Expeditions

Expeditionary learning provides students with learning experiences that encourage high-quality student work.

Curriculum

Expeditionary learning provides students with learning experiences that encourage high-quality student work.  This is accomplished by providing students with an authentic audience; a community outside of their classroom that will benefit from the work they produce.  The students are presented with a compelling topic that will guide their expedition.

Teachers build their expeditions and projects around learning targets outlined in the Ministry of Ontario’s Curriculum Expectations, and assess students throughout the expedition for mastery of knowledge and skills in these areas of study.  

The work and activity that takes place during an expedition involves a lot of collaboration. In working with a variety of people, there is a lot of character development that occurs. The emphasis on high-quality work encourages students to become experts in the particular area of study during the expedition.

The culmination of these expeditions is a Celebration of Learning where students showcase what they have learned with the community.

2016-2017 Expeditions

Insects in the Hills of Headwaters
Grades: Jr. & Sr. Kindergarten
As Junior & Senior Entomologists, the students went on a variety of expeditions to different parks and our own school yard to see what insects we could find in our area.  By collecting, examining and building habitats for these insects, we learned their parts and life cycles. We were excited to find and house a Wooly Bear Caterpillar, watch it form a cocoon, and eventually turn into an Isabella Tiger Moth.  Our final expedition was to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory where we participated in hands-on activities with insects up close and personal! Our final product was a published hardcover book containing pictures and interesting facts about insects in our area.  After multiple drafts and critiquing by fellow students, the final pictures were amazingly life-like! Two books were presented to the public libraries in Orangeville and are available to the public.

2017-2018 Expeditions

Botanists!
Grades: One & Two

The students studied various plants in our local community to become Botanists! Throughout this learning experience, each student was given an opportunity to pick and research their own plant. Expeditionary Learning was integrated into other curriculum areas to further the learning experience. Students went on Field Guides to observe various types of plants and flowers in our local community. As a final project, the students wrote plant biographies as if they were the plant themselves! These biographies were then published into a plant book. Additionally, students studied various artwork which focused on plants and flowers. Through a multi-draft procedure, which included both self and peer assessment, students sketched a picture of their plant to go alongside their written plant biographies.  Their book was exceptional and clearly captured some of God’s magnificent creation within the Headwaters!

2017-2018 Expeditions

Designing an Outdoor Natural Learning Space at OCS
Grades: Three & Four

Learning from various local experts, the students became designers of an outdoor learning space here at OCS.  We explored local habitats – using our senses to discover, observe and explore. We visited Norval’s Montgomery Sensory Garden after we learned from its designer, Eileen Foley. The next step was to excavate a site at OCS.  A hill was leveled, large rocks moved and placed, benched tables set up, trees trimmed and cut down as we worked together with landscape architect Geoff Corlett. We also learned how to invite desired species such as blue birds, butterflies and many more to come and make their homes right here at our school. Success was experienced as we set up blue bird houses and some came to nest!  The class would like to especially thank local blue bird expert Keith Ousoren. Foundational to this expedition was the invitation to truly be a “creation-enjoyer,” praising God for the majesty of creation and to actively become an “earth-keeper” and care for creation around us.

2017-2018 Expeditions

Designing an Outdoor Natural Learning Space at OCS
Grades: Five & Six

How can we, as field study experts, help people recognize the importance of each species in the Credit River habitat?  This was the challenge facing the Grade ⅚ class at the start of their expeditionary learning.  Through various expeditions to sites along the Credit River, along with research, the students identified species that were key to the keeping the Credit River healthy.  This was important to the class because they hatch and release salmon every year into the Credit River. The students created field guide cards that they, and subsequent grades, could take with them to Belfountain where they release the salmon.  These cards would allow them to see if they can find and identify species while on site. In their learning they discovered that the presence of these species is an indicator of the health of the river.

2017-2018 Expeditions

The Hills of Headwaters
Grades: Seven & Eight

The students studied the water cycle, the Credit Valley Watershed, water conservation, and water treatment.  Through guest speakers, videos, and field studies, students got a hands-on look at the importance of water conservation here in Orangeville.  To put all that they learned into practice their end project was to create and implement rain barrels on our school property and to create professional brochures to hand out to community neighbours that emphasize the importance of rain barrels and water conservation.  

The Five Senses

Grades: Jr. & Sr. Kindergarten

Sociologists!

Grades: One & Two

Becoming Better Neighbours

Grades: Three & Four

Food for Thought

Grades: Five & Six

Building Healthy Christian Minds

Grades: Seven & Eight

2018-2019 Expeditions

Spring 2019

The Planets in our Solar System

Grades: Jr. & Sr. Kindergarten

Broadcast Meteorologists

Grades: One & Two

Lots of Space

Grades: Three & Four

The Heavens Declare

Grades: Five & Six

The Water Cycle

Grades: Seven & Eight

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