The summer months are filled with adventures while children are not in school. Why not model one of these into a few sessions during speech? The first step in doing this will be to use your imagination and to ask others that you know what camping gear you may be able to use for your sessions. Try to get a pop up tent, or figure out a way to make one in an area that you work in. Get a few sleeping bags, folding chairs, coolers, and battery driven lanterns to make it look more authentic.
Learning Inside a Tent
Surprise children by showing them into a tent that you have already set up. Explain to them that you will be working on a camping theme. Ask them if they have ever been camping. Get details about where they went, what they did when camping, and items that were important to pack. Since some children may not be familiar with camping, expand on this with some book walks (see previous post) that focus on camping. A few possible titles include:
- Curious George Goes Camping by Margret & H.A. Rey
- S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James
- Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping by Peggy Parish
- Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night by Cynthia Rylant
- Froggy Goes to Camp by Jonathan London
There are many other titles and each of these could also be used for additional speech and language activities. Read them ahead of time and plan based on the needs of your students. Take time to talk about vocabulary that is specific to camping and sharing any items that you may have for them to look at. If there is time, play a round or two of “What am I” where you give clues about a vocabulary word to see if they can name it.
Campfire Story Time and S’mores
One of the fun parts of camping is being able to make up stories to tell around the campfire. If there is time you can make a TP Roll Campfire Craft together. If not, this can be made ahead of time to place in the middle of a circle outside of your tent for a pretend campfire. Take turns making up a story about camping or something else that will work with your students. Be sure to encourage them to add details and use words that you are working on. Another option for older children is to rotate around the circle to make a silly story together. Everyone does a sentence and keep on going. Perhaps word tiles at the ready for everyone to select and incorporate as they are creating the tale.
When finished with the stories, make some s’mores together. Not only is this a delicious way to culminate the activity, but it also is a way to practice sequencing. In addition to this you can practice giving and following directions
To connect with home, send a message home to families asking if they go camping. Perhaps they have special stories they share around the campfire, sleeping bags, or other items that you can use to set up your mock camp. If there is time extend an invitation to everyone to visit your camp for some s’mores and to witness all that their children have accomplished this summer. Consider labeling items in different languages and making welcome signs to embrace the multilingual community.