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English Language Arts

Lab - Learning through Place-Based Education

 Atlas Explorers

The major question facing schools across the county is how to best prepare our children for the ever-changing world they are entering. Students must develop the skills, understandings, and mindsets necessary to prepare them for the careers and challenges of tomorrow. We know that students need multiple and varied strategic opportunities to explore, practice, and perfect 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, citizenship, character, critical thinking, and creativity. Children learn by doing and emphasizing hands-on, real-world experiences makes learning more meaningful to students and helps lessons stick. For these reasons, Atlas strives to connect lessons learned in the classroom with authentic, place-based learning experiences.


Atlas utilizes thematic, place-based units to engage with material across the curriculum for a Lab Block in each grade level. Through place-based education, students have real-world experiences as they learn from the local natural, built, historic, and cultural environment in St. Louis. Lab is rooted in modules from EL Education. This curriculum engages teachers and students through compelling, real-world content. The modules from EL Education are infused with place-based experiences unique to our local community and ties Missouri Learning Standards in math, ELA, science, social studies, and related arts together in this interdisciplinary class. In keeping with our core value of equity, themes of social justice and active citizenry are woven through units, as well as an emphasis on learning 21st century skills. We strive to get students out of the classroom and into the community at least three times per academic session.


This video can help give a general snapshot of what Lab could look like in action.



EL Education


EL Education curriculum is a comprehensive, research-informed, core language arts program. EL Education supports students to build skills and content knowledge, become more confident and collaborative learners, and meet Missouri Learning Standards. Atlas utilizes EL Education curriculum for English Language Arts classes. Students will participate in Content Based Literacy as well as a Reading Foundations Skills Block on a daily basis.