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Home » Blog » Literacy » Camp Read-a-Lot: Social Distancing Style
Written by: Katie Palmer

Love doing classroom transformations but limited due to social distancing guidelines? Guess what?! Classroom transformations are STILL possible during this crazy school year. One of our favorite products here at Team Lucky Little Learners is Camp Read-A-Lot, our Camping in the Classroom bundle. This product has EVERYTHING you will need to have a cozy camping, reading, crafting, fun-filled day! Check out the pictures and ideas below to implement this jam-packed classroom transformation in the classroom this year! Want to see a previous post on Camp Read-a-Lot (pre-Covid, but will give some great ideas!)? Check it out HERE.

Creating Your “Campground”

Before social distancing was a “thing” teachers in our Lucky 2nd Grade Teachers Facebook group were using the Camping in the Classroom bundle with their students year after year. Each year the tents, fake pine trees, and flashlights were hauled into the classrooms, snacks prepared, and a day was spent enjoying “camp” together. Luckily, teachers can have some options for setting up Covid guideline-approved campsites.

Individual Desk Tents

With this option, each student has their OWN tent!

Individual Desk Tents for Camp Read a Lot

Assembly instructions:

  1. Purchase $1 table cloths from the dollar store.
  2. Tape a 3-ring binder (rings up) to the desk top.
  3. Drape the table cloth over the binder and desk.
  4. Students sit under their desks while in their “tents”. (This will be a HUGE hit!)

How to Create the Peak of the Tent

Below you will find a visual of exactly how we create the peak of the tent underneath the tablecloth.

Table Top Tents & Mini Campers

Don’t have the budget, the time, or not allowed to do individual tents? How about tabletop tents with mini campers? How about this origami tent project? Students will have fun making this camping craft using paper and popsicle sticks. Check out the video below for a guide:

They can even create trees (construction paper or card stock) and a campfire (sticks and pipe cleaners) with this fun video guiding them!

For the mini campers, they can draw a little person on paper, color it to look them themselves (if they wish) and cut it out. This will be their “camper” for the day. Anytime they are working on stations, reading independently or crafting, their mini camper can head into their tents and relax (so as not to distract the actual students!).

Lights & Accessories

Flashlights or Finger lights: Having students bring in flashlights from home and keeping the lights off during camp reading time will make this transformation extra fun. Have them read or do their station work in their individual tents” or with their desktop campsite set up. Want to buy finger lights? Check those out below! (I will receive a small commission if you purchase through this Amazon Affiliate Link. This does not affect the price of the item.)

Campfire: This can be homemade (like the one pictured below) OR simply project a YouTube video of a cozy campfire (bonus if it has campfire sound!).

S’mores: Ok, teachers probably can’t cook the real campfire treat, BUT there are a couple of options that are close to the real thing! First option: marshmallow creme between two fudge stripe cookies (or chocolate-covered graham crackers). Second option: hand out s’mores cereal and use the handy dandy label that comes in the Camping in the Classroom product. Kids will devour this cereal! Download the snack note and some other camping in the classroom goodies.

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Photo Credit: Kate Dodge

Trees: Ok, this is definitely an OPTIONAL accessory, but how fun!?! By bringing in a few small pines, it creates an “in the woods” ambiance students are sure to love!

Camper’s Itinerary

So what will the Camp Read-a-Lot campers do all day? SO much! Often implemented on Read Across America day, most classrooms spend a huge chunk of their camping day reading. (In their campsites of course!)

If teachers want a whole camping-themed day, Lucky Little Learners has you covered! Our Camping in the Classroom bundle comes with the following:

  • Rules & Guidelines
  • 7 Reading Camp Site Posters
  • Camp Site Checklist
  • Camping Warm Ups Printable
  • Camp Read-a-Lot Brag Tags
  • 3 Reading Bookmarks
  • Write the Room Activity w/ task cards and recording sheet
  • Camp Trading Post w/ task cards and recording sheet
  • S’more Snack Bag Notes & Recipe
  • Camping Addition Scoot w/ 24 task cards, recording sheet, and answer key
  • Camp Bingo Lingo
  • 7 Camp Build-a-Word Activities and recording sheets
  • Narrative and How To Writing Templates
  • 8 Sets of Reading Buddy Questions (fiction & non-fiction)
  • Certificate of Completion (full-color and printer-friendly)
  • Camping Time Scoot (nearest 5 minutes) w/ 24 task cards, recording sheet, and answer key
Camp Read A Lot

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Photo Credit: Kate Dodge

Teachers can implement this resource in any way that works for their classroom. (However, the possibilities are endless with a resource this size!) Due to social distancing guidelines, instead of having kids rotate to each campsite, they can have a camp schedule or camp packet at their campsite when they arrive in the morning that includes all their teacher wants them to accomplish.

More Classroom Transformation Ideas

Are you STOKED to sprinkle classroom transformations into your school year?! Want more ideas like this? Check out our classroom transformation posts below!

Earth Day

Restaurant Day

Two’s Day

Beach Day

Snow Globe Day

Wait! One more thing…

If implementing this classroom transformation in the end of the year, why not start your summer pack-up of the classroom after Camp Read-a-Lot? Perfect time to pack things away! Check out THIS post for ideas on the end-of-year pack-up.

We know this camping classroom transformation will be sure to leave students with fond memories of this crazy school year! Remember, we are better together!

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  1. Becca S

    What a fabulous idea to promote their personal reading time and ‘exploration’!!! Covid or no Covid, this is a wonderful experience to give young students!

  2. Sherri

    Thank you! Have done camping in classroom with 1 large tent and was wondering how to do it differently. Love the tablecloth idea!

  3. Leigh

    These are great ideas! I loved the individual tent idea when I saw it on your FB group, but I just cannot picture how the notebooks are taped to the desk? Does their happen to be a pic anywhere showing it before the tablecoth was put on?

    • Bailey Jordan

      Hi Leigh!
      My suggestion would be to search “camp read a lot” in our Lucky 2nd Grade Facebook Group and ask the author of the post how they did this. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

  4. Sheri Masterson

    Love! Love! Love this idea! My partner teacher and I are already planning this fun day! Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  5. Katie

    Hi! I just bought this for my second grade class off of TPT. 🙂 Where would I find the little signs for each of their individual tents? 🙂

    • Bailey Jordan

      Hi Katie!
      The signs were actually created by the teacher whose classroom this is, but they would be fairly easy to make on your own! I believe all you would need to find is a wood grain background and use a “campy” font. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

  6. Leah

    Hello!!! Where did you find the little pillows at for under the desks?!

    • Bailey Jordan

      Hi Leah!
      The photos in this post are from our Lucky 2nd Grade Facebook group; so if you search for “camp read a lot” in the group you can find this classroom transformation and ask this teacher where she found them. 🙂 I hope this helps!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

    • Sandy

      I’m retired, but I had a camping/country classroom. I love the ideas here and wish I would have had this when I was teaching.

  7. Deedee

    I just love these ideas. We will also have a Camp next week. My coworkers and I are so excited. 😊

  8. Angie

    I will be teaching summer school for 3 weeks so this will be our first time back in the classroom. I saw other schools in my district requiring their teachers to come up with a theme. My school didn’t ask that from us but this got me thinking of using the theme of camping for the 3 weeks! It’ll be much easier to plan activities around it and more fun for the kids since they haven’t stepped foot in the classroom since last March. Thank you!

  9. Veronica

    Great idea. I would use material not plastic table cloths.


    What is the BEEbinder? What are in those binders? Thank you

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Vanta, BEE stands for “Bring Everything Everyday” and this binder or folder is typically used to travel back and forth between home and school each day in students’ backpacks. Any letters, forms, permission slips, etc to send home go in the folder and parents can send things back to the teacher as well.


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