ELS Studio: Week of October 21st

The heroes have been working on farm animals this week.

Monday they discussed horses, They worked together as a team to design a farm scene.

Tuesday they learned about cows and begun drawing the background to their farm scene.  Wednesday they talked about chickens and began to construct their farms from small boxes and containers.,

Thursday they learned about pigs and worked to add the different animals.

Today they explored the Critter Barn and met chickens, rabbits, goats, and sheep.  They learned that mammals give their babies milk. They held chicks, petted rabbits, met baby goats, and even were able to hunt for eggs. At the end of the visit, they saw a pig perform some tricks,

In the afternoon, the heroes explored what happens when popcorn kernels are mixed with salt, and mixed with milk, and mixed with baking soda and vinegar. Then they explored what happens when popcorn is mixed with salt, milk and baking soda and vinegar. They made predictions then observed what really happened.


History Brought to Life in ES!

Week 10: October 21 – 25

History Brought to Life in ES!

Heroes enjoyed a scrumptious pioneer meal, including cornbread with homemade butter, chunky applesauce, glazed carrots, roasted turkey, and blueberry cobbler. The heroes loved it all!

Hero Talk! Frank Hoover came to share with us what life was like in Ada growing up. The heroes were amazed that he could explain almost every photograph in the Ada book from 1930-1980!

Collaborating together to create a 3D model of the Ada Covered Bridge!

Heroes used Josiah Brown’s patented truss system while recreating the model of the Ada Covered Bridge.

Reenacting bridge tolls! When high waters came, farmers took off the sides of the bridge, allowing the water to flow through the bridge rather than sweep it away.

Individual prices for each traveler across the bridge

A section of current-day Ada!


Our timeline is filling up with events and stories from Ada long ago, Ada now, and visions for Ada in the future from Envision Ada.

Playing a classic game of marbles, one of many games people of all ages enjoyed in years past.

Have you asked your hero:

  • What would be some good additions to the town that we live in? What would be the results if those things were brought into our town?
  • What are some of the envisions for Ada that are listed on the Envision Ada website?
  • What were your greatest accomplishments this week?
  • What did you fail at this week? (We learn from failure. Failure is okay.)
  • What would you like to learn next week about Grand Rapids long ago?

See you next week!

Historians are Treasure Hunters!

ES Week 9: October 14 – 18

New Quest! Starting with Ada Long Ago

We are Treasure Hunters, another name for Historians!

At the start of our new quest, the heroes explored what life would have been like in the 1800s when Ada first became a village.

A pioneer girl’s clothing tied and buttoned in the back, which required help from friends. Cool discovery!

Artifacts are anything we, or people from the past, use or make. We can better understand the past by understanding artifacts from the past.

Creating a map of Ada Dr. long ago and it’s surrounding streets and businesses!

The Ada Historical Museum contained amazing artifacts from both Native American settlers and pioneer settlers. Artifacts we saw included clothing, toys, furniture, music players, baskets, pearl buttons made from clamshells, work tools, and many more!


Sitting in a horse-drawn covered carriage! The carriage shock-system represented one of the many innovations built into everyday tools from the 1800s.

The old seed drill on the right enabled farmers to set a gauge that would change the size of the hole in the ground depending on the size of the seed. The result of this technology? A much-improved crop yield!

Brave heroes checking out the barn loft!

Look, we found Rix [Robinson] Street!!

Thursday, the heroes took a walking tour of Downtown Ada, visiting 11 plaques with pictures of what the land and/or buildings ahead of the plaques looked like a hundred years ago. So cool! We found where the doctor lived, where dresses were made, what the old schools looked like, where the fire of 1920 took place, and where the Ada Dr. businesses used to be.

Finishing the Scavenger Hunt at the Ada Covered Bridge! Thank you, Ms. Kristen, for a thrilling tour!

In preparation for our pioneer lunch on Monday, heroes “gathered” food from the trail outside. Wild turkey, corn, wild strawberries, carrots, eggs, milk, cream…

“Being a pioneer is hardwork.” Turning cream into butter required lots of shaking and jumping up and down. The heroes initiated taking two trips around the Journey Path in order to take their minds off the rigor of shaking the jars constantly. After successfully creating whipped cream, the heroes continued to shake the jars, and to their delight, they suddenly had butter and buttermilk!! They rinsed the butter until the water ran clear, and then the butter was done! “This tastes just like butter!”

Have you ever thought about making your own brown sugar? White granulated sugar + molasses! The heroes mixed their own ratio creations, resulting in beautiful caramel-colored sugar. Mmmmm….It tastes divine!

Contraction grammar surgery! “Con-trac-tion. Con-trac-tion. Take two words; make them one. It’s called a con-trac-tion. Put a little hook in; can’t you see? It’s an apo-stro-phe.”

A few more inspirational stories from this week:

  • During Monday recess, one hero initiated a group game of Forever Tag, and shortly, as if like clockwork, 12 heroes joined in. This is one of many stories where young heroes lead others in everyday activities.
  • During the Town Hall Meeting, the ES heroes voted to change the Buddies schedule with the ELS in order to accommodate the ratio of ELS to ES in a more productive manner. Each ES hero will now have their own selected day per week to help with 2-3 buddies for 30 minutes. Heroes making positive changes in their environment!

Have you asked your hero:

  • How well are you keeping your fellow heroes accountable for following the Hero’s Contract and Rules of Engagement?
  • Portfolio Reviews are coming up next week. Are there any goals that you want to accomplish before you lead that meeting?
  • What artifact from the Ada Historical Museum fascinated you the most?
  • Would you have enjoyed living long ago in Ada? Why or why not?
  • Should deforestation happen in order to build houses?
  • Did you set any goals this week that you did not accomplish?
  • How do you play “Trash Can” with the digits 0-9 from an Uno deck? Can you teach me to play with replacement and without replacement?

See you next week! For any racers and/or spectators that will be at the GR Half & Full Marathon Sunday, have a great race!

ELS Studio Week of October 14

What a fun week the heroes have been having learning about the ocean.

Monday the heroes created coral from a mixture of baking soda, corn starch, water and paint.

Tuesday the heroes began constructing the different fish and animals that live in the ocean.

Wednesday they watched The Magic School Bus: Takes a Dive, that teaches about the coral reef and the partnerships that some sea creatures have to survive.  They also continued creating animals for their coral reefs.

Thursday the heroes had an adventure at the zoo.  They saw all kinds of different animals and the environments they lived in. They began constructing their posters about the coral reef.


Today the heroes continued working on their posters, including labeling their animals.  They also did an experiment with salt and water, and how many spoons of salt it takes to make different materials float.

EL Studio Week of Sep 30

All week the heroes created art that was inspired by other art.

On Monday they discussed The Sunflowers by Van Gogh and then draw a picture of their favorite thing.

On Tuesday they had a special visitor, a hero talk, that taught how to paint flowers in a whimsical way.

Thank you, Ms. Sarah, for inviting your friend Ms. Hope.


On Wednesday the heroes took a rainy but exciting walk downtown to see the art they had discussed.  One hero said he counted over 100 things of art.  The heroes had the most fun with the roof art by Heather Hart. Thank you to the moms that came along and braved the rain.

On Thursday the heroes worked on art inspired by The Scream, with creating a face showing a certain emotion, and adding colors that generally go with that color: blue-sad, red-angry, yellow-happy.

Thank you to all the parents that came to see the Art Gallary and viewing all the wonderful and creative art the heroes had worked so hard on for the last two weeks.

Today the heroes saw the Stary Night and created a sky scene that had a sunset, a sunrise, a storm or a sunny day.

Have a safe, relaxing and fun week break.






Celebrating Hard Work in ES!

Week 8: September 30 – October 4

Celebrating Hard Work in ES!

Wow, what a remarkable week! Playing the song “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang at the Badge Ceremony today was a perfect match. The heroes worked very hard these past 6 weeks! The Exhibition, Badge Ceremony, and Hero Buck Store all reflected their effort. Every week is filled with many reasons to celebrate, and this week was the cumulation of them all!

The heroes loved creating art this week!


Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh


Traveling downtown to see the Project 1 Art in person became a highlight of the week.

What a beautiful day to see Project 1 art!


After a discussion about the juxtaposition between the booming development downtown taking place amongst house displacement

The Voice Bridge engaged all the heroes with their own voices. When we spoke into the voice recorders, speakers played our messages all the way down the bridge. So cool!!

Heather Hart’s submerged rooftop was a thrilling platform to climb as we recall Hart’s purpose for her artwork.

Part of Kaleidoscopic by Amanda Browder


Project 1 – 4th Grade Art from GR Public Schools

Benches for viewing the art would have been well-received


Amidst all the artwork, the heroes dedicated grit during Core Skills to continue their work with math, reading, spelling, and grammar.

The heroes proofread Part 2 and 3 of the continued mystery.


Adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers became fun when we acted it out on a number line.

Thank you all for attending the Core Skill & Art Exhibition! We enjoyed celebrating all the accomplishments of every hero, and we look forward to our next quest after the break.


We welcomed in a studio pet, named SalAmanda, who came crawling up the JA sidewalk.


Fun Friday!


Have a fabulous Fall Break!