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June 22, 2015

Differentiation Guide: Shipwrecked



 Ahoy! Shipwrecked week is all about stretching the imagination; embarking on an island adventure with friends.  This theme invites children to think critically and creatively to build getaway vessels, construct shelters, gather supplies, and reinvent their favorite games and activities! Below are some specific examples of how to differentiate a variety of lesson plan activities to meet the needs of each camper.


Scarce Supplies – This thematic activity encourages campers to apply math skills to determine how to evenly and fairly divide pretend resources among the group. The lesson plan suggests starting with a paper loaf of bread and a word problem. Regardless of how you introduce this play-based concept, the key is to encourage campers to take the idea and run with it – applying it to other areas of the shipwrecked classroom. Your role as the teacher is simply to guide the adventure with open-ended questions and inspire learners to expand their own adventure. Simply asking, “What else will we need to think about sharing in order to survive the week?” or “Oh goodness – we only have one pitcher of fresh water left! How can we make sure everyone gets what they need?”  As always, playing on areas of interest is important. Fruit or waffles, for example, may be a “bigger deal” in terms of sharing than bread or water.


Indoor/Outdoor Easels – Lesson plans for this week encourage the easel to be used as a cooperative game station, hosting story starters, “guess what I’m painting” games, partner painting, and more complex options such as “win, lose, or draw” for school age campers. Tapping into what you know about your campers is the best place to start. Question to consider: “What are some of the most popu2015-04-1417-21-33.770640lar games right now and how can I convert those to the indoor/outdoor easel.” This teaches children to resourcefully make adaptations and think outside of the box.  Don’t forget to introduce this center with enthusiasm. An animated and fun camp counselor is an essential component in a successful center.10649538_10204886102582557_4626747858702178889_n_100


Walk the Plank! – This seemingly simple gross motor activity has the potential to turn into a full blown obstacle course that helps develop much more than just balance. Start simple, but have lots of other pieces of equipment nearby to continue construction together. Let children lead the way while guiding them to think within the theme: a floating tunnel on top of the ocean, followed by a series of floating tires to hop across, and some helpful dolphins (bikes) to ride on to safety are just a few ideas to bring the island adventure to life all while challenging muscle development and coordination.


photo 3[2]_8584Pic Stitch Scrapbooks – Consider making some fun props to add into this week’s photo fun. A cardboard box could turn into a thematic shark, ship, or mermaid photo prop!



*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!