This summer was the first time that I taught a sixth grade summer camp. It was a week long and I met with the same group of kids for 4 hours each day. Thursday was a national holiday, so I only had to work with them for four days (16 hours). Students are aware of the week of English camp as well as who is teaching it. (The grades were divided amongst me and a Korean teacher; I had grades 3 and 6 while she had grades 4 and 5.) Usually, sixth graders are the least likely to volunteer for summer school so my co-teacher was more than surprised to find out that of all the grades (3, 4, 5, and 6), the most students that enrolled were SIXTH graders. I was a bit stressed by the numbers, but I was actually pretty happy to find out that 5 of the students that signed up had attended my after school class last semester (when I worked with 5th graders). I loved that group of students. ❤
Before camp even started, I was hoping that of the 11 students that signed up, that less than half of them wouldn’t show up. (After all, they are the most likely to stop coming after the first or second day–if they even bother to show up!) Unfortunately for me, ALL my students showed up at least one time. I had 9-10 students every day of my summer camp. It was flattering, but I had really wanted an easy week of summer camp! hahaha. Yeah, I was feeling pretty lazy but it was my next-to-last week of work!
I had already pre-made the lessons, so it was merely a matter of implementing them and hoping that they were entertaining enough for my students. Perhaps my lessons were so enjoyable that’s why the kept coming back? haha. Doubtful, but I did try to make it as fun as possible. If you’re curious, here’s what I did (well for the BULK of the time)…
Day 1: Body Parts: They had to draw a human body and then label the body parts (following my powerpoint in English and Korean). We reviewed the body parts with a few quick games of Simon Says. Then they learned some directional words for moving body parts and then they did Yoga. First, I led them with English instruction and some slight demonstration. The ‘final test’ was when they were divided into teams and they had to instruct each other in English ONLY (fastest team to get all the students doing the same move accurately won).
Day 2: Movie Genres: They quickly got through the boring part of taking notes from a powerpoint with the different movie genres. For each slide, they got to watch movie trailers representative of the genre. I played a game with them where they (in partners) had to watch a trailer (or look at a movie poster) and guess the genre.
Day 3: Short Film/Comic Strip: They watched the Pixar short film, Lifted, and had to answer some questions about what they saw (in English). (They got to preview the key vocabulary before and after the film and if they struggled with the worksheet.) After that, with a partner, they had to draw a comic strip of what happened in the movie but with dialogue and/or caption. (“Lifted” doesn’t have any dialogue.) Then, they had to present their finished comics to the class and the class voted on the best ones.
Day 4: Game day: We played Hang-Man (reviewing the week’s vocabulary), Monopoly (English board game and directions) until they were bored, and Yahtzee.
Overall, the summer camp was entertaining. The students HATED their pictures taken so I had to be sneaky whenever I took a picture. There was a 20-30 minute snack break in the middle of the 4 hours each day, which everyone (myself included) enjoyed. My lesson plans usually finished early, so we would play card games, most notably: Go Fish. It’s such a great game that gets them to use their English. Anyway, that’s just a glimpse at a Korean elementary school’s English summer camp!