ELS studio week of Nov 18

Wow , what an exciting week!

On Monday and Tuesday, the heroes worked hard to finish up their habitats and animals.  They also worked on Core Skills and Goals before the break.

Wednesday they set up the zoo and could hardly wait to share it at the exhibition. Thank you for coming to listen and ask questions about the different habitats and animals.

Thursday the heroes discussed what they were thankful for and wove placemats and baskets with fall colors and Christmas colors.

Today, Friday, the heroes enjoyed a play about the Ada covered bridge put on by the ES studio.  Thank you ES studio.

They wrote about what they were thankful for and made a Thanksgiving wreath of leaves.

Thank you again for helping make this an exciting quest.  Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and break.




ES Exhibition Week!

  Week 14: November 18 – 22

ES Exhibition Week!

Exhibition week has arrived! Hard work radiated out of the studio again this week. Prioritizing remaining session goals became a major focus, and the heroes demonstrated grit as they went after their goals.

Focusing on accomplishing any remaining session goals!


After reading the book Liked: Whose Approval Are You Waiting For? by Kari Kampakis, one hero made a board game for the Deep Book Review. Playing the game together was a blast!


Ask the heroes about their vocabulary for this session!



Ada, Grand Rapids, and Michigan trivia made into exciting homemade board games! So fun!


The culmination performance of all their effort planning, writing, editing, and rehearsing their Ada play!


The Ada and Michigan History Quest ended with a Road Rally Around Ada! Such a great quest!


Have you asked your hero:

  • What session goal are you most proud of accomplishing?
  • What session goal(s) did you not accomplish? What prevented you from meeting the goal(s)?
  • What is a “Yooper?” Would you rather be a “Yooper” or a “Troll”?
  • What was the most difficult aspect of collaborating on the Ada play with others?
  • How much perseverance did you show during the challenging math workshop puzzles? (Reminder: “Wolf, Goat, and Cabbage” & “Bird and Dog 86-Legs Pet Shop”).

Happy Thanksgiving!

ELS studio Week of Nov 11

This week the heroes have been working on creating plaques about their animals.

They have also been doing research on their animal and habitat.


They also created some 3-D animals to place in their zoo.

The heroes are very excited to share their zoo with you next week. Here is a sneak peek.

Discovering More About Michigan in ES!

Week 13: November 11 – 15

Discovering More About Michigan in ES!

Grit, perseverance, focus, dedication, and hard work spilled out of the doors and windows this week in ES! The heroes focused on their goals and got after them!

During our second week studying Michigan, the heroes dove deep into everything Michigan: Top companies, lakeshore towns, fun facts and history, major cities, and products grown here.

Camping out in the warm vestibule on Monday! Many goals were accomplished this week through hard work and tons of effort!

Tour of Amway! Learning about how this top Michigan company began, the artifacts found in the ground on their property, and Amway’s growth over the years captured the intrigue of the heroes.  

Michigan-grown resources and products! We certainly grow a bounty of great products in our state.

After each hero brainstormed, planned, and wrote their own playscript about Ada, the ES studio gathered together to vote on a script to use for rehearsing.

Acting skills came out this week as the heroes enthusiastically rehearsed their Ada play, which will be presented to the ELS next week.


The Character Callout Wall has filled up again! The heroes demonstrated bounds of character traits this week, including leadership, courage, perseverance, and self-control.


Have you asked your hero:

  • When was the last time you were so focused on something that when you looked up, it felt like time had flown by?
  • Do you think it was fair for the federal government to bail out General Motors from bankruptcy in 2009? Should the federal government bailout any company that goes into bankruptcy?
  • What is the most challenging scene to perform in the Ada play that you are rehearsing? Why?
  • Can we pray together using the ACTS method (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication/asking for our needs)?
  • How are you progressing with your Session 3 goals?

See you next week!

ELS Studio Week of Nov

This week the heroes learned about the rainforest and researched and constructed animals that live in the different layers of the forest.

Monday they began to research the animals and construction of the pillar rainforest tree.

On Tuesday they watched Magic School Bus and the Rain Forest then continued on their animals.

Wednesday they had a hero talk about animals on a safari like lions, zebras, and impalas.

Thursday they did a “dissection” of a frog, creating the parts of a frog, showing heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, muscles, and bones.

Friday they watched Magic School Bus Gets Eaten, about the food chain.  They then worked on posters of the other habitats they needed to finish.

Sorry still having trouble downloading pictures from my phone.

ES Exploring West Michigan History!

Week 12: November 4 – 8

ES Exploring West Michigan History!

Another week studying West Michigan! This week’s activities included simulating an assembly line, recording a tour guide audio about historical sites around Grand Rapids, studying the top philanthropic families in Grand Rapids, writing and delivering elevator pitches for well-deserving non-profit charities in West Michigan, adding Grand Rapids history dates to our timeline, and researching Art Prize and its impact on our community. What a great week it has been!

After learning about Henry Ford’s creation of the automobile assembly line, the heroes simulated their own assembly line to manufacture paper turkeys. Quantity and quality matter! Planning efficiently, teamwork, re-evaluating our progress, and quality control became necessary in our success.


West Michigan contains profound and deluxe historical sites, including bridges, Dutch heritage, historic homes, and museums. Each hero researched a historical site, planned guided tour audios, and recorded their speech to share with their fellow heroes.


We researched some of the top philanthropic families in Grand Rapids. Philanthropic people seek to promote the welfare of others through generosity, especially by donating money to good causes.

After researching the generosity and benevolence of others, we asked ourselves Where can I give money in my community? 


We also added many Grand Rapids historic dates to our very full timeline. Looking at pictures of Grand Rapids long ago is fascinating!

Researching Art Prize and its impact on Grand Rapids!


During Town Hall Meeting this week, the heroes discussed the current set-up of SIlent Core Skills and Collaborative Core Skills. When the topic of the workflow was presented, the heroes decided that separate skill times should indeed continue to ensure productivity and minimized distractions.


Scriptwriting! Our Ada scenes on the Ada Covered Bridge are progressing well.

Studying a real-world script exert from Beauty and the Beast as an example of excellence

The Ada Covered Bridge model was completed this week!


Have you asked your hero:

  • What is needed in order for an assembly line to function smoothly and efficiently?
  • What do you want on your epitaph?
  • What is something the Bible says about a true friend?
  • What is something you can do to not “bite the hooks” of teases from others?
  • Where is someplace you can give money to in our community?
  • “How you do anything is how you’ll do everything” is an unofficial motto of the Navy Seals. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  • What do you want to learn on our tour of the Amway Corporation on Monday, November 11?

See you next week!

ELS Studio Week of Oct 25

The heroes learned about desert animals this week.  On Monday they watched Magic School Bus Cold Blooded, which focused on reptiles.

On Tuesday they begin their posters about the desert, working in small groups, as partners or by themselves.

On Wednesday they watched Magic School Bus All Dried up, which focuses on animals in the desert.

On Thursday they continued their posters, with adding animals.

Today they discussed how plants in the desert store water, and how some desert animals eat the plants to get water.  The heroes then did a science experiment about different materials soak up water.  These materials included felt, cotton balls, ribbon, bandanna, and fleece. They made predictions then made observations about what really happened.

Sorry there are no photos, due to a computer glitch they would not upload.

Ms Denice



Greenfield Village and More History in ES!

Week 11: October 28 – November 1

Greenfield Village and More History in ES!

A major highlight this week was venturing out to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. The beautiful day with gorgeous fall colors added to the joy of the trip!

On the trip over, the heroes entertained themselves with “Would you rather…?” questions and fun activity books. Look, we are here!

During the time of the Printing Press, every word in a newspaper had to be spelled out backwards with individual letter stamps. To ensure accuracy, the printers made “proofs” to test the writing before large amounts of newspapers were printed. We still proofread to this day – in a different sort of way.


At the Railroad Roundhouse, we saw the steam locomotives previously owned by Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. The heroes demonstrated bravery by going underneath the outrageously heavy steel locomotives!

The first flying machine was built in the back of the Wright Brother’s Bike Shop in the late 1800s/early 1900s! Innovation in progress!

“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8

How exciting to see the last & 15,000,000th Ford Model T! Better still, the heroes enjoyed a thrilling ride around Greenfield Village in a Model T. What an experience!


Thomas Edison’s laboratory, a huge highlight of the day! Do you see the chair in the middle of the room? Henry Ford requested that Thomas Edison’s chair be nailed to the ground after Edison got up from his chair for the very last time. The laboratory walls contained shelves filled with chemicals and powders. We could imagine Edison and his workers inventing and experimenting right there!

One-room Schoolhouse! Oh, no – answering a question incorrectly meant you had to put your nose in a drawn circle on the chalkboard or wear a dunce cap. We are all grateful that at Journey Academy, the road of trials is a part of the Hero’s Journey.

Such a fun day at Greenfield Village!

Grammar mystery continues! Heroes collaborated together to find all 19 errors!

Creating maps of Downtown Grand Rapids!

Creating a map of West Michigan cities and the Great Lakes!


Have you asked your hero:

  • What do you think school would have been like in Greenfield Village?
  • What would it have been like to write an entire newspaper article backwards during the time of the Printing Press?
  • What was it like to ride in a Ford Model T?
  • What causes littering? Is littering bad? Why/why not?
  • What do the colors mean in Martin Luther’s gospel rose? (gold, dark, red, white, blue, green)
  • What is your opinion on candy consumption?
  • How do you play Fish Bowl?

See you next week!