Decorate your classroom in a camping theme, and create a unit of study that ties into this theme. Use real camping gear in your decoration, or fake it with materials like construction paper and cardboard. Create a sense of nature by adding outdoor elements to the room. Have your students contribute to the decorating with projects of their own.
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The walls of a classroom can be decorated in a variety of ways. Decorate them with scenes from nature by cutting out mountains, pine trees, grass, flowers and other elements in nature from construction paper. Make the elements tall enough so your students will actually feel like they are in the forest on a camping trip. Don't forget about the ceiling. Place glow stars on the ceiling so that, when you turn off the lights, they will glow much like actual stars.
If your classroom is set up with designated areas, make each area a specific part of a campsite or part of a forest. Make the reading area the campfire area by creating a cardboard campfire with red and orange-painted flames and set up a small tent. The tent could be a place for the best student of the day to sit during reading time. Create an area for a fishing pond, complete with stick fishing poles and cardboard fish. Attach a magnet to the end of each fishing rod and attach a paper clip to each fish. This can be used for math or word activities by writing numbers or letters on the fish.
Notice boards can each have their own theme. If you have a recognition board, decorate it with something like "Excellent Explorers" and attach student work that goes above and beyond. Make a board with the class and school rules, with critters you might find while camping attached to the board. Have the students go on a quick hike, bring back anything that's found in nature and decorate a board with the found materials.
Don't just leave the decorating to the actual classroom, but integrate the camping theme into your learning materials. Have the students create art projects that go with the camping theme, read books during story time that are camping-related and use spelling words that are camping-related. You can even have the students practice sentence structure and write essays, like a book report with a camping theme.
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