CLICK! with Cam all year long!
The Cam Jansen mystery series lends itself to many different curriculum and holiday based topics and is perfect for your year-long literature studies! Scroll through the calendar to find out which titles work best with which celebration ideas. We've given suggestions as to which themes to study each month, but feel free to mix things up so they work best for your students.
Related Related Themes: New Year, Character Development
Check out these books about friendships, new and old, to see all the great things you can do with your friends this year!
Welcome your students back for the New Year by discussing resolutions. Explain that resolutions are a great way to set goals for the upcoming year. One of the best ways to achieve any goal is by working together with friends or classmates. Demonstrate this by reading the very first Cam Jansen mystery, Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds, where students can see that Cam relies on the help of her best friend Eric to solve crimes.
Next, have students brainstorm a few resolutions of their own. They should come up with one or two to work on individually, and then, together, you should come up with some goals to achieve as a class. Keep these resolutions prominent by writing them down on the blackboard or whiteboard, or on large chart paper, and displaying them throughout the year. Maybe you want to raise money for charity, write letters to pen pals, or set aside some time each week to read a new book together. Track your progress appropriately throughout the rest of the school year to see how you do!
Related Themes: History, Character Development, Social Studies, Heroes, Valentine's Day
February 12th is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. In Cam Jansen and the School Play Mystery , Eric stars as Honest Abe in the school play. But in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Carnival Prize, two dishonest students are caught cheating at the carnival! Study Lincoln and champions of the Civil Rights Movement like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks in a unit about heroes, using Cam Jansen books that feature heroes as thematic comparison books. Ask students to think about what character traits a hero possesses. Who are some other heroes throughout history? Can they think of any present day heroes?
And don't forget to add a little mystery to your class Valentine's Day party! This holiday is about showing friends and family how much you care, and Cam does just that when she finds a stolen purse AND welcomes twin baby siblings in one day!
Related Themes: Music, Arts, Language Arts, Writing, Women's History Month, Spring
In Cam Jansen and the Triceratops Pops Mystery, Cam can't wait to buy the new album by the Triceratops Pops, her favorite rock band. In Cam Jansen and the Ghostly Mystery, she and Eric are super excited to see them in concert! Hold a mini-concert with your class one day this month. Ask each student to bring in a copy of their favorite song (be sure to tell them the format you need it in so that it will play!). After students play their songs for the rest of the class, they should explain why that song or band is their favorite, when they listen to that type of music, and how it makes them feel. Encourage other students to chime in with their own responses to each other's choices. Are the music tastes among your students eclectic, or did one band seem to be a class favorite? Did students enjoy listening to each others' preferences even if the song was not one they would have chosen? Why or why not? Consider passing out copies of song lyrics to study as poetry. With spring in the air, it might be nice to hold this lesson outdoors!
Don't play an instrument? That's ok! Explore the significance of ALL arts with Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the U.F.O., in which Eric enters a photography contest, and Cam Jansen and the Mystery Writer Mystery, when the children meet their favorite mystery author. Visit the All About Mysteries section on this site and have students brainstorm and write their own mystery stories!
March is also Women's History Month! Begin a unit researching strong women in history by discussing the attributes of Cam Jansen, a strong female character. What are her strengths? Does she have any weaknesses? How does she enrich the lives of the other characters in the series?
Related Themes: Conservation, Environment, Science, Poetry
Feature new title Cam Jansen and the Green School Mystery this month in an Earth Day unit. Review the importance of recycling with students, and then challenge other classrooms in your school to see which class can recycle the most items in the month of April. If possible, have all the classrooms in your entire school get involved! A really cool AND environmentally-friendly prize for the winning class would be a spot on school grounds to plant a class garden.
Does your school hold an annual science fair? Help students snag a few project ideas from Cam's school science fair in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Gold Coins.
Cam is not just environmentally conscious, she's also a friend to animals! Just look at all the missing animals she has encountered in her adventures! In Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Television Dog, she recovers a dognapped celebrity pooch and in Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Monkey House, she stops a plot to sell some stolen monkeys. Now that spring has arrived, encourage students to spend some time with the animals in your area. Ask students to spend twenty minutes after school each day for a week in their backyards observing the animals, birds, and insects that they find. Then, have them rewrite a favorite Cam Jansen mystery, swapping the main animal character with one of the animals they observed. What parts of the story could stay the same, and which would be different? Or, to celebrate April's National Poetry Month, ask students to write poems starring these animals.
Related Themes: Family, Teamwork
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10th. Show your students the importance of family with a variety of Cam Jansen mysteries where, no matter how important the case, Cam is sure to spend time with her family. Demonstrate this by reading Cam Jansen and the Birthday Mystery, in which Cam plans a surprise fortieth birthday party for her parents and Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Circus Clown, where she and Eric go to the circus with Cam's Aunt Molly. Ask your students to share about their families. How are they celebrating Mother's Day, or next month's Father's Day? Do they have plans to travel and visit family members who live far away? Or to spend a day at the circus or amusement park with family, like Cam does? Discuss these fun occasions with your students while making Mother's Day and Father's Day cards for any relatives. Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Corn Popper, Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Haunted House, and Cam Jansen and the Valentine's Baby Mystery are all great choices for stories about families and family values.
May is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Hold a class Field Day in your school's yard. Before you head outside, read some sports-themed Cam mysteries, such as Cam Jansen and the Basketball Mystery or Cam Jansen and the Summer Camp Mysteries to get students excited and thinking with their sleuth-caps on, just in case you encounter a mystery!
Related Themes: Summer Vacation
Keep summer reading exciting with these summer-themed mystery adventures. Click here to download copies of the Cam Jansen Super Sleuth Squad Reading Log for students so they can keep track of the many pages they read.
Related Themes: Patriotism, History, Character Development, Social Studies, Heroes
While students keep up with their summer reading, suggest that they bring a Cam mystery to their July 4th plans. Looking up at the sky waiting for fireworks to start is a great time to think about another occasion that took place thousands of miles above usNeil Armstrong's walk on the moon!
Think about what it means to be a celebrity like Neil Armstrong. What does it mean to be in the "public eye"? Do you think there are more benefits or drawbacks to everyone knowing who you are? How would you use your status as a celebrity if you were famous? Read about other celebrities in all these great Cam Jansen titles!
Related Themes: Summer Vacation
The summer is not quite over yet! Make the most of summer fun in this last month of vacation. Did you read all three stories in the Cam Jansen Super Special: The Summer Camp Mysteries? Are you taking a trip before school starts again? Play the geography game that Cam and Eric do in Cam Jansen and the Catnapping Mystery. Already took a trip? Was it anything like the adventure Cam and her Aunt Molly have at the airport in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of Flight 54?
Encourage students to keep track of their summer adventures, just as they keep track of the pages they are reading with our reading log. It will be fun to share their stories with the class when school starts again!
Related Themes: Back-to-School
Kick the first day off by reading Cam Jansen and the First Day of School Mystery. Ms. Benson's mix-up is sure to lighten the mood for nervous students! Have your students introduce themselves to each other. Ask them to tell one another about their summer vacations, what they're looking forward to about being back in school, and how they got ready for the first day. Did anyone go supply shopping like Cam and Eric do in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Corn Popper?
The return to school doesn't have to mean losing summer's fun and freedom! Use these other Cam Jansen titles to show your kids the many activities and adventures that can take place in one school day. After reading about Cam's escapades, encourage students to share with their classmates the silliest thing that's ever happened to them at school.
Related Themes: Halloween, Five Essential Elements of a Mystery
Now that ghost season is here, be sure that your Sleuth Squad is trained and ready to take on crimefighting with Cam. If you have not done so yet, read Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds as an introduction to Cam's detective process. Be sure to check out the All About Mysteries and Downloadables sections on this site to turn your sleuths into mystery mavens, too.
With costumes and candy galore, Halloween is a fun holiday for everyonemost of the time. Read Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House and Cam Jansen and the Ghostly Mystery to see what happens when an idea for a scary activity or costume goes awry. Are you having a class Halloween party? Have students come to school dressed in their costumes and explain why they decided to dress up that way this year. As a class, write a short story that incorporates all the characters your students are dressed as. Is it a scary story? Or is it more comical than spooky?
Related Themes: Election Day, Thanksgiving, History, Social Studies
Election season is in full swing, and it's time to get your kids in the spirit! Hold a mock election, ask students to share five facts about their favorite president, and, most of all, show them that exercising their civic duties can be FUN by electing great reads!
Thanksgiving is a jam-packed holiday, uniting an integral part of American history with a fun day of family and food! Take a moment and review the background of Thanksgiving with students, teaching them about the voyage across the sea, the Pilgrims, and the Indians. Encourage students to explore history with Cam. She learns about the history of her city in Cam Jansen and the Barking Treasure Mystery, past life on earth in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones, and valuable old coins in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Gold Coins.
Related Themes: Winter, Holidays, Family
The holiday season and winter go hand-in-hand. Read about Cam's winter adventures in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Monster Movie and Cam Jansen and the Snowy Day Mystery. What are your students' plans for winter break? Ask them to share their plans for the holidays, such as travel arrangements, special visitors, or any family traditions with the rest of the class. Or, if you live in a warmer climate, visit the month of June for warm weather activities!
Emphasize the importance of helping and caring for others during the holiday season. Have students write letters or illustrate holiday cards to residents of a local nursing home or senior center to demonstrate spreading a little holiday cheer!