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On Expedition: King Expeditions, Documentaries and Planning Resources
See KingTV for expedition documentaries going back to 2000.

Our Current Expeditions

6th Grade Windsor and York - Rules to Live By

What are “rules to live by”? How do people formulate and use “rules” to improve their lives? How do people communicate these “rules” to others? In this expedition, students consider these questions as they read the novel Bud, Not Buddy, Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, President Barack Obama’s Back-to-School Speech, “If” by Rudyard Kipling, and informational research texts. At the start of the expedition, students launch their study of Bud, Not Buddy, establishing a set of routines for thinking, writing, and talking about Bud’s rules to live by. They read the novel closely for its figurative language and word choice, analyzing how these affect the tone and meaning of the text. In the second half of the expedition, students engage in a close reading of the Steve Jobs speech, focusing on how Jobs develops his ideas at the paragraph, sentence, and word level. Students use details from the speech to develop claims about a larger theme. Students will continue to explore the theme of “rules to live by” in the novel as well as through close reading of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Students will be writing a literary argument essay in which they establish a claim about how Bud uses his “rules”: to survive or to thrive. Students will then shift their focus to their own rules to live by and conduct a short research project. Students work in expert groups (research teams) to use multiple informational sources to research that topic. As a final performance task, students use their research to write an essay to inform about one important “rule to live by” supported with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, and examples.

Windsor 7 - Coming to America

This fall, Windsor 7 students will be learning about immigration in an expedition titled “Coming to America”. In Science, they will study how immigration affects ecosystems, while in Math they will explore the immigration history of the current KMS community and develop representations of that data. Something About America, I Remember Warm Rain, and New Mainers serve as the anchor texts in Language Arts where they will gain knowledge of immigrants’ lives in Maine. In Social Studies, students will investigate the history of immigration to the USA, study migration concepts, and discuss current immigration issues. In both Language Arts and Social Studies, the students will be delving into a variety of complex texts that will prepare them for an interview and a biographical narrative about a local Portland immigrant.
 
Windsor 8 - Smart City

What is a smart city?  And more importantly, is Portland a smart city?  In our fall expedition, Windsor 8 will be designing a smarter Portland.  We will investigate various aspects of smart city design including:  green building, energy generation, conservation, mobility networks, and how all these factores can be hooked together through smart information grids.  We will be conducting field work at the Common Ground Fair, EcoMaine, USM, and working closely with local architects who are experts in green design.  Our students will create models and proposals that take into account our research in each area of smart city design.  Proposals will be critiqued and reviewed by our panel of experts and expedition partners.

King's Corner Cafe - The State I'm In

Our learning expedition this year is about Maine.  We are calling it, "The State I'm In". We will kick off by visiting the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray.  Each student will choose their favorite Maine animal to illustrate and do a report on.  We will be reading the novel, Lost on a Mountain in Maine, during which we will learn new vocabulary along with learning story elements such as setting and characters. We will learn about the history, people, landmarks and products of Maine.   We will design a Maine postage stamp and make a Maine calendar.  At the end of our expedition, we will travel to the Maine State Museum in Augusta with family and friends, to look at the exhibits and tell our family members and friends what we have learned this year.

York 7 - Alien Invaders

They're Heeeere!!  Alien Invaders visit York 7 students during the fall 2014 expedition! We are learning about invasive species that threaten Maine's biodiversity and economies. Students are taking on the role of educator and scientist, researching their species and providing information to students at Reiche Elementary School about the impacts their species have on Maine. Students also will share their knowledge with locals and tourists who visit Becky's diner via Maine invasive species flip books for their booths. Using some of the species, students will use math to create recipes for collection called If You Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em. And we will write science fiction stories including a character based on the invasive species of their research.  It's a full-on alien invasion this fall!

York 8 - Four Freedoms

In the Four Freedoms expedition, York 8 students will explore concepts of freedom by first looking at Norman Rockwell’s famous paintings of the four freedoms, printed in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. These paintings -- Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom from Worship -- were inspired by Franklin Roosevelt’s State of the Union speech in 1941. As students examine these images and their historical context, they study the concepts and meanings of the same freedoms today through a variety of reading assignments, discussions with guest lecturers, movies and other research. Students then express their personal experiences and reflections on the ideas of freedom through a variety of writing and visual art projects, culminating with the Freedom Collages exhibited at a local gallery in December. Based on imagery gathered from a variety of contemporary media and commercial sources, the Freedom Collages are striking commentaries about how students view the nature of freedom in the world today.

 

York 6 -- WaterME

For our spring expedition, York 6 will be diving into the world of watershed sustainability by trawling for ways we and our community can keep things that are out of sight in mind. Service learning opportunities will provide students with real action for change, and we'll research solutions to current stormwater runoff issues in Portland that affect both local rivers and streams and Casco Bay. Partners from the City of Portland, USM, Cumberland County Soil and Water District, and others will guide us in considering how individuals and businesses in Portland can reduce negative impacts on the Bay. As a result of our research and learning, we'll write and submit editorials to local media, encouraging Greater Portland to become more involved in sustaining our beautiful Casco Bay and local rivers. Our culminating event will showcase student recommendations to reduce and slow down runoff from urban properties.

Windsor 6-- Greece is the Word

This spring, Windsor 6 students will experience their first history-based expedition. They'll examine daily life in Ancient Greece, and research how that culture influenced our modern world in the realms of art, government, literature, and theatre. Students will learn of the adventures of Odysseus through an abridged version of The Odyssey. The discoveries of Greek mathematicians and astronomers will form the basis for exploration in math and science, including a study of our solar system. To express the knowledge they've gained, students will create an educational and entertaining performance for the culminating event.

York 7 -- Secrets of the Salt Marsh

In the York 7 expedition, Secrets of the Salt Marsh, students will explore Maine’s salt marshes through the lens of 16 species from four parts of the food web. Our major learning targets are: 1) I can explain how salt marsh organisms interact with their living and nonliving environment to obtain matter and energy, and 2) I can explain why we should care about the salt marsh. We will travel to Scarborough Marsh for onsite explorations and meet with community experts for each species group. Students will use art, poetry, informational writing, and trophic classification to create and organize digital iBooks which will be offered to the Scarborough Marsh Nature Center for distribution to summer visitors and southern Maine marsh enthusiasts.

Windsor 7 -- Small Acts of Courage

The students of Windsor 7 are writing the book on Maine's contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. The students will first be introduced to historical events and leaders during the Civil Rights era, specifically 1954-1964. Focus areas include Brown Versus the Board of Education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Supreme Court ruling on desegregation, the integration of Little Rock Central High School, the Children's March, boycotts, the March on Selma, the March on Washington and the Civil Rights bill. In addition, students will be reading biographies of leaders and influential people of this time period. Finally, they will investigate this era further by interviewing local citizens regarding their connection to this pivotal time. Students will integrate their understanding of the national movement and local stories in a four volume collection called Small Acts of Courage.

York 8 - Four Freedoms

In the Four Freedoms expedition, York 8 students will explore concepts of freedom by first looking at Norman Rockwell’s famous paintings of the four freedoms, printed in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. These paintings -- Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom from Worship -- were inspired by Franklin Roosevelt’s State of the Union speech in 1941. As students examine these images and their historical context, they study the concepts and meanings of the same freedoms today through a variety of reading assignments, discussions with guest lecturers, movies and other research. Students then express their personal experiences and reflections on the ideas of freedom through a variety of writing and visual art projects, culminating with the Freedom Collages exhibited on First Friday Art Walk in June. Based on imagery gathered from a variety of contemporary media and commercial sources, the Freedom Collages are striking commentaries about how students view the nature of freedom in the world today.

Windsor 8 - reVOLT

Enough solar energy hits Earth in an hour to supply all of humanity’s energy needs for an entire year. Yet simple life sustaining tasks such as purifying water, powering lights, and transporting goods are difficult for a significant part of the world’s population. In their spring expedition, Windsor 8 students will reVOLT against the current limitations imposed by our ways of using energy. They will begin by investigating the science and social issues behind wind power. By combining knowledge from all classes, students will design and build a device that solves a modern-day energy need in a unique way. They will research the energy conversions shown in their invention and explain the social need behind their project. To culminate, they will pitch their designs and research to a panel of community members.

Expeditions from Fall 2013

Windsor 6 - Ripple Effect
Casco Bay is our home, and integral to the life of Portlanders. During the Ripple Effect expedition, students will learn about the ecology of Casco Bay, and its benefit to the community. They’ll discover how the organisms in the bay impact our local economy, and learn about the four physical habitats of Casco Bay (water column, rocky shore, sandy beach, and mudflats). In math, students will examine data sets on invasive species populations using random sampling. On the creative side, students will develop their sensory and figurative language skills as they study and write poetry about our marine home. Plans for our final product are in the works. Check back for an update.

Windsor 7 -- Alien Invaders
Windsor 7 is fighting Alien Invaders! The students and teachers of Windsor 7 are joining forces with the City of Portland, and the Gulf of Maine Scientific Research Institute to address Maine's invasive species epidemic. Along the way, we will be collecting data on invasive species in Maine. As scientists, we will work to study invasives at Biddeford pool and to reduce an invasive plant in Portland. We will be creating impact studies and will present our findings to local decision makers including the Portland City Council, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and Portland Trails.

Windsor 8 -- Truth or Consequences
What is the truth? Why and how do people manipulate the truth? These are the questions Windsor 8 will investigate during our Truth or Consequences expedition. The truth (or lack thereof) is pervasive, and we will examine media literacy, advertising, and, on a broader scale, propaganda. As a final product, students will choose a current issue and create a truth poster to uncover and communicate the truth behind a topic of their choice. They will be collaborating with Maine College of Art faculty and students to design, create, critique, and display their truth ads.

York 6 -- Our House
The students of York 6 will be exploring what a community is and how individuals play a larger part in a community during their fall expedition, Our House. Using If the World Were A Village as an anchor text, students will examine their house of 100 and discover commonalities among its members and celebrate its differences. To understand their community, students will survey themselves as well as the larger King and Portland community and interpret the data to calculate the measure of central tendency. Then working in small teams, students will create a picture book that reflects both themselves in the past, present, and future, and York 6 as a cohesive unit that devotes time to collaborating and to the success of all of the members of the King Middle School, York 6 community.

York 7 -- Seeds of Culture
In Seeds of Culture, York 7 students will examine the relationships among geography, food and culture. Our kickoff will take place in and around Portland, as small groups of students visit area ethnic restaurants and sample native foods. Each student will conduct an in-depth investigation of a country, and then create a character from this country that will be part of a sequel that we will write to the book Seedfolks, our anchor text. Students will then bring their characters to life in a series of monologues, to be performed in December. We will also be working with the Cultivating Community project in Portland, and work on our own garden at King Middle School.

York 8 - Engineering Your Energy Future
Will there be enough energy for our future? What source of energy is the best for our environment? Which source is the cheapest? Who is using the energy and what are they using it for? York 8 is spending the fall of 2013 researching and debating different renewable and non-renewable energy sources and their environmental, economic and social impacts to best prepare for our energy future. One of our experts will be Senator Angus King. Our guiding questions are: What energy sources will most sustainably take us into the future? And how does engineering impact our energy future? For final products, students will be making energy transfer machines, creating presentations, and participating in a wind turbine design challenge.

King's Corner -- Horse Sense II
Students in room 109 are studying horses during our learning expedition. We are attending Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center for 7 sessions where we are learning to groom, tack and ride horses. We will write essays about our experience. We are also reading the novel, "The Truth About Horses, Friends, & My Life as a Coward" by Sarah P. Gibson. We will be making picture books that capture the plot of the book, posters that illustrate famous quotes and facts about horses, as well as horse calendars. Students at UNE are joining us on our expedition to research the effect that horseback riding has on improving school performance. Along the way, we are all becoming horse lovers during this highly enjoyable expedition!

Expeditions from Spring 2013

Windsor 6 - Weathering the Storm
Windsor 6's expedition this spring is called “Weathering the Storm”. We kicked off this expedition with a visit from an ex weatherman Dave Santoro and Patty Wight. The students are studying weather and in particular storms that have hit New England over the last 200 years. We have gone to the Maine History Museum to research storms and discover information they have collected over the years. In science they have learned about weather, and how hurricanes and tornadoes form. In Social Studies they will choose a storm and research it. In Math they are graphing information about storms. In Language Arts and music they will be making podcasts of their story “I am the Storm” set to music they created. These will be presented at the Maine History Museum at the culminating event.

Windsor 7 - Ripple Effect
Casco Bay is our home, and integral to the life of Portlanders. During the Ripple Effect expedition, students will learn about the ecology of Casco Bay, and its benefit to the community. They’ll discover how the organisms in the bay impact our local economy, and learn about the four physical habitats of Casco Bay (water column, rocky shore, sandy beach, and mudflats). Students will conduct water quality testing on and around the bay, checking for salinity, dissolved oxygen and e. coli. In math, students will create a “Visual of Epic Proportions” by choosing facts about an organism’s appearance, attributes or capabilities to compare to their own. On the creative side, students will develop their sensory and figurative language skills as they study and write poetry about our marine home. Finally, each student will be creating an artistic piece based on the organism they are studying.

Windsor 8 - Happitude
Windsor 8 students kick off their spring expedition entitled Happitude: an exploration of real and lasting happiness. Students will discover the role empathy and compassion play in the continuous cycle of happiness through random acts of kindness and community service. By conducting surveys and drawing conclusions from data, students will seek answers to the guiding questions: What is happiness? What brings lasting happiness? In addition to examining the crucial chemicals in the brain connected to happiness, students will probe the past to determine the primary factors that have changed people’s views of happiness over time. In written narratives, students will bring to light universal themes and ideas connected to their understandings of what brings lasting happiness.

York 6 - Oceans of Air
For Oceans of Air, York 6 students are becoming atmospheric scientists. Students will be flying kites to collect air quality samples and data at various locations around Portland. Using the data we collect and analyze, students will  write recommendations to local and national organizations working on air quality. They will learn how and why air moves, what it is made up of and what we’ve inadvertently added. In math, will use metric and standard measurements, determine surface area,and discuss symmetry and geometry using the kites as the anchor.  In computer science, students will use Sketch Up to design their own three dimensional kites.  We will be working closely with our collaborating partners: the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Lung Association, University of Southern Maine, and Kites Over New England.

York 7 - Alien Invaders
They're Heeeere!!  Alien Invaders visit York 7 students during the spring 2013 expedition!  Working to provide the Gulf of Maine Research Institute with invasive species data cards for its online site, students in York 7 research species invasive to the U.S.  Using the scientific method, students tackle one of them - the invasive Japanese knotweed behind the KMS gym.  Building background knowledge, students are reading about and comparing two species of crab invasive to Maine.  They will use this information as they return to Biddeford Pool with UNE Marine researchers to collect data on these crab species.  The data will be used to generate mathematical models.  How do invasive species get to the U.S.?  Building on their learning about the Age of Discovery, students look at modern day vectors that move invasives around the world. 

York 8 - Engineering Your Energy Future 
Will there be enough energy for our future?  What source of energy is the best for our environment?  Which source is the cheapest?  Who is using the energy and what are they using it for?    York 8  is spending the spring of 2013 researching and debating different renewable and non-renewable energy sources and their environmental, economic and social impacts to best prepare for our energy future. 
Our guiding questions are: 
What energy sources will most sustainably take us into the future?
How does engineering impact our energy future?

ELL - All in the Same Boat!
This year Level 1-2 ELL students will be exploring the importance of team workthrough a variety of ways. Most importantly we are working with the Compass Project and building a REAL boat. The Compass Project wrote a grant for us to come and work with this amazing group. Every week our students board a bus and go to the Compass Project, where we are learning many things, from using drills, band saws, compasses, measuring tapes, hammers and screw drivers, to working together, helping each other, and working in a team! Habits of Work and Learning are so important here! Back at school, students are working together to understand the law of buoyancy in science labs and reading Seedfolks together. This book is all about the importance of a community coming together to build a community garden. We are also starting a garden at King. Later in June we will launch our boat in Casco Bay and all will get in the boat. Finally students will be developing new characters from their own countries to add new chapters to the book Seedfolks.

King's Cafe - Eat Well, Be Well
Students will kick off the expedition by visiting the Cumberland Fair, where they will identify healthy foods and not so healthy foods. A nutritionist will come in once a week to present interactive lessons and help students make a healthy snack. The class will also visit Wolfe's Neck Farm where they will see where some food comes from and do farm chores. They wiil learn about the life cycle of a plant and go to a garden where they will each choose a pumpkin to bring home. During the expedition, students will make food safety posters and a healthy recipe cookbook. The culmination will be a nutritious meal planned, prepared and served by the students for their family and friends.

The Learning Center- Picture It
Students are exploring how photographs can be used to convey an idea, inform a viewer or tell a story. Students are learning about the different styles of photography and have written about photos taken by professional photographers utilizing the photographic vocabulary.  Students are reading a variety of non-fiction texts about events in history that we documented through photography. Students are taking on roles as independent photographers, capturing personal images to be displayed with written descriptive reflections. The photos are based on themes they chose and are exploring.  Some of the themes are life, nature,texture, resilience, and action.

World Languages -- Art through the Hispanic and Francophone World
8th grade World Language students will be participating in an Art Throughout the Hispanic and Francophone World expedition which will begin in January and will culminate in late March. The focus of this expedition is on the questions: "What connects you to an artist?" and "How does culture manifest itself in art?". Students will work with local artists, do independent research on a chosen artist, and will create a personal creative project that reflects their understanding of the two guiding questions and the life and work of their chosen artist. Students also will engage in an independent fieldwork activity and reflection, will compose a structured target language essay, and will compile an Artist's Declaration to explain the process of creating their personal project. The culminating event will feature a "student-as-artist" format where they will each present their creative projects and respond to visitor questions.

Expeditions from Fall 2012

Windsor 6 - Lead On

The first expedition for Windsor 6, Lead On, is about leadership. The students are using Americans Who Tell the Truth, by author and artist Robert Shetterly, as a core text. In October Robert Shetterly will visit King with an exhibit of about a dozen of the portraits, some of which are featured in this book. Next, the students will research a leader and will create a panel about that leader for our own leadership exhibit in December. Their panels will also include information about themselves as leaders and how they demonstrate respect, responsibility, and perseverance. All of the work from the fall will ad to an art exhibit in the evening, with Windsor 6 students serving as the docents. The focus areas for this expedition are writing, research and creating a cohesive community.

York 6 - Rock the Vote

York 6 will be paying special attention to the upcoming presidential and state elections as part of their Rock the Vote expedition. Not only will they be learning about the candidates and issues, they are hoping to teach the school about them, as well. Our students will work in committees to plan a schoolwide mock election, in conjunction with the nationwide Student Mock Election. Part of their charge is to inform the school about the candidates and the issues of the day. In their classes, they will be learning about the electoral process, civic responsibilities, local and national issues and candidates, media coverage, persuasive techniques, and number crunching, as major pieces of this expedition. Students will be visiting Republican and Democratic headquarters and will listen to a speaker from the Green Independent party. Students will also participate in a voter registration drive, setting up tables throughout the city to register new voters! Students will also study the election results at King and compare them to the national and state results, and prepare graphs that showcase the comparisons. Our results will be on display during parent conferences. We are planning to host an election night, inviting any and all King families to watch the returns come in. We’re excited to be part of an informed citizenry right here at King!

Windsor 7 - Branching Out

To kick off our Branching Out expedition, Windsor 7 students will begin by surveying city dwellers for their thoughts on this question: “How do trees make Portland a more livable city?” Students will gain knowledge about how to identify the trees of Portland and assess their condition. With this knowledge, they will take part in the City of Portland tree inventory, which is typically carried out by the city’s arborists. Targeting the Parkside neighborhood, students will add their data to the City of Portland’s computerized tree inventory. Land use issues will be studied, along with how trees abate the carbon level in our atmosphere. Students will use math skills to measure and map trees. Finally, students will survey a neighborhood in Bayside and, using the knowledge they’ve gained, make recommendations to city planners for tree plantings in that neighborhood.

York 7 - Winds of Change

Why does change happen? Is change beneficial? These are the questions we hope to answer by examining the elements of change through the history of Maine’s maritime industry. New learning includes boat-building geometry in Ms. Murphy’s math class, the relationship between the stars and the sea with Mrs. Roland, and examining with Mr. Michaud the events and catalysts that led to change along the Maine coast, with special attention paid to primary source documents. Throughout the expedition, students will be working closely with expert mariners and our collaborating partner -- the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. We will conduct research at the museum and on the water. Every student will create a brochure chronicling their research process rooted in primary source photographs of maritime history in Maine. Student brochures, along with the "Winds of Change Kiosk" will be presented to the Maritime Museum at our culminating event.

Windsor 8 - reVOLT

Enough solar energy hits Earth in an hour to supply all of humanity’s energy needs for an entire year. Yet simple life sustaining tasks such as purifying water, powering lights, and transporting goods are difficult for a significant part of the world’s population. In their fall expedition, Windsor 8 students will reVOLT against the current limitations imposed by our ways of using energy. By combining knowledge from all classes, students will design and build a device that solves a modern-day energy need in a unique way. They will research the energy conversions shown in their invention and explain the social need behind their project. To culminate, they will pitch their designs and research to a panel of community members.

York 8 - Four Freedoms

In the Four Freedoms expedition, York 8 students will explore concepts of freedom by first looking at Norman Rockwell’s famous paintings of the four freedoms, printed in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. These paintings -- Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom from Worship -- were inspired by Franklin Roosevelt’s State of the Union speech in 1941. As students examine these images and their historical context, they study the concepts and meanings of the same freedoms today through a variety of reading assignments, discussions with guest lecturers, movies and other research. Students then express their personal experiences and reflections on the ideas of freedom through a variety of writing and visual art projects, culminating with the Freedom Collages exhibited on First Friday Art Walk in December. Based on imagery gathered from a variety of contemporary media and commercial sources, the Freedom Collages are striking commentaries about how students view the nature of freedom in the world today.

King's Cafe - Eat Well, Be Well

Students will kick off the expedition by visiting the Cumberland Fair, where they will identify healthy foods and not so healthy foods. A nutritionist will come in once a week to present interactive lessons and help students make a healthy snack. The class will also visit Wolfe's Neck Farm where they will see where some food comes from and do farm chores. They wiil learn about the life cycle of a plant and go to a garden where they will each choose a pumpkin to bring home. During the expedition, students will make food safety posters and a healthy recipe cookbook. The culmination will be a nutritious meal planned, prepared and served by the students for their family and friends.

World Languages -- Art through the Hispanic and Francophone World

8th grade World Language students will be participating in an Art Throughout the Hispanic and Francophone World expedition which will begin in January and will culminate in late March. The focus of this xxpedition is on the questions: "What connects you to an artist?" and "How does culture manifest itself in art?". Students will work with local artists, do independent research on a chosen artist, and will create a personal creative project that reflects their understanding of the two guiding questions and the life and work of their chosen artist. Students also will engage in an independent fieldwork activity and reflection, will compose a structured target language essay, and will compile an Artist's Declaration to explain the process of creating their personal project. The culminating event will feature a "student-as-artist" format where they will each present their creative projects and respond to visitor questions.

Expeditions from Spring 2012

ELL -- Boats and Buoyancy!

How are boats adapted to their environment and their purpose? What is the law of buoyancy? These are the guiding questions which will steer us along our journey. Students will become research sociologists and discover how boats are adapted to their particular environment and their purpose. They will become boat builders as they collaborate with the Compass Project to build their own small boats. We will also be collaborating with the Maine College of Art to create "floatable" art. Finally we will be consulting with local fishing, lobstering and boating people to discover how boating connects to our local environment. All Aboard!!!

World Languages Department -- Art throughout the Hispanic and Francophone World

8th grade World Language students have been participating in an Art Throughout the Hispanic and Francophone World expedition which began in January and will culminate on Thursday, March 29th, from 5:30-7:00 at KMS. The focus of this Expedition is on the questions of "What connects you to an artist?" and "How does culture manifest itself in art?". Students have worked with local artists, done independent research on a chosen artist, and are creating a personal creative project that reflects their understanding of the two guiding questions and the life and work of their chosen artist. Students also engaged in an independent fieldwork activity and reflection, are composing a structured target language essay, and are compiling an Artist's Declaration to explain the process of creating their personal project. The culminating event will feature a "student-as-artist" format where they will eachpresent their creative projects and respond to visitor questions. The Culminating Event is open to the public.

York 6 -- WaterME

York 6 students are plunging into a new expedition this spring. We will be diving into the world of watershed sustainability by trawling for ways we and our community can keep things that are out of sight, in mind. Service learning opportunities will provide students with real action for change, and our unique insight into possible improvements to or solutions to current issues pertaining to Casco Bay health will grow. Partners from the City of Portland, Portland Water District, and YardScaping will guide us in considering how individuals in Portland can improve their impact on the Bay. We’ll be collecting data at Back Cove, traveling to the Audubon Society to see what watershed protection means outside of urban areas, and planning team service projects. Our culminating event will showcase student brochures which will encourage sustainable actions by the citizens of King Middle School and Portland.

Windsor 6 -- Greece is the Word

This spring, Windsor 6 students will experience their first history-based expedition. They'll examine daily life in Ancient Greece, and research how that culture influenced our modern world in the realms of art, government, literature, and theatre. Students will learn of the adventures of Odysseus through an abridged version of The Odyssey. The discoveries of Greek mathematicians and astronomers will form the basis for exploration in math and science, including a study of our solar system. To express the knowledge they've gained, students will create an educational and entertaining performance for the culminating event.

York 7 -- Secrets of the Salt Marsh

In the York 7 expedition, Secrets of the Salt Marsh, students will explore Maine’s salt marshes through the lens of 16 species from four parts of the food web. Our major learning targets are: 1) I can explain how salt marsh organisms interact with their living and nonliving environment to obtain matter and energy, and 2) I can explain why we should care about the salt marsh. We will travel to Scarborough Marsh for onsite explorations and meet with community experts for each species group. Students will use art, poetry, informational writing, and trophic classification to create and organize sets of Marsh Species Cards which will be offered to the Scarborough Marsh Nature Center for distribution to summer visitors.

Windsor 7 -- Alien Invaders

Windsor 7 is fighting Alien Invaders! The students and teachers of Windsor 7 are joining forces with the City of Portland, and the Gulf of Maine Scientific Research Institute to address Maine's invasive species epidemic. Along the way, we will be collecting data on invasive species in Maine and across the US. As scientists, we will work to study invasives at Biddeford pool and to reduce an invasive plant in Portland. We will be making Invasive Species cards for GMSRI to use in their Vital Signs program.

Windsor 8 -- Creating Currents

Windsor 8 students will be Creating Currents this spring with their latest expedition. They will be investigating ways to reduce their carbon footprint through energy audit data collection and subsequent analysis leading to informed conservation practices. Collaboration with experts in the areas of conservation, building products, design, and alternative energy will help each student create a net-zero home design. In addition, the students will investigate alternative energy production, the public policy decisions involving alternative energy. The expedition will culminate with a competition of electricity generating wind turbines built be the students.

York 8 --Four Freedoms

In the fall of 1941, as the United States considered it's probable entry into World War II, Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech outlining the four freedoms America would fight for: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. Norman Rockwell depicted these four freedoms in a now famous series of paintings as part of the U.S. war stamps effort. As students examine these images and what they meant in the 1940’s, they study the concepts and meanings of freedom today through variety of reading assignments, discussions with guest lecturers, movies and other research. Students then express their personal experiences and reflections on the ideas of freedom through a variety of writing and visual art projects, culminating with the Freedom Collages seen in this exhibition.

Based on imagery gathered from a variety of contemporary media and commercial sources, the Freedom Collages are striking commentaries about how students view the nature of freedom in the United States today.

King's Corner -- Teach-A-Mation

Our learning expedition this year is called "Teach-a-mation". Students will learn to make animations in order to teach math and science lessons to each other.  They will make projects using SAM animation on laptop computers. Students will have the option to make their animation individually or in a small group. We hope to be able to visit either MECA or PATHS to learn more about the process.   We also hope to share our animations with other students in Portland.

Expeditions from Fall 2011

Intermediate ELL -- Maps, Globes and Graphs! Oh My!

As newcomers to America, these Level 2 ELL students will use research and field work to become experts on the 7 regions of our country, the 5 themes of geography, and to produce a travel commercial for the Adult Education US History class here in Portland. Our exploration of states' locations and key facts, research of the regions' characteristics and a new skilled called "persuasion" will make you want to book your next vacation right here in the USA!

York 6 -- Taking Care of Business

The students of York 6 will be exploring the world of business through the five themes of geography.  Each student will research a non-profit business and develop a strategy for starting his or her own non-profit in an area of the world that reflects a need.  The students will be responsible for constructing a formal business proposal, and presenting the plan at the culminating event, where guests can invest in the enterprise of their choosing. The expedition is literacy-driven with plenty of math concepts and other exciting learning opportunities.  

Windsor 6 -- Me to We

Windsor 6 is kicking off our two years together with Me to We. Students will have the opportunity to learn about themselves and each other, become familiar with the Expeditionary Learning process, and develop a sense of self and community. Students will investigate family histories, dominant genetic traits, and personal character traits to help them discover what they have in common and how they are unique. Each student will create an iCard, a visual resume depicting her or his individuality, including what she or he brings to the King community. Another aspect of the expedition is an in-depth exploration of each of Expeditionary Learning's ten Design Principles; students will hear from experts, do a variety of field work, and eventually share their knowledge in the form of multimedia illustrations accompanied by "kid-friendly" translations of those Design Principles.

York 7 -- Pivotal Moments

The York 7 community will research specific events of social reform that were a part of larger movements during the 60’s and 70’s, from equal rights movements to movements to protect the environment. Students will analyze histories that led to these events and how these movements affect their lives today. Students will decide for themselves what is worth fighting for and the steps that they can take to create change.

Windsor 7 -- Small Acts of Courage

The students of Windsor 7 are writing the book on Maine's contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. The students will first be introduced to historical events and leaders during the Civil Rights era, specifically 1954-1964. Focus areas include Brown Versus the Board of Education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Supreme Court ruling on desegregation, the integration of Little Rock Central High School, sit-ins, boycotts, the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington and the Civil Rights bill. In addition, students will be reading biographies of leaders and influential people of this time period. Finally, they will investigate this era further by interviewing local citizens regarding their connection to this pivotal time. Students will integrate their understanding of the national movement and local stories in a four volume collection called Small Acts of Courage.

Windsor 8 -- Truth or Consequences

What is the truth? Why and how do people manipulate the truth? These are the questions Windsor 8 will investigate during our Truth or Consequences expedition. The truth (or lack thereof) is pervasive, and we will examine media literacy, advertising, and, on a broader scale, propaganda. As a final product, students will choose a current issue and create a truth ad to uncover and communicate the truth behind a topic of their choice. They will be collaborating with Maine College of Art faculty and students to design, create, critique, and display their truth ads. Students will seek out area businesses and public spaces best suited for displaying their truth ads in order to reach and impact a wide audience.

York 8 -- Engineering Our Energy Future

King's Corner -- Teach-A-Mation

Our learning expedition this year is called "Teach-a-mation". Students will learn to make animations in order to teach math and science lessons to each other.  They will make projects using SAM animation on laptop computers. Students will have the option to make their animation individually or in a small group. We hope to be able to visit either MECA or PATHS to learn more about the process.   We also hope to share our animations with other students in Portland.


Expeditions from Spring 2011

York 6 -- Seeds of Culture

In Seeds of Culture, York 6 students will examine the relationships among geography, food and culture. Our kickoff will take place in and around Portland, as small groups of students visit area ethnic restaurants and sample native foods. Each student will conduct an in-depth investigation of a country, and then create a character from this country that will be part of a sequel that we will write to the book Seedfolks, our anchor text.  Students will then bring their characters to life in a performance that they will put on at Portland Stage Company in May. We will also be working with the Cultivating Community project in Portland, and work on our own garden at King Middle School.

Windsor 6 -- May the Forces Be With Us!
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Gravity,Heat, Wind, and Water are a powerful troupe of forces at work in the universe. Individually and as partners, they cruise the cosmos creating change. "May the Forces Be With Us!", Windsor 6's winter expedition, encourages students to ask themselves the following questions:" How do these forces shape Earth and all the other objects in space?" , "How do these forces impact human cultures and history?" and “How does measurement help us understand these forces?”

We will travel to the Southworth Planetarium at USM to see how astronomers explain the creation of objects in space. Throughout the expedition we will examine the forces at work in several different settings. We'll find out how early humans described these forces in myth and story. We'll learn about objects in space and how these forces created them. We'll learn how to measure distances in space and how to translate those vast distances into numbers we can handle. We'll research the forces at work on Earth in specific events such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions.

The concrete knowledge gained about human descriptions of gravity, heat, wind, and water will, in the final product, be translated into a narrated dance.

York 7 -- Alien Invaders

York 7 is fighting Alien Invaders! No, not from outer space.... The students and teachers of York 7 are joining forces with the City of Portland to address Maine's invasive species epidemic. Along the way, we will be collecting data on invasive species in Maine and across the US. As scientists, we will work to study invasives at Biddeford pool and to reduce an invasive plant in Portland. We’ll become science reporters and newspaper editors to bring you breaking news of this world-wide issue.

Windsor 7 -- Greece is the Word
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This spring, Windsor 7 students will experience their first history-based expedition. They'll examine daily life in Ancient Greece, and research how that culture influenced our modern world in the realms of art, government, literature, and theatre. Students will learn of the adventures of Odysseus through an abridged version of The Odyssey, and write their own adventure story. They'll become familiar with the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, and as part of a unit on ceramics, students will make Greek vases in art class. The discoveries of Greek mathematicians and astronomers will form the basis for exploration in math and science, including a study of our solar system. To express the knowledge they've gained, students will create an educational and entertaining performance for the culminating event.

York 8 -- Motion Commotion

What is engineering?  How does engineering impact our lives?  How does the design process incorporate math and science?

York eight students will put math and science to work as they design and engineer three dimensional solutions to various problems and challenges during the “Motion Commotion” expedition.  Activities from the PBS show “Design Squad” will acquaint students to the engineering process, as they gear up for the much bigger engineering design challenge: Project Gizmo! We will also make connections to real life engineering challenges, such as: How to stop an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico?  How to rescue trapped miners in Chile?  How to clean up after an earthquake? And other real life challenges.

Windsor 8 -- Truth or Consequences
See the Documentaries

What is the truth? Why and how do people manipulate the truth? These are the questions Windsor 8 will investigate during our Truth or Consequences expedition. The truth (or lack thereof) is pervasive, and we will examine media literacy, advertising, and, on a broader scale, propaganda. As a final product, students will choose a current issue and create a truth ad to uncover and communicate the truth behind a topic of their choice. They will be collaborating with Maine College of Art faculty and students to design, create, critique, and display their truth ads. Students will seek out area businesses and public spaces best suited for displaying their truth ads in order to reach and impact a wide audience.

Beginner ELL -- Why Read?

Beginner ELL students will explore the answers to such questions
as why and what do people read. Fieldwork will include trips to the Portland Public Library and local bookstores. They will create original slideshows to explain and share their results of this research. Students will dive into the world of non-fiction in the second part of our expedition. Field work at Maine Audubon will give students hands on experiences in the wild. In class watching frog eggs turn into frogs will help clinch the study of life cycles. Students then will, with the help of local illustrator Jamie Hogan, create original books about life cycles. Late in the spring you might find us reading under a tree during “Read a book under a tree” Week. Finally we will culminate with a publishing party of student created books.

King's Corner -- Horse Sense

Students in room 109 studied horses during our learning expedition.  We attended Riding to the Top for six sessions where we learned to groom, tack and ride horses.  We wrote essays about our experience.  We also read the novel, "The Truth About Horses, Friends, & My Life as a Coward" by Sarah P. Gibson.  We made picture books that captured the plot of the book.  We made posters that illustrated famous quotes and facts about horses.  We also made movies about our experience at Riding to the Top.  We all became horse lovers during this highly enjoyable expedition!

The Learning Center -- Fabulous Fables

We have been learning about the elements of fables and what makes them different from other kinds of stories. We have studied the human traits associated with particular animals, the narrative and thematic patterns that occur in fables, and how fables are used to point out human strengths and weaknesses. We have researched the history and origins of fable collections and incorporated our findings into a group timeline and world map. We have read and responded to various fables in writing as well as group discussions. We have also written our own fables and chosen fables that already exist to put our own spin on. Students are working on multimedia projects that depict fables they’ve chosen. They are incorporating illustrations, music and voice recordings. Our kick-off involved fable games, readings and writing activities as well as a trip to the Portland Public Library to do research. Our culminating event will involve students sharing their completed work with other King students.

Expeditions from Fall 2010

Intermediate ELL - Movin' On Up

Move over, 60 Minutes! Intermediate ELL students are investigative reporters this year as they hone their skills in interviewing, data analysis and writing. Through collaboration with Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, our English language learners have acquired excellent questioning skills. They have deciphered important attributes for success and developed their oral English by reading biographies of famous Americans and practicing interview skills with career professionals and Portland High School students. Through this study, students are discovering what the mainstream looks like and what each of them needs to do to move to the mainstream classroom at King and be a monumental success!

York 6 - The Faces of King
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Our first expedition, The Faces of King, will teach the Expeditionary Learning model. While experiencing the parts of an expedition, students will meet the many people who create the culture at King. We will examine the rights and responsibilities of a King student, as well as of a citizen of Maine and the United States. Students will explore the demographics of our population here at King, and in science they will study the interdepence of systems, applying that to the inner workings of King. Our students will create brochures that will be distributed to new students and visitors to our building. In our culminating event, parents will participate in the “fastest expedition ever”, an interactive student-led presentation designed to teach our parents how we learn here at King.

Windsor 6 - Lead On

The first expedition for Windsor 6, Lead On, is about leadership. The students are using Americans Who Tell the Truth, by author and artist Robert Shetterly, as a core text. In mid-September Robert Shetterly will visit King with an exhibit of about a dozen of the portraits, some of which are featured in this book. Next, the students will research a leader and will create a panel about that leader for our own leadership exhibit in early December. Their panels will also include information about themselves and how they will contribute to the King community. All of the work from the fall will lead to an art exhibit in the evening, with Windsor 6 students serving as the docents. The focus areas for this expedition are writing, research and creating a cohesive community.

York 7 - 1000 Years without a Bath
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York 7 will soon kickoff their medieval expedition, A Thousand Years Without a Bath. Students will examine life in the middle ages and take a close look at the genre of historical fiction. Our research will not only cover medieval life, but also the process of writing historical fiction. Students will use their research to write a memoir in the genre, which will be presented at the culminating event. We will also be editing and performing a musical at the culminating event. Author and actor visits, field work at local theater companies, and The Society for Creative Anachronism are all planned for York 7 students this fall. Students will also be creating their own costumes in art class, so if you can sew, we need you! Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Windsor 7 - Branching Out

To kick off our new “Branching Out” expedition, Windsor 7 students will begin by surveying city dwellers for their thoughts on this question: “How do trees make Portland a more livable city?” Students will gain knowledge about how to identify the trees of Portland and assess their condition. With this knowledge, they will take part in the City of Portland tree inventory, which is typically carried out by the city’s arborists. Targeting the Parkside neighborhood, students will add their data to the City of Portland’s computerized tree inventory. Land use issues will be studied, along with how trees abate the carbon level in our atmosphere. Students will use math skills to measure and map trees. Finally, students will survey East Bayside and, using the knowledge they’ve gained, make recommendations to city planners for tree plantings in that neighborhood. To culminate the expedition, family and friends will be invited on a tree tour through the Parkside neighborhood.

York 8 - Four Freedoms
See the Documentaries

In the fall of 1941, as the United States considered it's probable entry into World War II, Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech outlining the four freedoms America would fight for: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. Norman Rockwell depicted these four freedoms in a now famous series of paintings as part of the U.S. war stamps effort. As students examine these images and what they meant in the 1940’s, they study the concepts and meanings of freedom today through variety of reading assignments, discussions with guest lecturers, movies and other research. Students then express their personal experiences and reflections on the ideas of freedom through a variety of writing and visual art projects, culminating with the Freedom Collages seen in this exhibition.

Based on imagery gathered from a variety of contemporary media and commercial sources, the Freedom Collages are striking commentaries about how students view the nature of freedom in the United States today.

Windsor 8 - Creating Currents

Did you know that imported oil is the source of 90% of Maine's energy consumption annually? More significantly, the amount of potential clean and renewable energy from wind in the Gulf of Maine could meet the state's needs one hundred times over. The students of Windsor 8 are going to confront both of these facts during their expedition WINDSor in Motion. They will be collaborating with former governor Angus King and local energy experts to address Maine's impending energy crisis. They will analyze the current wind farm debate in Maine, and culminate the expedition with presentations of their own electricity generating wind turbine models before an audience of energy experts at a homegrown Green Expo with local energy industy representatives.

World Languages Departent - Art Throughout the Hispanic and Francophone World

8th grade World Language students will participate in an Art Throughout the Hispanic and Francophone World expedition beginning in January. The focus is on the questions of "What is art?" and "How does art reflect culture?". Students will learn from local artists, do independent research on a chosen artist, and create a personal creative project that reflects their understanding of the two guiding questions and the life and work of their chosen artist. Students will be "front-loading" some skills before the actual start of the expedition, such as independent fieldwork and interviewing. The culminating event will feature the "student-as-artist" where they will present their creative project and respond to audience questions.

Expeditions from Spring 2010

Windsor 6 - Riverworks
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Working with partners to restore the Presumpscot River to a more pristine state, the students of Windsor 6 will collaborate with and take on the roles of scientists. The Presumpscot River, which flows from Sebago lake, through industrial towns like Westbrook and Portland, and empties into the Casco Bay, has been recognized as one of America's most endangered rivers (American Rivers Annual Report, 2000). As stewards of the natural world, we will walk the paths on the river to develop a relationship with the river. We will look at the history of the river as well as explore current issues. We will canoe the Presumpscot to Minnow Brook, a tributary that was tested for the first time by King students in 2002, and conduct on-site water quality assessments using contemporary scientific instruments, and collect water samples for further testing back at school. The data we obtain will be used by community groups that work to improve the quality of life of the river and its ecosystem. Gathering, analyzing, and processing information using the latest technology, we'll develop web pages that will link to our partners' web sites. We are fortunate to have community partners such as Presumpscot River Watch, Friends of the Presumpscot, Idexx Laboratories, and Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District. These organizations will partner with us throughout the expedition, sharing their expertise along the way, allowing us to make real connection with scientists and citizens who have dedicated themselves to improving the Presumpscot River.

York 6 - Urban Oasis
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Students at King Middle School in York 6 have connected with Friends of Deering Oaks for their spring expedition, "Urban Oasis". Students will be collecting data about the health of the trees, conducting a tree inventory and testing soil samples in Deering Oaks Park. Students will assume the role of steward, arborist and soil scentists. They will report their findings to city officials and Friends of Deering Oaks. York 6 will also archive their information through a link on the Friends of Deering Oaks website and the KMS website. York 6 students will be busy this season providing spring clean up and becoming life-long stewards of Deering Oaks Park!

Windsor 7 - Small Acts of Courage
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The students of Windsor 7 are writing the book on Maine's contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. The students will first be introduced to historical events and leaders during the Civil Rights era, specifically 1954-1964. Focus areas include Brown versus the Board of Education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Supreme Court ruling on desegregation, the integration of Little Rock Central High School, sit-ins, boycotts, the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington and the Civil Rights bill. In addition, students will be reading biographies of leaders and influential people of this time period. Finally, they will investigate this era further by interviewing local citizens regarding their connection to this pivotal time. Students will integrate their understanding of the national movement and local stories in a four volume collection called Small Acts of Courage.

York 7 - Alien Invaders
See the Documentaries

No, it's not an expedition about science fiction. Rather, the students and teachers of York 7 are joining forces with the City of Portland and the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program to address Maine's invasive species epidemic. Along the way, we will be collecting data on invasives in Maine, working to reduce invasives in Portland and at Biddeford Pool, and disseminating our findings through the design and production of a 21st century newspaper (front page only).

Windsor 8 - Creating Currents
See the Documentaries

Did you know that imported oil is the source of 90% of Maine's energy consumption annually? More significantly, the amount of potential clean and renewable energy from wind in the Gulf of Maine could meet the state's needs one hundred times over. The students of Windsor 8 are going to confront both of these facts during their expedition WINDSor in Motion. They will be collaborating with former governor Angus King and local energy experts to address Maine's impending energy crisis. They will analyze the current wind farm debate in Maine, and culminate the expedition with presentations of their own electricity generating wind turbine models before an audience of energy experts at a homegrown Green Expo with local energy industy representatives.

York 8 - Four Freedoms

In the fall of 1941, as the United States considered it's probable entry into World War II, Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech outlining the four freedoms America would fight for: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. Norman Rockwell depicted these four freedoms in a now famous series of paintings as part of the U.S. war stamps effort. In the Four Freedoms expedition, King students examine Rockwell's paintings and the historical origins of the four freedoms in the context of their own values, images, and perceptions of the world today. A visiting expert for the expedition will be Mary Beth Tinker, defendent in the landmark supreme court case Tinker vs. Des Moines. Like Rockwell, each student will create a piece of art that captures her or his interpretation of one of the freedoms. Their work, and the students' artist statements, will be hung at the Portland Public Library and on display for the community at Portland's First Friday Art Walk.

ELL - It Takes a Village... Portland

What is a community? How is a community garden a microcosm of our Portland community? This spring beginner ELL students will become sociologists and gardeners during "It Takes A Village". Through collaboration with experts at Cultivating Communities, and Portland City officials, we will plant, maintain and harvest our own community garden on Boyd St., analyze the components of communities around the globe, and culminate with a publishing party of two books for newcomers to the Portland area.

Expeditions from Fall - 2009

York 6 -- Takin' Care of Business

Starting mid-October, the students of York 6 will be getting paid for coming to school, completing homework, helping classmates, and being respectful. With their earnings, the students will be creating businesses in small groups and putting their work to the test at the York 6 Carnival in December. There’s plenty of math to be completed (Ms. Murphy is the Banker), taxes to be paid (Mr. Michaud is the government), and formal business proposals to be written for the Executive Director of the York 6 Carnival, Mrs. Hatch.

Windsor 6 -- Me to We
See the Documentaries

Windsor 6 is kicking off our two years together with Me to We. Students will have the opportunity to learn about themselves and each other, become familiar with the Expeditionary Learning process, and develop a sense of self and community. Students will investigage learning styles, dominant traits, family histories, group dynamics and character traits to help them discover what they have in common and how they are unique. Each student will create an I-Card, modeled on visual resumes and informational posters, to be shared at the culminating event and at fall conferences.

York 7 -- The Power of One

How do individuals make contributions to society that are larger than themselves? What are the processes that people utilize to become positive change agents in their lives and the communities in which they live? Gandhi said, Be the change you want to see in the world. The students of York 7 will be engaged in making this imperative a reality. Using Revans’ model of Action Learning developed for adults in professional settings, students will work in action teams to explore issues of justice and equity, develop resources for increasing public knowledge of these issues, and act for change based upon models of civic action. Our final product will be the change created within and by the action teams. In the process each students will create a reflective journal and document each of the steps they used in the process of changing their world. At our culminating event in December, students will present the results of their action for change in the context of persuading the audience to continue this work beyond the expedition.

Windsor 7 -- Soil Super Heroes
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Life or death dramas are unfolding beneath our feet everyday. Countless super heroes-- bacteria performing roles that make life itself possible -- are ready to bring their untold tales to the public. Windsor 7 will be partnering with New England Organics and Broadturn Farm in Scarborough to uncover the life supporting roles that some 24 species of bacteria perform in our soil. Working with professional microbiologists and cartoonist, each student will create an informational comic strip, detailing the role of a bacterium, that will be made available at local farms and nurseries.

York 8 -- Kinetic Conundrums

The city of Portland is home to many pieces of public art ranging from historical to contemporary, and from realistic to abstract. York Eight students will explore this public art and identify how the art reflects the city and its people. Based upon their research, the students will create an on-line guide to public art in Portland. Additionally, the students will focus on the effects that engineering, math and science have on art. With this knowledge and the help of visiting artist, Jill Dalton, students will create a piece of kinetic art, along with a proposal for the placement of their work, in accordance with the guidelines that the Public Art Committee has developed for our city.

Windsor 8 -- Truth or Consequences
See the Documentaries

What is the truth? Why and how do people manipulate the truth? These are the questions Windsor 8 will investigate during our Truth or Consequences expedition. The truth (or lack thereof) is pervasive, and we will examine media literacy, advertising, and, on a broader scale, propaganda. As a final product, students will choose a current issue and create a truth ad to uncover and communicate the truth behind a topic of their choice. They will be collaborating with Maine College of Art faculty and students to design, create, critique, and display their truth ads. Students will seek out area businesses and public spaces best suited for displaying their truth ads in order to reach and impact a wide audience.

Expeditions from Spring 2009

Windsor 6 -- Portland by the Numbers
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Windsor 6 ranks Portland's livability from a kid's point of view in Portland by the Numbers. The students in Windsor 6 will be collecting data to answer the question: How do kids rate the livability of Portland? As the students collect data from other students throughout the district, they will develop a list of the 10 features of this city that students value today. They will then begin to collect data to rate the city on these features of livability. A presentation of the data to city officials will take place on June 10th.

York 6 -- Seeds of Culture

In Seeds of Culture, York 6 students examine the relationships among geography, food and culture. We will explore celebrations and customs around food, as well as follow the journey of a seed to each particular food. Our kick off will take place in and around Portland, as small groups of students visit area ethnic restaurants and sample native foods. One of our goals, also, is to work with the Cultivating Community project in Portland, and bring a garden to King Middle School. Finally, we are planning to create our own restaurant for a night, here at King.

Windsor 7 - Pieces of Me

Windsor 7 wraps up two years of work together with an exploration of self-expression and identity in Pieces of Me. How do artists draw from experience and memory to create works of portraiture and self-expression? In Pieces of Me, the students of Windsor 7 will create summative portraits of themselves in poetry and mixed-media. Drawing from work with local and national artists - in combination with elements from each of their classes - students will create unique multimedia portraits with accompanying poems. Their work will be shared at a theatrical poetry reading at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center in late May.

York 7 -- The Final Frontier

York 7 blasts off into, the Final Frontier - a collaborative science fiction adventure. The expedition was inspired by a message that inexplicably appeared on the York 7 blog:
Greetings Earthlings! This is Commander Joh of the Counsel of Intergalactic Calamities. I have some disconcerting information to reveal. Unfortunately, on June 1, 2009, your planet will disintegrate, destroying all Earth-based life forms. It is York 7's mission to construct a space colony containing the prime specimens of humanity. This space colony must be able to sustain human life for 1000 Earth years. Use all of your skills, as well as your knowledge of ecology, architecture and sustainability.To assist you in your mission, find comfort in knowing that one of your teachers is a member of the Final Five.

Windsor 8 -- Truth or Consequences

Windsor 8 students will investigate the mass media's manipulation of truths, and how propaganda can shape our lives in Truth or Consequences. To kick off the expedition, students will spend three days establishing thoughts and ideas about the truth. We will learn from Renat Zarbailov, a New York-based multimedia artist who has traveled the world documenting peoples' beliefs about truth. Along with contemporary works and beliefs about truth, students will consider how the Nazi Party used techniques of propaganda to instill fear and take the lives of millions of people. Finally, students will collaborate with Maine College of Art faculty and students to design, create, critique, and display Truth Ads that disclose hidden truths about often misrepresented topics. Technology will play a vital role in the expedition as students use the Windsor 8 blog, graphic design software, video, and the internet to research, reflect, and communicate their findings.

York 8 -- Pier Pressure

York 8 delves into the contentious past and present of Maine State Pier planning in Pier Pressure. Portland's waterfront is ever changing and always in the news. York 8 students will begin looking at the past, present and potential future of the Maine State Pier and the surrounding area. Students will be creating scale plans of a sustainable design for the Maine State Pier. Students will also research the history, the economic and environmental issues, and the viability of their proposed designs. York 8 students will also be looking for parental and community based feedback concerning one of Portland's most valuable resources.

Intermediate ELL -- The Sea and Me

Intermediate ELL Students explore life in and along the Casco Bay in The Sea and Me. We will explore the life of Casco Bay and answer such questions as: Why do scientists study the ocean? Who and what lives in the Casco Bay? And what threatens the health of our bay? Our class will be exploring water quality, investigating life forms, and studying different food webs related to the Casco Bay. We will be teaming with a class from East End Community School. Some very exciting highlights of our expedition will include going on a whale watch, visiting the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and working with scientists in the field. Our final product will be student written and published books on their research of the plants and animals of Casco Bay. We will be working with an area illustrator on this project as well as an area author.

Beginner ELL -- We Came, We Saw, We Learned

We Came, We Saw, We Learned gives beginner ELL students an introduction to the Expeditionary Learning model while celebrating their own heritage. Students will have the opportunity to celebrate their unique cultural experiences by reflecting on their lives in the past (homeland and family), in the present (learning experiences in their new homeland), and in the future (where their learning will take them 15 years from now). The final product will be a composite picture book of the personal stories of the students in their own words.

Expeditions from Fall 2008

York 6 -- Rock the Vote

York 6 students will be paying special attention to the upcoming presidential and state elections as part of their Rock the Vote expedition. Not only will they be learning about the candidates and issues, they are hoping to teach the school about them, as well. Our students will work in committees to plan a schoolwide mock election, in conjunction with the nationwide Studentwide Mock Election. More...

Windsor 6 -- Lead On

The first expedition for Windsor 6 is about leadership. The students are using Americans Who Tell the Truth, by Robert Shetterly, as a core text. In mid-September they visited the exhibit of portraits from Americans Who Tell the Truth which were on display at USM in Lewiston. Two days later they met with the artist, Robert Shetterly, at King and questioned him about his process and his work, including how he defined “truth” and how he selects the people he features. The students are currently studying three leaders as a whole group: Mr. McCarthy, Jackie Robinson, and Rachel Carson. Through this process they are learning the research skills they will need to research their own leader. More...

York 7 -- 1000 Years Without a Bath

York 7 has begun their medieval expedition, A Thousand Years Without a Bath. Students will create and take on fictional roles of lives in the middle ages, and will finish with a performance at the State Street Church. Each student will create a character based upon roles of that time, and write a memoir or a journal entry about what life was like for that character. Eventually the different characters will meet one another in skits produced by the students. More...

Windsor 7 -- It's All Greek to Me

Windsor 7 kicked off our fall expedition with a lively Greek festival and spirited Olympic games. We call this expedition It's All Greek to Me. Students will study the ancient Greeks in all content areas and learn about their contributions to our modern world. The guiding questions are: Who were the ancient Greek "super" heroes? and what is the ancient Greek legacy to our world today? Their task will be completed when they produce and present a comic book anthology of their discoveries.

York 8 -- Four Freedoms

In the fall of 1941, as the United States considered it's probable entry into World War II, Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech outlining the four freedoms America would fight for: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. Norman Rockwell depicted these four freedoms in a now famous series of paintings as part of the U.S. war stamps effort. In the Four Freedoms expedition, King students examine Rockwell's paintings and the historical origins of the four freedoms in the context of their own values, images, and perceptions of the world today. More...

Windsor 8 -- WINDsor in Motion
See the Documentaries

Did you know that imported oil is the source of 90% of Maine's energy consumption annually? More significantly, the amount of potential clean and renewable energy from wind in the Gulf of Maine could meet the state's needs one hundred times over. The students of Windsor 8 are going to confront both of these facts during their expedition WINDSor in Motion. They will be collaborating with former governor Angus King and local energy experts to address Maine's impending energy crisis. They will analyze the current wind farm debate in Maine, and culminate the expedition with presentations of their own electricity generating wind turbine models before an audience of energy experts.

Expeditions from Spring 2008

York 6 -- Alien Invaders!
See the Documentaries

York 6 is fighting Alien Invaders! No, it's not an expedition about science fiction. Rather, the students and teachers of York 6 are joining forces with the City of Portland and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to address Maine's invasive species epidemic.Along the way, we will be collecting data on invasives in Maine, working to reduce invasives in Portland and at Biddeford pool, and disseminating our findings through the design and production of informational pamphlets and posters.

Windsor 6 -- Riverworks
See the Documentaries

With a kick-off date of April Fool's Day and a culmination date of Friday the 13th of June, how can the Riverworks expedition lose? We will be following in the footsteps of former Riverworks expeditioners, taking on the role of scientists as we collect and test water samples along the Presumpscot River. We willtake the time to walk the riverbanks and appreciate what the Presumpscot has to offer, creating artwork and making scientific observations. We will also canoe the river to collect our water samples; the data we obtain will be used by community groups to improve the quality of life of the river and those who inhabit its ecosystem. As well as looking back at the history of the river, students will also explore current issues. We are fortunate to have many community partners who will share their knowledge along the way, allowing students to connect with many who have dedicated themselves to improving a river that American Rivers chose as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers (2000).

York 7 -- Making It Home

York 7 is exploring the American immigrant experience in Making It Home. Working with local immigrants -- from former King students to community elders in Portland -- our students will get a close up and personal perspective on the immigrant experience. The expedition will culminate in a series of monologues written and performed by the York 7 students.

Windsor 7 -- Sparks of Liberty
See the Final Product

During this expedition, the students of Windsor 7 will focus on four events from 1770 to 1775 that helped spark the American Revolution: the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride, and the funeral of Christopher Seider. We will develop background knowledge of these topics in our classes as well as on fieldwork experiences in Boston at the Freedom Trail. The expedition really gets going when, on a trip to Boston, the students will "discover" a cache of 75 period diaries (one for each Windsor 7 student!) written by citizens who witnessed each of these four sparks. Each student now assumes a role as an historian, interpreting and reporting on one of the diary entries, creating an illustration for the entry, as well as an historical reenactment of an excerpt of the diary. Our work will all be published in our own on-line journal -- the Sparks of Liberty. Is it fiction or is it history? You decide.

York 8 and ELL -- Four Freedoms

In the fall of 1941, as the United States considered it's probable entry into World War II, Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech outlining the four freedoms America would fight for: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. Norman Rockwell depicted these four freedoms in a now famous series of paintings as part of the U.S. war stamps effort. In the Four Freedoms expedition, King students examine Rockwell's paintings and the historical origins of the four freedoms in the context of their own values, images, and perceptions of the world today. Like Rockwell, each student will create a piece of art that captures her of his interpretation of one of the freedoms. Their work, and the students' artist statements, will be hung in a local gallery.

Windsor 8 -- WINDsor in Motion

Did you know that, every day, 56% of the energy produced in the United States is wasted due to inefficient technologies and designs? More remarkable is the fact that the potential for unharvested wind and solar energy far exceeds human consumption. The students of Windsor 8 are going to address both facts during their expedition WINDS or in Motion. The students will be collaborating with local energy experts and the Director for Facilities of the Portland Schools to audit and alter our electricity use at the school. They will analyze the current wind farm debate in Maine, and culminate the expedition with presentations of their own wind turbine models to the city council.

ELL Intermediate Level -- Coming to America

The ELL Intermediate level class is working on an expedition called Coming to America: 400 Years of History. We will examine why the Pilgrims left their homeland, faced perilous challenges, and came to America. Students will gain an understanding about how the United States is truly a land of immigrants, some newer and some have been here a very long time. Some final products will include: a self portrait with autobiography (an ethnographic story) and several games made by our students to help people study for the Citizenship Test.

Multigrade Rooms -- Weather Wise and Into the World of Arthropods

In King's Corner Cafe (Room 109), we are doing an expedition called Weather Wise. We are learning what causes weather conditions and what happens as a result of weather. The students are building weather instruments and gathering and recording data on a weather board and in a weather log. We are also learning how to predict the weather.

In room 218, we are going deep Into the World of Arthropods. We have adopted bess bugs, hissing cockroaches, millipedes, and even some local creatures. We are developing stories about bugs and have developed a really cool blog with videos and information all about our expedition.

Expeditions from Fall 2007

York 8 Students Test Their Engineering Instincts

Windsor 6 kicks off our two years together with the "Windsor All Stars" expedition and a partnership with the Portland Sea Dogs. Students will learn about themselves and each other by developing a sense of individuality and team. They will become familiar with Expeditionary Learning and King Middle School by experiencing their first expedition as "rookies." The Sea Dogs will spotlight the expedition product, individual rookie cards, and the students at our culminating event at Hadlock Field to a crowd of fans (peers, teachers, and parents).

York 6 is Takin’ Care of Business! Starting mid-October, the students of York 6 will be getting paid for coming to school, completing homework, helping classmates, and being respectful. With their earnings, the students will be creating businesses in small groups and putting their work to the test at the York 6 Carnival in December. There’s plenty of math to be completed (Ms. Murphy is the Banker), taxes to be paid (Mr. Michaud is the government), and formal business proposals to be written for the Executive Director of the York 6 Carnival, Mrs. Hatch.

River to the Sea is the fall expedition for Windsor 7. Students will work as scientists as they focus on the health of the Fore River. Throughout our work, the students will gather information to answer the guiding questions: What clues do plants provide about the health of the Fore River ecosystem? Why should we care about the health of the Fore River ecosystem? What is good data and how do we use it? Our final product will be a scientific analysis of the health of the Fore River. This work will be presented to officials of the city who are the stewards of this area

York 7 is investigating phytoplankton as the doorway for studying climate change in "Warming Waters." We will collect and analyze data from the Gulf of Maine, collaborate with area experts, understand the history of our environment and learn to interpret graphs and satellite imagery. Our final culmination will include a poster gallery where we will present findings to our panel of experts, parents, teachers and fellow community members.

Windsor 8 students will investigate the mass media's manipulation of truths, and how propaganda can shape our lives. Students will learn how the Nazi Party used propagandato instill fear and take the lives of millions of people. Students will read the play version of "The Diary of Ann Frank" to understand and sympathize with one of Hitler's victims. Students will also collaborate with local journalism and advertising experts to analyze the evidence here in our own community.

York 8 is immersing itself into the world of engineers. We are learning that almost everything that we do - from the moment we get up in the morning, until the moment we go to bed at night - is influenced by the work of an engineer. The students will investigate the many types of engineers, the engineering design process and ways in which engineers use science and math to influence those designs, and the ethical questions that arise as engineers develop their ideas.

ESL students will learn about nutrition, human anatomy, and Maine's local farming and fishing industry. "Healthy Futures" don't always come naturally, but some times our cultural traditions teach us ways to ensure a "Healthy Future". Students will also share and explore how their own diverse cultures help contribute to our overall health and wellness.

What causes weather? What are the effects of weather? Room 109 is the next weather center. Students and teachers will be gathering weather data, making observations and predictions, and identifying changes caused by weather in our world.

Expedition Summaries and Links from Spring 2007

Last year, our teachers and students created and implemented more than 12 original King expeditions. See summaries and follow links to information about last springs expeditions. (Note: house names correspond to this year's houses according to teaching teams. 6th and 7th grade houses loop.) Links to spring and fall expeditions included in the right column.

Windsor 6: What's the connection between phytoplankton, global climate change and life in Maine? In Living Water , the students and teachers of Windsor 7 are heading to the bay to collect data and monitor the plankton bloom--collaborating with scientists working to impact climate change and restore our fisheries.

In the expedition Animal Maine-ia,York 6 students apply their knowledge of web design and information systems to produce a digital field guide to Maine's wildlife, rich in student artwork and scientific information. The final product will be featured on our school web site.

York 7 (formerly York 6) students will examine how students, staff and faculty produce and dispose of waste here at King in our spring expedition Talking Trash.   After analyzing the trash--yes, we're going through the garbage--students will explore the feasibility of recycling and reusing to reduce the waste that King produces.

In Windsor 7 The Forces are with Us the teachers and students of are combining studies of music, science, space, mythology and natural disasters to create an original dance performance set to take the stage on March 21st at King.

Windsor 8: Who is your hero? What are the characteristics of heroism? These are the questions that the students of Windsor 8 will be exploring in Heroes. Their conclusions, and the biographies of their heroes, will be on display in a museum of heroes, as well as in the Windsor 8 Heroes Wiki.

In Engineering Your Future, York 8 students are studying how engineering has transformed nearly every event of our lives. They will meet with local engineers at King and off site, and will be engineering their own boats while producing an encyclopedia of engineering.

Learn more about the Expeditionay Learning Schools national organization.

 


 

King

 
Expedition Documentaries
 
Expedition Videos, Media, and Student Projects
 
Visitor Resources
 
Presentations and Seminar Resources
 
Expedition Planning Resources
 
Expeditionary Learning at King Middle School
-- King's expedition planning and practice conventions.
 
Expedition Planning Resources at King
-- A link to our planning documents.
 
Teaching Strategist Blog
 
Past Presentations
 
Expeditionary Learning at KMS 2013
 
Fading Footprints
- including resources from the Expeditionary Learning Summit.
 
Representing to Learn
- Documentary of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Learning Expeditions and resources.
 
More Expedition Documentaries
 
Expedition Documentary: Small Acts of Courage
-- Windsor 7 students share final products and student videos from the expedition.
 
Expedition Documentary: Me to We
-- Windsor 6 students share final products and student videos from the expedition.
 
Expedition Documentary: Soil Super Heroes
-- Windsor 7 students share final products and student videos from the expedition.
 
Expedition Documentary: Turth or Consequences
-- Windsor 8 students share final products and student videos from the expedition.
 
Expedition Documentary: Riverworks 08
-- Windsor 6 students tell the story of their expedition in video.
 
Expedition Product: Sparks of Liberty
-- WIndsor 7 students share their learning in their final product.
 
Student Views of the Expedition : Takin' Care of Business
-- York 6 students tell the story of their expedition in words and video.
 
Student Views of the Expedition : River to the Sea
-- Windsor 7 students tell the story of their expedition in words and video.
 
Student Views of the Expedition: Windsor 6 All Stars
-- Windsor 6 students tell the story of their expedition in words and video.
 
Expedition 218
 
Mapping Change
- 6th grade: exploring how maps can accelerate, limit and record change, emphasizing personal maps.
 
The Forces Are with Us
- 6th grade: combining studies of music, space, mythology, natural disasters and an original dance performance
 
1000 Years without a Bath
6th grade: the middle ages brought to the stage
 
Living Water
- 7th grade: Exploring climate change and plankton research in the Gulf of Maine
 
Animal Maine-ia
- 7th grade: a digital catalogue on Maine's wildlife
 
WINDsor in Motion
- 8th grade: a study of motion, energy and design.
 
Colonial Cobblestones
-7th Grade
 
Sparks of Liberty
- 7th Grade
 
Access Portland
-ELL
 
More Voices of US
- 8th Grade