camping in the classroom

In second grade this week, the HM Reading series has us reading...

My students LOVE this book! They also love the other Henry and Mudge books. I had to check them all out from the school library so they could explore all the different adventures Henry and Mudge go on.

I love to get them excited about the different HM Reading stories each week.
For this story, I actually asked the Mr. if we could get a little Mudge puppy... he said NO WAY.  
My students would have L.O.V.E.D. that.  Too bad... ;)

Anyways, I did get some glow in the dark stars so we could have a "Starry Night Classroom". 
It was the first thing they noticed Monday morning and it's all they could talk about all day.
Needless to say, this alone got them excited about our story and I got it all at the dollar store!

At the end of the day (Monday) I pulled out my homemade camping fire. 
It was super easy to make. All it took was a cardboard base, purple holiday lights, 
tissue paper, a glue gun, rocks and sticks from the backyard. 

We put it in the middle of our circle during Community Circle time. My students huddle up and pretend they are around a real fire. They are too cute!

The best is when we turn off the lights and I tell a scary Halloween story... 
but don't worry, it always turns out to be silly!!

How do you get your students excited about reading?


  1. super cool...LOVE the night picture of the fire. pinterest here I come. :)

  2. haha, that's awesome. We read "Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night" in Reading Street too. The kids love it!

  3. Love, love, love the campfire! Neat way to inspire interest. :)


  4. I love that campfire!! Super creative! :)


  5. what a great idea! I would LOVE to use this! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  6. haha! I love it! We do HM Starry Night also, but since we started school super late, we are just wrapping up theme one.

    I might make smores in the microwave when we do Nature Walk.

    We went to Dav Pilkey's website and poked around when we did Dragon. And I pretty much go every week and get the books from the author, or by subject if it's non-fiction. We've had fun with George and Martha this week!

    LOVE that Lindsay Barrett George Around the Pond, which has several similar books.

    Dollar store stars... I'll have to remember that! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love your fire! I have wanted to make one or find one for a year now and your picture helped me see how simple it really is. Thanks

  8. What a cute way to get your students excited to start reading their HM book. You have inspired me to make my HM stories a little bit more exciting!

  9. Love this idea!! Such a great way to get students excited about reading!!


  10. We are about a week behind you! I have a teepee I bought at goodwill and I was thinking of having it be made into a "tent" for my readers to visit!

  11. That fire is awesome! All you need are some marshmallows! What a fun way to get your kids excited about reading!

  12. I just did an author study on Cynthia Rylant, and I LOVE all of her personal and authentic work !! All of your ideas are so inspiring to me :) can't wait to teach.

  13. Everytime I read your posts they make me smile. I will be making a fake campfire this weekend. We have been sharing our campfire stories with flashlight, but this is WAY better!!! Thanks

  14. LOVE the fire! We did this story in Reading Street. We brought in a small tent, used flashlights, and my husband came in and played his guitar. We also did a Fun Friday making maps and using a compass!

  15. For your campfire did you secure the rocks or the sticks to the cardboard with the hot glue?

  16. Love this idea! Can't wait to make one to use in OMazing Kids yoga at our new Camp ClapHans at the JD McCarty Center for Children With Developmental Disabilities this summer :)

  17. WOW!!! This is a GREAT way to captivate the imagination of your students. Our campus theme for this school year is "Learning Is An Adventure"! I think I will be able to incorporate the campfire idea into my music classroom theme as well! Thanks!


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