Expeditions

Expeditionary Learning schools inspire the motivation to learn, engage teachers, and students in new levels of focus and effort, and transform schools into places where students and adults become leaders of their own learning. We provide a model that challenges students – even those starting with low skill levels – with high-level tasks and active roles in the classroom. This model succeeds in urban, rural, and suburban schools and at every grade level.

A Sample of Monarch Academy Expeditions:

Kindergarten Studies the Origins of Pizza
What could be more familiar for children aged 5 and 6 than pizza? For Monarch Academy kindergarten teachers, this common food served as an ideal expedition for their students. The objective: to understand how the ingredients used to make pizza get from the farm and are transformed into the pizza ingredients we are all familiar with—cheese, sauce and the crust.

Kindergarten Studies the Blue Crab & Baltimore Oriole
When you think of Maryland, visions of eating crabs and enjoying the wildlife along the Chesapeake Bay may be the first things that come to mind. Tapping into these familiar visuals, Monarch Academy’s kindergarten class used its spring expedition to ask, “Why is Maryland a good home for the Blue Crab and the Baltimore Oriole?” and “What are some connections between these Maryland icons?”

First Grade’s Social Studies Expedition
The first-grade teachers at Monarch Academy, realized that the best way to arrive at knowledge is to get lost first. Monarch Academy’s first grade created a map of the school as part of their social studies curriculum.

First Grade Studies the Monarch Butterfly
It is fitting that the first-grade class would focus on the monarch butterfly for its spring expedition. This six-week analysis of the monarch resulted in each student gaining a profound understanding of the life of this colorful insect.

Second Grade

Fifth Grade Navigates the Water Cycle
With the majority of the Chesapeake Bay located within its borders, Maryland is a state heavily dominated by water. It impacts our climate, natural resources, economy, laws and mentality of our residents. With such a close tie to water, it seemed a very natural subject for Monarch Academy’s fifth-grade class to study in detail.

Fifth Grade Learns Modern-day Lessons from the American Revolution
The fifth-grade teacher explains “We started by asking ‘what were the causes and events that led the colonists to revolt.” Then we spent roughly 10 days building the students’ background knowledge about the colonies. One tool we used was a gallery walk; students walked through, looked at and asked questions about the collection of photos, quotes, maps and artifacts that the teachers displayed like a gallery.”

Fifth Grade Studies Oysters
While they may be a Maryland culinary mainstay for years, oysters became the focus of Monarch Academy’s spring expedition for the role they play in Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem. “Our expedition was framed by two guiding questions: What is my responsibility? and What is worth saving?,” explains Monarch Academy fifth-grade teachers.

Sixth Grade Puts Pen to Paper
What is black and purple and connected to Baltimore? This is no mystery to the sixth-grade students at Monarch Academy. The kick-off of the spring expedition was presented by none other than the Baltimore Ravens’ mascot, Poe.

Seventh Grade Takes Action Against Cystic Fibrosis
Following countless hours of research, the seventh grade created public service announcements to support cystic fibrosis research. Watch their PSAs.