Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer English Camp 2014 - Zombie Theme

Part of my contract to teach English is that I have to do two English camps each year (summer and winter). In order to work around student commitments I squashed what is normally a 2 week schedule into a single week and ran both morning and afternoon classes. 

Previously I have done a different theme/topic every day of the camp, but this year I decided to do a zombie themed camp!

Not many students wanted to come to my camp this year. All up I had about 14 students in total. 6 regulars in my morning class, and 8 regulars in my afternoon class. Numbers went up and down a little depending on what other commitments students had, but overall numbers were quite low this year. Last year I had 32 students total (16 in my morning and afternoon classes). Oh well....

After introducing the zombie theme, students made team posters. 

Morning class (top), afternoon class (bottom).

Next up, I re-purposed the age old game of snakes and ladders to teach ordinal numbers and dates. I was a little worried students would think it was boring, but they loved it! I made up a game board, put dates in each square that they had to read out loud, and replaced the snakes with zombies that would send them back a certain number of spaces.  

Continuing with the zombie theme I decided to teach them first aid, an essential skill to survive the zombie apocalypse. First thing to learn was the recovery position. 

Next was making an emergency seat to carry someone who fell and twisted their ankle while running from zombies. 

and finally, how to treat a sprained ankle. 

Every camp I have to make a 50 page workbook. I try and keep it as fun as possible by filling it with puzzles and games, or vocabulary exercises that support what we will be doing that day. 

Another game idea I had was getting students to count the syllables in sentences. I was a little worried they would find it boring, but they actually seemed to have fun with it. I wrote simple sentences like "Zombies love to eat brains", they would then copy the sentence on their mini whiteboard, and count the syllables. It was great watching them reading the sentence out loud and counting the syllables on their fingers.

Another day we did a helicopter experiment to tie in with getting rescued from the zombies by the helicopters. Students made simple paper helicopters, formed a hypothesis about if the big helicopters would fall faster than the smaller ones, and tabulated and graphed the results. 

This year I did a multi-day project with my students. I thought it would be fun to make zombie head pinatas and then beat the crap out of them with baseball bats on the last day of camp. First day we started the first layer of newspaper on the balloon. 

The next day we added another layer, this time using white scrap paper.

Pinata's hanging to dry. 

The following day students added a final layer of coloured paper and decorated their pinata's to look like zombie heads. 

Finished heads hanging to dry.

Once dry, we popped the balloons and (using a chopstick) threaded some ribbon though the head so we could hang it. 

Time to fill the pinata with candy!!!!

And finally, hit the pinata. 

Even my co-teacher took a swing. 

A couple of the pinata's were so well made that students couldn't break them, so they called in teacher to finish the job.

The spoils of war.

The battered zombie head. 

Candy everywhere!

Once all the zombie heads were smashed, it was time to hand out awards. We tried to give every student an award. The best students got a 10,000 won ($10) voucher, other students got a notebook and a pen.  

A group photo with my afternoon class.  

Pretending to be zombies.  

And a group photo with my morning class (which somehow ended up twice the normal size on the last day of camp).  

And some more zombie impersonations. 

All over red rover. 6 months until my last ever English camp before I head back to Australia.