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Summer Camp in the Classroom


  • Language Arts
  • Geography


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Transform your classroom into summer camp. Students learn about wildlife and plants and create camp games and songs.


Students will

  • work with teammates to map a route to a camp of their choice.
  • learn basic safety habits and first aid techniques for campers.
  • learn about plants and animals located in a particular area.
  • learn which plants and insects to avoid and how to do so.
  • work to create camper scrapbooks to share with others.


outdoors, biology, safety, habitat, camp, summer

Materials Needed

  • Each team should have access to one or more computers with Internet connection.
  • A presentation device/ projector would be ideal for sharing the final product.

Optional materials:

  • construction paper
  • t-shirt transfer packet and light colored t-shirts for each student
  • color printer (optional)
  • digital camera (optional)

The Lesson

Arrange students into teams of five or six for this great end-of-year activity.

Give students on each team time to brainstorm a name for their team, which is about to take off for a week of summer camping. Each team will be given time to complete a variety of activities. Everything students create will be saved to their team folder, either on the computer or in a paper folder.

Summer Camp Activities 
Have students visit the RV-America Web site to choose the state they will camp in. Click a state on the Web site to bring up a list of available campsites; additional information is available by selecting one of the campsites.

Students then use atlases or MapQuest to map a route to their chosen destination. The map should be printed and saved (1) to the computer, so they can include it in their electronic scrapbook (They might save it as a PowerPoint or AppleWorks presentation.) or (2) in the team's paper folder. Students should also get from MapQuest the driving directions to their chosen campsite, so they can determine how long it will take to reach it.

Team members might check the weather at the campsite location for the next week. They can do that by visiting the Weather Channel and typing in the name of the destination city. They should include in their folder the current weather and the forecast.

Next, the team should create a supply list of clothing and personal items that each member of the team should bring along and a list of supplies -- for example, a tent, food, cooking supplies, and so on -- that the group will need. All items must fit in a van. If available, a database program can be used to categorize and print a list of items for each team. That list should be included in the scrapbook folder.

Then the real fun begins! Students might visit any Web sites from the list selected by the teacher. (See a sample Web Site List below.) Members of the team should plan a class presentation about the place they visit. The presentations are limited only by the imaginations of team members. The list below illustrates just some of the things members might include in their folders. The tasks a team decides on can be assigned in any way members of the team see fit.

  • Learn about the constellations, water and boating safety, plant and insect safety, and local wildlife in the area they visit.
  • Write a team song; new lyrics should be written to a well-known tune.
  • Locate pictures of plants, trees, and wildlife native to the area they visit. Save the pictures to create their own photos, tickets, itineraries, postcards, and water or plant safety posters.
  • Use digital cameras to take team photos. Insert the images into any camping background they wish. These make authentic looking photos to include in the scrapbook.
  • Create visors using construction paper; print an emblem or badge and paste it on the visor so each team can be identified.
  • If budget allows, purchase T-shirt transfer paper and let team members create designs to print on gray or white T-shirts.
  • Favorite camping recipes and songs might be shared in the scrapbook and printed for other teams to enjoy.

When it comes time to make their presentations, students might choose a simple recipe to share while running their slideshows. They might sing their team song while wearing team visors and T-shirts. All items should be printed for display and included in the final scrapbook presentation.

Remind students about copyright rules. They need permission to copy images or text off the Internet; and all sources must be recorded in the Team Bibliography. Provide a sample bibliography for teams to follow. Bibliographies might be handwritten or kept in a word processing document and printed at the end of the activity.

Web Site List


Students will be assessed by teacher observation of

  • teamwork.
  • students' maps to their destination.
  • collection and display of camp specimens and souvenirs for scrapbooks (slideshows).
  • participation in all activities.
  • proper citation format and thoroughness of bibliographies.

Submitted By

Submitted by VaReane C. Heese, Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School


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