Thursday, May 19, 2016

Camp Learn Some More


Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

Perhaps I am one of the few teachers who LOVES the last week of school. 

Assessments are done. The pressure is off...well sorta...

I make a commitment to my students that the last week of school we have FUN.  That's right....I said it.  The "F" word.  Fun. 

Fun in school.  Can you believe it?  It can be done.

Every year I do a camping theme for the last full week of school.  My students love it and I love it.

It's kind of adorable how the kindergarteners ask "Are we going to do that camping thing this year?"  They walk down the hall and see our classroom dark, lit by only the glow of camping lanterns and campfire on the SMARTboard and it becomes a big mystery....

What exactly are we doing?
Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.
Since we have tables in my classroom, I cover them all with plastic "picnic style" table cloths I find every year at the Dollar Store. I don't try and save them.  Some things are just not worth it, in my opinion.

I found this campfire by googling "campfire" on YouTube that I keep playing all day for added ambiance.



We leave the lights off, and camping lanterns also help "set the mood." 

The kiddos love bringing in flashlights and sleeping bags too. Inside the tent, I placed a cooler filled with camping themed books. Charlie, our beagle and classroom mascot really enjoyed being "read to" throughout the day.

I borrowed 2 tents from parents since I'm not a camping type of gal.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

My first graders really handled the freedom and flexibility of having various tasks at "campsites" well.  We went over the rules and expectations beforehand and this helped to set the tone for success.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

The classroom was set up by various "campsite" or themed academic tasks. Such as...

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

The Math Mountain campsite has time to the hour, half hour and a few time to the quarter hour task cards.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.
The campsite also has a Trading post where students can "purchase" various camping supplies by showing the coins needed to make each purchase.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

The Social Studies Campsite is a popular choice for a great review of mapping skills and cardinal directions.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

Here, students use a map to "find logs for the campfire."

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

The Science campsite has us venturing outside.  You can't go camping without being outdoors, right?

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

By far, creating a boat out of tin foil and filling it with pennies for a fun STEM project is a favorite with the campers! We made predictions, weigh, measure, plan, work collaboratively, and make comparisons with this super fun activity!

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

The campers also enjoy a scavenger hunt...

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

and some dot-to dot- constellation work to review counting by 5's.

Of all the campsites, as I'm sure you can guess, the tent is the favorite, so I save that for the reading campsite.  We call it "Reading River."

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

At Reading River, students enjoy close reads on camping, bears, squirrels, and ants by flashlight inside the tent.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

At the Writing Ravine, students can write about their camping adventures for the week in their camping journals as well as how to make s'mores


Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.




Campers keep track of which campsites they have visited with this handy checklist:

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.
Campers can earn badges when they complete the activities at each campsite.
Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.

So.....Are you ready to go camping?

Engaging integrated and thematic camping unit for elementary classroom.


You can find this Classroom Camping Resource here.

Do you do any fun end of the year themes in your classroom? I always love hearing from you!


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Ideas, suggestions, tips, photos and more for implementing a camping theme in a kindergarten, first, second, third grade classroom. Literacy, math, science & social studies themed stations and centers. Students bring in sleeping bags and flashlights, tents are put up, the sounds of crickets fill the classroom, and students work amongst the glow of camping lanterns. Great for an end of the year unit! Engaging & motivating, students beg for this every year! {K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade}














2 comments:

  1. Julie, this looks amazing! I needed more ideas for my camping day next week, and this is just perfect! Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete