It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the last few weeks of school before the summer break. As students start noticing warm weather and the promise of summer fun on the horizon it can be difficult to keep them focused on learning in the classroom. However, with a few fun activities up your sleeve you can keep them engaged and learning.
Camping is one of my favorite themes to use this time of year, as it reminds me of summer fun.
By planning a few lessons around this theme, you can be sure your students are learning while excitedly preparing for summer.
One of the best activities for learning about thermal energy while making a delicious treat is Solar Energy S’mores.
This classic activity is easy to complete with students and requires easy-to-get supplies. First, gather a few unused pizza boxes from your favorite pizza place (or any lidded cardboard box will do), graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows. Line the boxes with foil, then have students assemble their s’mores and place them inside. Set the boxes outside and let the sun do the cooking! Students really love this simple activity that helps them understand energy from the sun.
Another simple, yet engaging camping activity is to have students write campfire stories.
Modeling a few stories from books (or your memory) will help kids understand the style of campfire stories. Many campfire tales include a “scare”, teach a lesson, or tell how something came to be. You can then invite students to write their own, then share with the class around a “campfire” in your classroom. It is also fun to create oral stories as a class by beginning a story and having students “add on” a few sentences in turn. Kids can feel comfortable to express their creative side without being hindered by writing skills.
Finally, Camping STEM Challenges are an easy-peasy way to get your students using important skills with no planning required.
This resource includes three activities that will get students designing, constructing, and testing. Students will design and construct boats, tents, and fishing poles. Sit back and watch their problem-solving skills grow while they have fun!
Try out the camping theme in your classroom, and your students will have a blast wrapping up the school year while keeping their skills sharp.