South Orangetown Central School District

Yelin Town

Unicorn Court, Ice Cream Street and Pokémon Way are just some of the streets that make up Yelin Town!

For more than 20 years, William O. Schaefer Elementary School teacher Rachel Yelin has engaged her students in “Yelin Town,” a collaborative construction project. Leading up to the big build on Wednesday, students were each given an empty school milk carton to take home and transform into a house to place in their town.

“This project is a culmination of what we have been learning about in our social studies units including economic systems and what we need and want as well as our unit on maps and resources,” explained Yelin. “It’s also a tie in with Earth Day since we are using all recycled materials and we’re using something old to turn it into something new!”

On Wednesday afternoon, families joined the class to create the buildings that their community needs including a school, library, gas station, police and fire departments, a hospital, supermarket and a bank. Armed with cereal boxes, popsicle sticks, cardboard paper towel tubes, colorful paper and other materials, students and their families spread across the room to help complete the town. After creating what their community needed, students could add features that represented “wants” including an ice cream shop and a toy store!