The Story of the Earth

2017-2018, First Grade

First graders began the expedition by diving into a world of stories. They heard, read, created, told and retold stories through music, movement, pictures and words. A guest storyteller made a surprise appearance and told an amazing story about when the earth was new, leading first graders to wonder, “Does the earth have a story?” launching them into their first expedition of the year. The class went on field studies, visited with earth experts and conducted research to uncover the settings, characters and plot of the story of the earth. With this new information, first graders took on the role of storytellers and shared this story with families at exhibition night. They wrote a book and created a performance with music and dance to make the earth’s story come alive.

Secrets of the Moon

2015-2016, Second Grade

Imagine unlocking the mysteries of the universe just by looking at the night sky. In this expedition, second graders listened to ancient stories from all over the world about the mysteries of the moon. They heard the unique story of one astronomer and how he saw the universe in a new way. Students made careful observations of the sky, looking for how the universe is organized around simple rules. Resources such as local experts and the planetarium drove their research as they learned more about the moon and its relationship to the sun, earth, and universe at large. With plenty of observational drawing, journal writing, and playing with scientific models, the second grade developed into young astronomers. They also partnered with third graders to share what they learned and have deeper discussions about our solar system.

Build Me a River!

2013-2014, Fourth Grade

How has the area we live in been shaped over time? How do scientists know that the earth has changed over time? What might the Genesee River look like in the future? Throughout this twelve week expedition the fourth grade class investigated these questions as they traveled to the source of the Genesee River and followed the river to its mouth in Charlotte. The class investigated the “stories” written by the fluvial process along the Genesee River. They explored what this region seen throughout geological time? At the end of the expedition the class produced a dynamic resource for students and teachers. Collaboration and “growth mindset” was essential in designing and building a scale model of the Genesee River! Fourth graders sketched the river during the river field study and turned the drawings into beautiful acrylic paintings. They also composed music and movement pieces inspired by their expedition experiences.

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