A Day in the Life: English Camp!

It’s been a while Dear Readers!

I hope your summers have been going well. I’ve been busy preparing and teaching my English summer camp, so I thought I’d share some camp escapades with you. For those who may not know, most public school teachers in Korea are responsible for planning and executing a week or two of English camp. One camp session happens during summer vacation and one during the winter break. We usually have to run our plans by our Korean co-teachers and they help with ordering materials needed but essentially it’s our project from start to finish.

In theory we’re supposed to have a Korean co-teacher with us during camp to help with translation for low level students and discipline, but often times it doesn’t work out that way. So sink or swim, camp is all on us. My first summer camp in 2013 was a disaster. My material was too high-level for the students who attended but the activities were fun so all was not lost. By the time winter camp rolled around I had ironed out my mistakes and was on my way to becoming an English camp mastermind.

Three years later, here I am. Another week of camp is over with and good times were had by all. I’ve come to enjoy this time, when I get to have some fun with 20-30 of my 700 students and teach something I’m passionate about.

This summer’s English camp was about animals around the world. On our first day, we learned about animals of the savanna and made animal headbands.

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The second day’s topic was about animals of the forest. After our lesson we made animal hand-stamps. The kids really loved sticking their whole hand into a plate of paint. Below you can see crabs, octopuses, fish, peacocks, penguins and other unidentified creatures.

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In a last-minute issue, I was left with no activity for day four. In keeping with the theme of animals, I spent my afternoon making a “pin the tail on the donkey” game which was a big hit. None of the kids had heard of this game so 1 point for Karli Teacher for introducing a new game!

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Last winter’s English camp was possibly my most favourite camp of all time. It was the Harry Potter English magic camp and it was super fun for both myself and the students.

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The famous "Sorting Hat" from Harry Potter where new students must choose which house they belong to.

The famous “Sorting Hat” from Harry Potter where new students must choose which house they belong to.

Once their houses have been decided, each house team worked together to make their house banners.

Once their houses had been decided, each house team worked together to make their house banners.

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The second day of Harry Potter English camp was called “the care of magical creatures” (which is really a course the students at Hogwarts study in the books). After our lesson on mythical creatures, we made our own magical creatures with clay. Owls, spiders, snakes and other unknown blob-type creatures were made.

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The next day brought my most favourite activity EVER! We made wands! It took two days: one to paint and let dry, then another to add sparkly glue and/or marker designs. Of course I also taught them some spells from the movies, after which point the boys took off running around class shouting spells at each other and pretending to either float, freeze, explode or die.

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I hope to teach the Harry Potter English camp again this winter as there were some activities I wanted to do but didn’t have the time. I’ll let you know come winter! Next week I’ll be on vacation on Jeju island, gathering more stories to share with you. Until next time, be well :)

3 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: English Camp!

  1. @Emily,
    Camp at my school is two 40 minute periods per group, but some schools teach all day. I have usually teach two groups, so group one has two periods, then the next group has two periods and we’re usually finished around lunch time. Thanks for reading! :)

  2. Hey, Karluch:
    You have demonstrated that one of the secrets of successful and rewarding teaching is to make it interesting, to keep the fun in it and subsequently, hold the students’ interest. So–you shure done good at teachin’ them kids how to have fun with that there Harry Potter series. I seen his stuff, too, and so did the Wife! Have fun on the island and don’t take no wooden nickels from nobody. We love youse a tonne and six ounces.
    me and the Wife xxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooooo

  3. Wow, that looks like so much fun~! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Is the camp an all-day affair, like regular school?

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