
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1.Analysis of the Research:
As I was creating my product, I encountered numerous new things that I eventually added to my general knowledge. I also cleared some of the misconceptions that I previously had about some subjects. As I mentioned in the Description part, my health guide is divided into three parts or themes, and each theme described different aspects of my main goal, which is to show the rapid change in people’s lifestyle and eating habits throughout the years and decades, with the support of different sources of research like websites, books, magazines, surveys, and interviews.
From the first theme, I learned lots of new information, since it was based on facts and research. I compared different factors of health from the past to the present, and gave reasons for each. For instance, I compared diseases of the past to diseases of the present. As I did that, I learned new information about diseases, their causes, their symptoms, and whether they are still dangerous or not. I also learned more about the lifestyle of people in the past, and from that I was able to backup my comparisons with valid and proven facts.
As for theme 2, which was based on the traditional dishes of Saudi Arabia, I also learned more about how people in the past ate, what were the most common ingredients in their foods, and how these foods reflected on their overall health. Although I already knew numerous traditional dishes and their names, there are others that I may have heard of, but never quite knew what they consisted of.
Since theme3 was based on health tips and advice, I learned various new ideas and healthy food alternatives as I was researching and collecting tips from the multiple resources that were available. I was surprised to know most of these tips because I have never actually heard or even thought of them. For example, I never knew that eating in a slow pace is better than eating fast and the reason is because when you eat slowly, you get filled up easily and faster.
As I mentioned previously, I have used numerous different sources for completing my product, and these sources are as follows:
Trade Secrets: Food &Drink by Alexandra Fraser (refer to Appendix 4)*
Interview with my Grandmother
As I conducted a research for my product, I also had to conduct one on my area of interaction, because I wanted to make sure that I was choosing the most suitable and appropriate area that will support all the information I have included in my product. To investigate, I visited the Area Leaders at my school and asked them about each area. I finally decided to choose Health and Social Education as my area because my product mentions different aspects of health in general, with a deep and broad focus on lifestyle and eating habits whether in the past or present. Fortunately, I soon realized that my Area leader was also my supervisor.The information I got about my area of interaction came from:
MYP: From principles to Practice Booklet
I learned new things that I did not know about before I started this project, and these new things are the main reason why I felt excited and enjoyed in the whole process of making the product. It was interesting how I learned more about my Area of Interaction, which is Health and Social Education. I also learned a lot of new information about health, culture, and lifestyle of people from different periods of times and different countries. For instance, I learned that staying happy and satisfied with what you have got plays a part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This information came from:
2-Analysis of the process and outcome:
Did I achieve my goal?
The goal that I have started my project with was to be able to compare the health of people in the past -specifically eating habits and lifestyle – to the health of most of the people nowadays. I came up with the divisions of my health guide in order to support my goal in every possible and suitable way. Now that I have completed my product, I feel that I have achieved my goal, and I have been able to support and prove all the concepts I have covered with knowledge-based, proven facts and evidence. I believe that I have achieved two goals, not one. The first one is that I have succeeded in finishing my product with the goal I have put, and the second one is that I educated myself and increased my knowledge as I conducted the research for my product, and I felt proud because I fulfilled my desire to be a more knowledgeable person, as I also consider knowledge my priority.
Did I focus on one Area of Interaction?
From my research on the different Areas of interaction, I concluded that I did actually focus on one AOI, and it was very obvious how I chose Health and Social Education. Every aspect that I have described and mentioned in my health guide included health as its main topic.
A lot of people have inspired to make this project, including my family and friends. My main support for the idea came from my mother. She helped me to clear my thoughts about what I was going to do and she also helped me cultivate its presentation and overall appearance; she was always there for me, and I feel very grateful and inspired by her as I am always. Without her idea of introducing the Saudi traditions- specifically health- in a different way that almost no one is that educated of, I would not have been able to do this project. I am also greatly inspired by my grandmother, who has contributed a lot to the completion of my product. If it was not for her help in the recipes of Theme3 and my interview with her about the lifestyle of Saudi people in the past, I would not have been able to provide the pictures for the third theme. I am very thankful to her; and her wide education and wisdom in many life fields although she is illiterate inspires me enormously.
From my friends, I am inspired by my best and loving friend Mawadah Bajrai. Her dedication to her personal project, hard work, and continuous support ‘boosts’ me to work hard, keep my hopes high, and be positive all the time. I am very grateful to her, and I truly respect her for being who she really is.
Before I began with the creation process, I had to set a plan for what I was going to do, in order to remain organized throughout the whole process. I started with an initial plan with all the possible options of presentation and information, and I ended up with a finalized, well studied plan of what I was going to do (Refer to Appendix 1). Now that I am done with my product, I feel proud to say that my plan was successful because I followed it efficiently as I was working. Although I faced some problems initially, I eventually solved them by looking at the alternatives that were available, and choosing whatever was suitable.
I needed research for every step of creating my product; I used all the different possible resources like books, magazines, internet, interviews, and I even referred back to past personal projects made by other students around the world. Therefore, I believe that my research stage was successful because of the many resources I used, and because I found all the information I was in need of. At first, I faced some research problem because I was not able to find any books that linked directly to my main topic. However, I realized that I have not searched properly, and I decided to change my way by searching for books that could be mentioning some information that I might need; this way had helped me a lot to increase my resources. Although not finding a book about health of people in the past might have been a problem, I consider it now an opportunity to present this topic to the people worldwide, and present the Saudi traditional cuisine in a slightly different way than how it is usually interpreted.
Creation of product:
I believe the creation was successful because I followed my plan correctly and I provided all the information that I have collected previously . I also used different resources and I made sure that the information I used was as accurate and precise as possible. I also think that I have succeeded in including all the information I researched in an attractive way, in which readers would enjoy it.
Although my project was successful, there were some problems that I faced. I had a problem of complication, where all my documents were scattered around instead of being in one major documents. However, I eventually overcame this problem by re-organizing all the documents and classifying which ones were to put in which folder. I also had a lot of pictures (my own resources) in which I wanted to put all, and I felt hesitant to which pictures I should put and which I should not. I also overcame this problem by asking for my family’s opinions.
3-Evaluating my Product:
I think my product was excellent, because I used different resources and I have included all the information I have researched. I also made it very colorful, and I used my own sources of information for theme 2. I am also proud that I have included the traditions of my country in a different way than might be rarely discussed, especially in books. I also liked the title of my health guide, which was ”Health Metamorphosis”, because I noticed that it is unique and unusual.
If I had the opportunity to re-do this personal project, I would make sure to add more information about my country , and I would start with earlier, meaning that I would begin once the project is assigned, so that I would finish it on its due date.
By doing this project, I learned and discovered a lot of new things by doing the research , looking at different resources, and knowing in-depth about my Area of Interaction. My AOI, Health and Social Education helped me realize a numerous new things, or ‘tools’ which assisted me in doing the project. I learned that Health and Social education studies the effect of different social or community-related issues on people and the community, and it provides ” key aspects of human development that can lead to a complete and balanced lifestyle.” (MYP: From principle into practice , 28)
This project had made me curious to know more about different topics of health. I would like to learn more and deeper about health of people in the past, and how their hardships affected the way they ate. I would also like to know about traditional dishes of different countries not just Saudi Arabia. In addition to that, I want to know more tips from theme 3, because I will use these tips to guide me into changing my lifestyle.
The best work of my personal project was that in theme 1, because I had collected a lot of information and mentioned all of it with adding pictures and quoting people. I loved how I made my comparisons and I believe that I had proved my hypothesis and goal right.
I have enjoyed the whole process of creating my product, but there were some parts that I preferred more than others. First, I enjoyed conducting the survey because it was really interesting how people had different opinions and different perspectives with different personalities, and I was glad how they were ready to share these opinions proudly. The other part I have enjoyed about creating my product was the creation of the title and the cover page. I was very excited to come up with ” Health metamorphosis” because I noticed that it was unique and no one had ever came up with something like it .
Appendix 1 :
This is a picture of my plan (from my process journal):
the highlights show the divisions of the themesmy plan.jpgthird theme plan.jpg
Appendix 2 : survey.jpg
This is a picture of my final survey
The reason why I wanted to make a survey was because I wanted to know the percentage of people who will be supporting my hypothesis and goal that ” people in the past were healthier” (page 1), in order to maintain different perspectives, and to receive different reasons.
After conducting the survey, the results were as follows:
These results have helped me manage the research of my goal and focus on it. Refer to page 3 for more information about the survey.
For theme 3, I have adapted a lot of my tips from this book:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BVWG7HEFL._SS500_.jpg
This book was really helpful because I have adapted numerous tips from it, and I also used some of the quotes and proverbs it had, which was the best thing about it.
This is a picture of my brainstorming of the titles(from my Process Journal):DSC01558.jpg
As you can see, I came up with many titles, and I decided that the last one would be the official guide title. However, there are some others that I have used as page titles.
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