Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night Activities

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night 

We just started Reading Streets in our school district. It is the new reading program. In 2nd grade I love the fun stories and songs that all link with our science and social studies.

Reading Streets Literature – Our fun Tents and Camping Storytelling…

So after we read the story of HENRY AND MUDGE AND THE STARRY NIGHT and went through the vocabulary lessons and sang the songs we did a few other fun activities. Check out this website which has loads of fun stuff for kids at Visalia K12 School District.

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night…..our catalyst for a week of camping activities and Star charts! 
Writing assignment about a Realistic story about a camping experience, fiction or non-fiction.

WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Camping Story in Realistic Fiction Style
we decided to write a REALISTIC STORY about an experience going camping. It could be a true or made up camping trip.  I challenged them  to use several of the AMAZING WORDS vocabulary  and have a problem and a solution. THE SETTING  had to be somewhere out in nature where we might like to camp. I also put out more Henry and Mudge stories for fast finishers to read and enjoy.

The setting of the Camping stories was of course outdoors at some hot camp spot! 
We had a problem and a solution in our camping stories….

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night stories….You could do a retell with the same idea….

Camping Stories and artwork turned out great! 

We did a giant brainstorm of camping places and things to do. We used THE 5 SENSES as a graphic organizer. I wish I had taken a picture of the board. It was good what kinds of outdoor camping activities the kids came up with to match what we smell, see, feel, and hear and taste (s’mores of course! and other camp foods). It was a good background knowledge activity.

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night innovation idea….

Then we made a list of possible problems you could have camping. They came up with everything from mosquito bites to getting lost in a cave and bears eating your food. Then we did some writing of “sloppy copies”. I ALWAYS EDIT each week. Then they rewrite on cute paper and have some sort of motivational ART PROJECT attached. I have taught from Title 1 kids to Spanish speakers new to the U.S. and Gifted kids.  Writing is the best way to push up ALL of their language arts abilities from SPELLING to PHONICS to READING to HANDWRITING and COMPREHENSION. It is reciprocal to all the other LA topics. DO MORE WRITING!!!!! It is KEY.

SCIENCE: Stars and the Sun (Solar Power) 

We were finishing our solar systems from Space the previous week so I thought a natural leap is into the stars and the sun. We did some activities learning about stars (star on a stick with a poem on the back) Check it out.

Then we learned about constellations. A great set of videos on the sun and others can be found Here at About.com. There are many others on the Metacafe website.

HERE are directions to paint this cool “SUN” art project. It looks actually like the SUN! they put blogs of orange and yellow and red paint on a circle of white paper, then cover it over with Saran Wrap. Then they mush it up! How fun! Then they place it onto a black piece of construction paper and glue it down. Then they make sun flare-ups using a cotton swab. Fun!  

 I have a solar robot we go out and put out in the sun to watch him walk, and then we huddle over it so we block out the sun and he stops. The kids love it. And they learn about solar cells. I have bead bracelets we make out of solar beads (Get a package at Steve Spangler Science. The $9.00 package lasts me about 3 years.

Steve Spangler Science solar beads for bracelets….a great fun science activity for kids! 
Solar bead bracelets and glow in the dark beads together make a fun extension activity. They turn back colorful in the sun and back to white in the classroom. Very cool. Very cheap science activity too. And kids love them. 

I buy also some “glow in the dark” beads from Michaels or Hobby Lobby too. Then we make a solar bracelet on a chenille stem. We turn out the lights, and it glows in the dark (be sure you set your beads under a lamp that morning) and then we go outside and the solar beads all change colors. It is super cool!!

Sudekum Planetarium  has a great constellation star chart that is printable and it is fantastic looking! Some years we have made sundials too. HERE is an easy one.

Constellation Art picture idea….You could also do it on black paper with pin holes poked in for the stars. or a mix of both ideas.

If there is time, we will do a few constellations by poking pins through black paper making dots, and doing an acrostic poem using S-T-A-R-S as the topic.  I wish I had a copy of the above activity. It looks like a perfect one for little kiddos.


I knew we were doing a camping story so in the summer I ordered camping stickers on sale from Oriental Trading. I made “TENTS” out of a 12 inch “SQUARE” of green cardstock. I had some army green from a Stampin’ Up freebie given to our Utah teachers a few years back.

I folded the top of the square down on the left and right sides to form a tent. Then we added stickers to the front, and a triangle of white paper inside for the illustration.  We added “camping stickers” I ordered from Oriental Trading. The Link for camp stickers is here. Each student shared the sheet of stickers with a partner.

Camping Stickers from Oriental Trading we used for our “Tents” 


Well who doesn’t go camping without singing some camping songs? Here is a bunch from Visalia k12 website. Just click on the site and sing along with your class! I Love Oh Suzanna! I would of course add my percussion instruments for the kids to play along. (who doesn’t love to bang a drum?) A cute website with other extension ideas is HERE at Teacher.net. They had “make trailmix” and “sleeping bag races” for P.E. (I would use gunny sacks). What fun ideas! Maybe next year.

Sleeping “bag” races….do them with gunny sacks for P.E. 

Gotta Love some trail mix snacks too! Recipe HERE.

Here is our completed writing stories. They are all really fun reads! After reading how one student fought off a mountain lion, I’m wondering how “realistic” these stories are, but what they lack in realism, they make up for in adventure, that’s for sure!  It makes me ALMOST want to go camping under the stars. (NOT) :O