The past few weeks have been insane. I have set a new record when it comes to winter camp participation in Korea. I did four English camps in three weeks, and I’m still standing.
What’s an English camp? you ask?
In Korea, the new school year starts in March. At the start of January, students go on a month-long winter vacation before school opens again for two weeks at the start of February. So all-in-all I only have two more weeks of actual teaching ahead of me, because in mid-February there’s a short spring break.
But then we get to the camps. My schools have all sorts of camps, English camp, library camp, science camp, and so on. The word “camp” is rather misleading. There’s no camping involved; we don’t go outdoors and we don’t make a bonfire. Everything takes place inside the classroom, and it’s basically a few days of special extra classes.
Enter, the Story Time (and Adventure Time) camps.
Most camps have a theme. It can be anything really, but it’s the one time in the year that you can go off-script, throw caution to the wind and leave the textbook at the bottom of the ocean … err … desk.
So, my husband planned an Adventure Time camp for his two schools and I helped out, and I planned a Story Time camp for my school and he came to help me.
For the Adventure Time camp, I had my students paint portraits of Finn and Jake. They also made magnetic bookmarks and paper craft models of their favourite characters. They also made blue and white coconut ice and created their own board games with Sean. By that point, I was having too much fun to take photos. So I only have photos of their art, but isn’t it wonderful?
I went all out for this activity. The books we used were Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Draw Me a Star and The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle and We’re going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. (Do yourself a favour and watch Rosen’s marvelous performance of his famous tale, the students loved it):
On the first day, we made old-school library cards, which the students stained with old tea bags to give it that lovely vintage feel. They also made monstrous bookmarks and read the Brown Bear book and did hand paintings of the animals in the book:
I found amazing puzzle and board game activities for the other books and I daresay my students had a blast. We also made handmade scratch art and butterfly mobiles.
It was by far one of the best camps I’d ever taught in Korea and I was astounded by how much my students seemed to enjoy it. I’m leaving Korea on a high note!