Lower School learners brought expeditionary learning to life this Spring. Expeditions allow learners to follow sparks of curiosity and ignite passions for learning. Sometimes we wonder and wander on an expedition. Sometimes expeditions spark interest as an entry event to an Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) unit. Sometimes expeditions provide deep purpose and the opportunity to ask questions from experts. No matter the why, expeditions allow Lower School learners to seek meaningful opportunities for wonder, curiosity, and play to ignite.

Kindergarten visited Zoo Atlanta as part of their entry event into their Animals Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) unit. As their entry event, kinder learners traveled in small groups to investigate different types of animals and their habitats at Zoo Atlanta. Teachers took note of the interest levels and questions asked at each exhibit. Based on that trip, Kindergarten learners selected their interest groups. Check out the K commons for life-sized versions of tigers, giraffes, vultures, meerkats, and ostriches as kindergarten students prepare for an Animal Experience for their families next week!

G1 traveled to the Tellus Science Museum in Carterville, GA to continue their exploration into space. Their entry event into their space exploration was interviewing astronauts and engineers from Virgin Galactic. While at Tellus, students were able to see multiple space crafts, a solar house, and an observatory. Learners toured the Bentley Planetarium and explored constellations, our solar system, and the edges of our own galaxy. G1 learners also took an expedition across the street to the Virtual Reality lab on our Upper Campus. Partnering with juniors, each G1 student had the experience of putting on the Oculus goggles for a personalized walk on the moon. 

G2 learners took a deep dive into the habitats of Georgia with a behind-the-scenes investigation at the Georgia Aquarium. Students continued their study of Georgia’s habits and its animals through the aquarium’s exhibits. Then students were able to see how each exhibit worked and how the aquarium’s exhibits were maintained all from a bird’s eye view. Georgia Aquarium marine biologists answered all types of questions about habitats from our G2 learners. 

G3 students were inspired by their novel study of The One and Only Ivan. After reading about the importance of billboards in the novel, G3 learners wanted to learn more. G3 visited Formetco to hear from advertising executives about how billboards were made. G3 learners were given mathematical tasks to solve for some new boards in our area. G3 then ventured up the Blue Ridge, Ga to visit the Project Chimp sanctuary to see how animals can live freely just lived Ivan had dreamed.

As part of their Revolutionary War IBL, G4 students investigated the involvement of the Creek Nation, Creek involvement in the American Revolution, and the Ocmulgee Mounds. This led to Zoom interviews with park managers at the Ocmulgee Mounds. After a visit to the historic mounds, G4 has been part of the national park initiative to give Georgia its first National Park. G4 learners explored the mounds with park officials and even became junior park rangers! We have our fingers crossed to hear back from elected officials in Washington DC who are supporting the national park initiative. 

As part of their voting rights IBL, G5 headed to the Atlanta History Center to explore their traveling exhibit on the 19th Amendment. This exhibit was housed in the Swan Coach House inspired by Atlanta’s own Emily Inman. Using a MV teacher-made scavenger hunt, G5 learners explored the exhibit by examining artifacts, photos, and biographies. Their investigation led to reflections and the creation of a G5 traveling trunk exhibit of voting rights through time that was shared with the Atlanta History Center.