It’s summer vacation time! I’ve just finished a four-day English camp with about 20 middle school students. The camp was a lot of fun, and I think the students enjoyed it.
I found an outline for my camp on Waygook.org, which is a website that EFL teachers use to share ideas and post lesson plans and activities. Even though I got tons of material and ideas from the website, there still was a lot of planning involved. It took many, many hours to get everything prepared, but in the end I think it was worth it.
The theme for my camp was “Creature Hunter.” The story was that a teacher had been kidnapped by a dragon, and we would have to rescue the teacher by solving different puzzles and activities to get past certain creatures.
Some activities we did in class:
Making ice cream! (A magic potion to make the toad fall asleep)
We made ice cream in plastic bags filled with ice and salt. This actually didn’t go that well because a lot of the students never got ice cream; they just got extra cold milk. I’m not entirely sure why since all the ones I made worked, but I gave those to the students whose ice cream never formed, so all in all it was OK. At the end of each day, students wrote in their English diary about what they did at camp that day. One student wrote, “We made ice cream. I hate my cooking. Teacher’s is the best.” haha
Photo scavenger hunt! (Since the vampires couldn’t go outside)
You may remember that Matt did this with his students. We did the same type of thing, where each group had to find things in the school and take pictures with their smart phones.
Deviled eggs (For the devil, duh)
We made deviled eggs! Matt did this with his girls the day before I planned to do it with the boys. Matt’s students did not enjoy them, so I was nervous that this activity wouldn’t go well.
But besides a few students who thought the mayonnaise was disgusting and didn’t like the smell, this was a hit!
American-rules dodgeball (Fighting the werewolves)
I taught the kids how to play dodgeball. I explained the game and drew some diagrams on the board of how to play. Then I drew three balls. “Teacher! Three balls!?” They were so surprised. Then I told them the rule about what happens when a student catches a ball, and this blew their minds. You should have seen their faces. (The player who threw the ball is out, plus someone from the other team can come back in the game.) They loved playing the game and kept begging me the next day to let them play again. So on the last day, we ended camp with American dodgeball.
We also made tangrams and did some activities in a workbook that they used every day. Students earned stickers throughout the week for completing activities, winning games, being the best cleaners after cooking, etc. At the end, the team and the individuals with the most stickers won prizes. This (and the fun of the activities) kept them motivated and made camp go by really fast each day.