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May 23, 2016

Differentiating Home on the Range

Home on the Range week invites campers to look at the vast, open, rural places in our world and learn about them through play! We’ll take virtual field trips to National Parks, embark on a Doodle Campout, take part in a Rodeo complete with hula hoop lassoing, Line Dance, and an end of the week Sing-a-Long!

Your variety of learners will need your careful design of activities – making sure everyone has something that appeals to them and is in their “just right” range of not too easy and not too hard. Here are some ideas:

National Parks Virtual Field Trips

  • oldfths.jpgWe are sometimes limited to provide children rich resources when introducing a new place or concept. Books, stories, and photos are wonderful assets, but the ability to present a video of a place or an expert guided tour through technology is nothing short of amazing!

Site introductions – Walk your classroom through the general layout of a site and the areas they should focus on. Remember to set clear expectations about what you’re hoping they observe, question, and think about. Consider using a graphic organizer (whole group on poster board) to map out your thoughts. For example: What do I know about ____ ?  What do I want to know about _____?

  • Peer Pairs – Children may need your support or the support of a tech savvy peer to navigate the suggested sites.  As always, please supervise closely! It takes seconds for children to veer off of the intended site and find something inappropriate on the web. We can only block so much.
  • Extensions – After a “Virtual Field Trip” invite campers to extend their experience by creating something! Open up opportunities for writers to write post cards, narratives, or letters home. Invite artists to draw, paint, or sculpt. Perhaps visual, kinesthetic, auditory learns may want to create a narrated virtual field trip experience by recording themselves navigating one of the National Park websites with a second tablet!


Doodle Campout

Have you ever built a campfire? Who here knows how to protect our supplies from bears and other animals out here in the wilderness? Questions like these will help you differentiate – by determining who has experience in these areas, finding ways for them to feel important, and adapting activities just for their interests and learning
styles. Campers may:

  • Have experience with boy/girl scouts icampfire.jpgn camping.
  • Have a family tradition related to camping and can offer insight on how to build a text or share some special songs for Friday’s Sing-a-long.
  • Have never camped before, but are interested in mapping out a classroom hike that includes lots of interesting things to see (garden, bird-watching, cloud observations, etc.)


Rodeo & Hula Hoop Lasso Contest

  • Not everyone likes the spotlight – so consider all of your more reserved, backstage campers during this week’s Rodeo. There are plenty of ways for them to get involved aside from participating in the actual events. For example:
    • Invite your “planners” to assist in designing the series of events (with
      instructions on how to play) and/or a rodeo line up! Let them survey classmates to determine who would like to try their hand at lassoing and give them materials to create poster board line ups of cowboys and cowgirls.
    • “Marketers” may adore advertising the event;creating posters/flyers, recording persuasive commercials, and making “tickets!”
    • “Builders” may enjoy setting up the materials the day of and maintain the materials in between performances.