The most successful Reading Camp leaders are those who plan ahead. Give yourself plenty of time to collect and purchase the materials, try out the activities, review the learning goals, and walk yourself through the script provided in the Curriculum. The better prepared you are, the more relaxed and confident you’ll feel, and the more engaged your campers will be.


Take notes in your Learning Log as you watch the slideshow.
  1. What advanced planning does Deborah do, several months before Reading Camp begins?
  2. A few weeks before camp begins, how does Deborah prepare to lead an activity?
  3. The day before camp, what does Deborah do to get ready?


1. Preparation

As Deborah says, planning is key for a successful Reading Camp, beginning a few months in advance and continuing until the camp starts. Here are some of the important steps:
Read the Reading Camp Curriculum carefully—several times!

  • Get a global sense of the program. Order the materials you need. Think about the early literacy goal being reinforced each day. Begin to imagine yourself leading each activity.
  • Gather and prepare materials for each activity, thinking about the appropriate Skill Level Options for your campers.
  • Try out each craft and game yourself, or think through the lesson plan for each activity, step-by-step. Think about the time allotted for the activity. This is a great way to trouble shoot potential problems and also come up with creative ideas for helping campers get the most learning and fun out of the activity.

2. Assessment: Pre-test campers (Optional)

A week or two before your Reading Camp begins, you may want to meet with each enrolled camper to give a 15-minute reading skills pre-test. The pre-test will give you a baseline indication of that child’s skills. The SUPER WHY Reading Camp Curriculum suggests three skill levels options for each activity—easy, medium, and challenging. The pre-test scores will help you choose the most appropriate level for each child. This is also a great opportunity to meet and welcome your campers and their families in a one-to-one setting, before Reading Camp begins.

3. Transform your room into a SUPER WHY Reading Camp!

Decorate your Reading Camp with SUPER WHY art, alphabet charts, and maybe a Word Wall with the names of both your campers and the SUPER WHY characters. Get your campers excited and curious, right from the start!

When everything is ready, give yourself a big “thumbs up!” You’re ready for Reading Camp and you’re going to have a super duper time!

Teacher-to-Teacher Tips

“One of the most helpful things in hosting a SUPER WHY Reading Camp is to be super-organized; ideally you have prepared all of the materials, have reviewed each game and craft, and have read over the script. Just like the SUPER WHY program, we want the camp to move quickly from one activity to the next. In order to do this . . . having everything ready to go is a must. ”
— Tasha Weinstein, Tallahassee, Florida

“Everyone involved in working with the campers should read through the entire Curriculum and look over the materials related to each activity. It makes classroom support and team work during Reading Camp more unified and effective if everyone has an understanding of the activities and how they are to be presented and completed.”
— Mandy Bachali, Phoenix, Arizona

“Reading through the Curriculum—several times—is important because it allows you to build familiarity with the information, skills, presentation style, and transitions. I suggest a 3-read approach:
  • first, just to get familiar with the Curriculum and to see what the program is about;
  • second, to recognize more specific details, like activity modifications and delivery style;
  • finally, to re-read it, along with the activity materials list, to understand the expectations, to determine how to manage the flow, and to identify potential problem areas for the children.”
—Karla Thompson, Baltimore, Maryland

“It is important to think not only of what will happen in a particular day, but what will happen during the week on the whole. We organize the general supplies (like glue, scissor, and wipes) in boxes, and we put the teaching materials for each particular day in shopping bags labeled ‘Monday,’ ’Tuesday,’ etc.”
—Kathy Smith, Toledo, Ohio

“We organize materials into packets for each day and activity. We often laminate the game materials for better durability. Craft materials for each camper are packed in individual zip-locked baggies. Providing a model of the craft activity helps children understand the instructions clearly and concretely.”
—Loretta Baker, Baltimore, Maryland

“It’s fine to be flexible and use substitute materials in the activities, especially based what you have on hand. The important thing to remember is to keep the learning goals and purpose of each activity intact.”
—Trista Peitzman, Johnston, Iowa


How can you work with your colleagues to most efficiently prepare for Reading Camp? How will you transform your room into a SUPER WHY Reading Camp? Write your ideas in your Learning Log.

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Additional Resources:

PBS Teachers PBS Raising Readers PBS Parents