speech and language teaching concepts for The Camping Trip in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/s/ initial
/m/ medial
/th/ medial
/er/ initial
/st/ medial


overcoming fears

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

The Camping Trip

By Jennifer K. Mann

Ernestine has never been camping before, but she’s sure it will be lots of fun . . . won’t it? An endearing story about a girl’s first experience with the great outdoors. Ernestine is beyond excited to go camping. She follows the packing list carefully (new sleeping bag! new flashlight! special trail mix made with Dad!) so she knows she is ready when the weekend arrives. But she quickly realizes that nothing could have prepared her for how hard it is to set up a tent, never mind fall asleep in it, or that swimming in a lake means that there will be fish — eep! Will Ernestine be able to enjoy the wilderness, or will it prove to be a bit too far out of her comfort zone? In an energetic illustrated story about a first sleepover under the stars, acclaimed author-illustrator Jennifer K. Mann reminds us that opening your mind to new experiences, no matter how challenging, can lead to great memories (and a newfound taste for s’mores).

This inspiring summer and camping book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like conquering fears, friendship and using positive self-talk. It is also great for noticing character expressions and for targeting sequencing as well as for /s/, /m/, /th/, /er/, and /st/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Camping Trip in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode​

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis​
illustration study​
text features​


order of events on the camping trip


camping, decide, fort, explore, scrumptious, roast, reception, wish

Character Analysis:

Ernestine is excited to go on the camping trip but soon realizes that it requires hard work and getting over her fears. Samantha is a good friend and helps her by being there for her.


Ernestine has to use positive self-talk to overcome her fears and keep going when it gets hard hiking up the mountain. Ernestine learns to enjoy herself and give things a try even when she doesn’t want to.

Text Features:

graphic novel/comic style
speech bubbles


How does Ernestine feel about going on the camping trip?
How do they feel when setting up the tent?
How does Ernestine feel about the fish in the water?
What do you think Ernestine could say to herself while hiking up the mountain?
What do you think Ernestine is thinking about dinner?
How do you think Ernestine feels about sleeping in the dark tent?
Why do you think Ernestine can’t fall asleep?
Why do you think Ernestine changed her mind about swimming?
How do you think Ernestine felt about the trip?

If you are interested in using The Camping Trip in speech therapy, then check out the book companion with the full lesson plans and activities.

If you are interested in seeing other summer books to use in therapy, then check out the Seasonal Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.