Architecture, Goals and Challenges

(Year 5, Week 6)


The heroes started off the week by learning about the Quest they were going to take on. They were introduced to Architecture! This Quest is going to be done in pairs. The heroes were excited that they got to pick their partners and were ready to dive into the first challenge.

The idea behind the Architecture Quest is simple, heroes will be working over the next five weeks to challenge heroes in the process of building, design, research and construction. The goal is to inspire a love of design and creation and to instill a deeper understanding of process and importance of knowing how to follow instructions and to create their own path. For Exhibition, family and friends will do a walk through of a gallery of the process of creating a model.

Their first week challenge started with a scavenger hunt. The heroes had to roam around the entire school looking for specific things that make Heroes Academy what it is. This included charging ports, sinks, lights, ventilation and more. The heroes had a blast sprinting from one area to another. Trying to find the correct number of items while simultaneously tracking where they were at in the building. Upon reflection, the heroes talked about why certain things go in certain areas. They were asked questions like,

“Does placement of specific rooms like bathrooms matter?”

“How many vents are needed in a room to meet code?”

These are all bigger questions that the heroes had previously not thought about when they were introduced to making their own creation or model. Taking in those considerations opened up the eyes of the heroes to the ability to continue to dream big but in alignment with codes and safety.

Writer’s Workshop

Session 2’s Writer’s Workshop is keeping alignment with the theme of structure. This sessions Quest is titled, Technical Writing. The heroes were intrigued but many were confused on the actual idea of tech writing. Over the course of the next five weeks the heroes will be diving deep into how important instructions are and where they are useful in the world.

The heroes will be using mentor texts as guides throughout the session. Such as Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. LEGO instructions and a manual for a robotic dog. The heroes will learn about technical writing from three sets of instructions:

  1. How to use a software program
  2. How to build something
  3. How to make something

They get to choose what they write about and then have their peers test their instructions. As always, the writing process is heavily used and followed throughout this session. Pre-writing, drafting, revising, editions and publishing. During the launches for Writer’s Workshop these key concepts will be the main focus on introducing the concept of Technical Writing.

The heroes first challenge of the week was to take on the challenge of writing instructions and ingredients for muffins. Some had an easier time than others but most of the heroes completed the challenge and had a ton of confidence in their ability to help someone follow instructions. This also helped highlight to a few of the heroes about where their interests lie and that is in cooking! It will be exciting to see what type of technical writing the other heroes choose.


A few heroes ended up in reset the first week back to school. Reset is a level on the Freedom Levels that means a hero did not track more than 75 points from the previous week. Every Friday, the guide goes through the heroes points, compares them to the points they earned in each program and organizes the heroes based on what Freedom Level correlates with their points. Here is the system at play:

Soaring: Highest freedom level. A hero needs 300 or more points and have a balanced number of 25 points in reading, writing and math.

Flying: Second highest freedom level. A hero needs 150 or more points and have a balanced number of 25 points in reading, writing and math.

Nesting: Third highest freedom level. A hero needs 75 or more points and have a balanced number of 25 points in reading, writing and math

Reset: Fourth highest freedom level. A hero earned less than 75 points.

If a hero is in reset one week, it is a chance to focus on goal setting and how they can be successful. If a hero ends up in reset a second week, the family is notified and it opens up a conversation about what is expected in the studio. If a hero finds themselves in reset for a third week in a row, it is a signal the hero is having a hard time working within the systems set in place by the heroes and studio and therefor it crosses a strike boundary.

At Heroes Academy, we believe every child is on a hero’s journey. We believe they are capable of finding a calling and changing the world. Sometimes these bumps in the road happen. We take on failure as a learning opportunity to overcome the adversity. Sometimes failure can be incredibly difficult. Even more difficult when it is your own child. However, the greatest transformations come from challenging moments.

Challenge Donut

Speaking of challenging, the heroes were introduced to the Challenge Donut. The Challenge Donut is a great tool that Heroes Academy uses in many different scenarios. At Thursday’s morning launch, the heroes gathered round and were asked to close their eyes. They were challenged to think of three different things that they were comfortable doing, challenged while doing and one thing that made them totally panic.

Every hero had something different. Some found comfort in math while others found panic. A couple heroes found comfort in sports while that created intense panic in the rest. After they were doing comparing their areas of comfort, challenge and panic, the heroes were challenged to do a physical task… The Human Knot.

The heroes were put into two groups and asked to find their way out of the knot. This took almost 25 minutes. During that time there were arguments, challenges and even heroes who quit. At the 25 minute mark, 8 brave heroes didn’t give up and they completed the challenge. Upon reflection some heroes described this as their panic zone while some said it was challenging. They discussed how the challenge zone is the area where we grow. Where we overcome fears and get stronger.

The heroes were then asked to challenge themselves through the day to the following questions:

“Am I in my panic zone? How can I get back to the challenge zone?”

“Am I in the comfort zone? How can I move towards the challenge zone?”

Town Hall

Every Friday the heroes go through the motions of Town Hall. This is where big or small concerns for the studio can be addressed. Before they kick off the guide asks them what ROE they want to focus on. This week they wanted to focus on listening respectfully. They are asked to be conscious with themselves and work hard to hold themselves and others accountable. They are given a rating system on a scale of 1–5, no 3’s and they then start Town Hall.

During the previous weeks, the heroes had successfully given themselves strong 4’s and 5’s. For the most part, the heroes are very focused and respectful during their Town Hall discussions. This week, however, things went a little different. The heroes could be seen talking over one another, not listening and interrupting. A total of seven heroes were asked the leave the rug during discussion.

Upon reflection, the heroes rated themselves a 2. They told the guide that they didn’t do a great job of listening respectfully and an even worse job of just holding themselves and others accountable. The guide responded,

“Some moments are better than others. Do we want to continue this for next week or focus on getting a 4?”

The heroes with a united yell said,

“WE WANT A 4!”

Stay tuned for next weeks Town Hall.


The heroes were introduced to their Quest which is Architecture and then later on to their Writer’s Workshop which is Technical Writing. The heroes are working on some detailed oriented work this session! They had a big week of working through challenges. They were introduced to the challenge donut and everyone dug deep into the things that they want to work on in terms of reaching goals. The heroes ended the week with Town Hall and committed to doing better next week. A week full of newness and challenges!

Elementary blog for Heroes Academy, an innovative school in Boise, Idaho. We inspire children to find a calling and change the world →