« Back to News

June 22, 2015

Differentiation Guide: I Love NY

I Love NY!

From Buffalo to Rochester to NYC and everything in between, New 3
York is a fascinating state to explore. This week is dedicated to open campers eyes to some of their hometown treasures as well as other notable sites across the state. We’ll explore hands-on – recreating cityscapes, taste testing NY apples, and observing lots of different people working throughout New York State!


Doodle Falls/Doodle Canal

  • As you guide campers in recreating these historic sites, keep in mind that the most important element to younger campers is water play. NYregionsThat is why it’s essential you talk about these two land marks prior to the activity to ignite story sharing among peers and personal stories about their family visits to these places. Convert this background knowledge to your center walk when you introduce this activity in order to make it meaningful. This hands-on sensory fun combined with your animated story telling is what will make it memorable and connected to the place they live. Without your commentary, it’s just water play.  Adding photographs as a visual reference is also important in creating a whole-brain experience.
  • Many campers will enjoy extending this water fun into experimental falls. Invite them to try other water-resistant materials to build and adapt their falls/canals. Have a water fall/canal building contest among several small groups or challenge history buffs to research and create a short film with historical commentary!


License Plates

The “license plates” activity can be extended to align with campers’ varied interests by adding an extra step – for example:

  • Campers can arrange/display all of the completed license plates on a bulletin board (or on the playground fence) to create an art installation (perfect for art lovers)
  • Campers can take and print photos of all of the license plates, then cut the images apart to create puzzles (perfect for those SA campers who like to create items for LEAP)


Murals and Skylines

  • Your campers’ interests in art is as vast as their interest in athletic activities and you’ll need to carefully design your cooperative project so that each has an invested curiosity in taking part. If painting is something they often shy away from, offer them the distinct privilege of adding some 3D elements with tissue paper trees, birds, water, or other  notable details that appeal to them. Other materials to use for differentiation include: paint balloons to throw to make the background or water, craft foam stamps, bunched up newspaper stamping, spray bottles, cardboard structures to glue on top, markers, or chalk. Craft sticks, gloves, and other tools also make art experiences more inviting for some children.
  • The best class murals are the ones that keep reinventing themselves; building and building until the original mural paper color is no longer visible. Try to keep your mural up all week, spending time on it each day. Take photos of the progress, pointing out how the project changes and builds every day in interesting ways!

NYC Fashion ShowIMG_2741

  • Fashion isn’t just for girls who love clothes. Challenge the rest of
    your campers to create hats for assorted occupations around NY: a farmer, a baseball player, a musician, a construction worker, and a firefighter all where very different hats for very different reasons! You could spin the same concept into show designs as well!



*Special note for SA teachers – Extend the theme by using the “clubs options” page to create additional learning centers.  If each club is offered 1-2 times per week, this means that more than 50% of the activities suggested for clubs go un-used each week! Don’t reinvent the wheel – use these activities to plan fun options for campers who don’t go on a field trip or need to be extra busy!