Activities about New York

1. History ....... The first lesson you need to do while studying this corner of the globe is the Erie Canal. At least, that's my biased opinion.  Smithsonian Magazine provides a brief history of the canal.  The Library of Congress offers lessons on Marco Paul's (not Polo's) Travels on the Erie Canal.

2. Science     I don't think there are any volcanoes in the area, and I hope there will be no earthquakes. However, inspired by Sylvester Graham who developed the flour used in Graham crackers, this lesson by the Pacific Science Center helps students create volcanoes and earthquakes with Graham crackers.

3. Engineering and Teamwork      Now, if you study Graham crackers, you also need to study marshmallows which were first mass produced by Joseph Demerath in Rochester, N.Y. in 1895. There is a wealth of activities available on the Internet, but I liked Marshmallow Towers by Lucie Guo and Aaron Goldin on Project Spread Aloha.

4. Science     It might be on the Science for O H I O website, but Jello was created in New York in 1897.  Since it required refrigeration, it was a dessert for the rich.  Now, of course, anyone can have it.  And, like the students in this activity, you too might ask, "What's the matter with my Jell-O?"

5. History     One of Rochester's famous citizens was Frederick Douglass who helped Harriet Tubman with the Underground Railroad. You can learn more about Douglass with American Battlefield Trust and BioGraph Book and lesson plans from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

6. Art     Throughout the subways of New York City are some beautiful mosaics.  And, mosaics happen to be one of my favorite art activities. However, they are only for the patient and precise among us.  If that's you, you may like the mosaic projects I have done with students using recycled paper and paper maché.