Bats + Birds = A Wild Week at Summer Reading Camp

Summer slide is a real concern for schools these days, and to help prevent it, our team came up with running a reading camp in conjunction with a local college.  The beauty of the program is that we've been able to run a bus to pick up the children, provide them with three hours of fun and learning, and shhhh!...keep them reading!  Another added perk is that the teachers can plan it how they want.  We have no pacing guide, no intensive assessments, and no deadlines.  In fact, the kids can share in the planning!

For week one, I went with an ocean theme. If you'd like to read about week one, click the image to the right.  On Thursday, I got to thinking, "Why not ask the kids what they'd like to learn about and vote?"  We brainstormed themes (which I am going to remember since this may guide my book purchases later)...volcanoes and earthquakes, magnets, travel, space, and famous people were a few we came up with that did not get chosen. The winners were animals and storms. Animals were an overwhelming favorite, but we narrowed it to birds and bats.  We had lots of fun comparing/contrasting whales and dolphins this week, so we can actually carry that reading skill through next week too.  

Bird Jokes "I Have, Who Has" GameBird Day Packet { Freebie }So what is up for this week?  The first step to planning the week is to identify which resources we have available.  Of course, you know where I will look first, and free is best for me since the resources may only be used this summer.  Click on the images to access the bird links if you're interested.
Animal Adaptations Bird Feet and BeaksA Lil' Birdie Craftivity

Bat GlyphBat FreebiesNow that a few bird resources have been discovered, the next step is to locate a few bat resources.  I found a mix of organizers for nonfiction, a craftivity, bat poetry for fluency practice, and a bat article that I can use to practice close reading.  Again...all fantastic resources.  
batBats - Poetry Packet

The last step in planning our week is to come up with read alouds and guided reading books.  Here are some of my favorites for the week.  My group includes a range of readers from an end of 1st level to a 5th grade level, so I am pairing students up for practice.  Last week we used a reader's theatre script about whales, and I plan to do another this week that includes the full group.  

Have you studied Bats and Birds?  If so, I'd LOVE to hear your suggestions.  You may contribute them in the comments below.  For pictures and highlights, come back next Friday.  I may come up with a few surprises of my own. :-)  

Until next time, enjoy your summer (or winter if you happen to be an Aussie friend)!


  1. What an amazing way to keep kids engaged over the summer. Looks like so much fun!
    Not very fancy

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