Harry Potter English Camp

The Prepwork

My teaching contract stipulates that I teach 3 weeks of English summer camp. My co-teachers showed me the curriculum which was incredibly DULL and BORING. They basically wanted to work directly out of a workbook that was just a mini-textbook: no fun at all. Because I didn’t want to spend 3 weeks of my summertime in boring English camp hell, I proposed the idea of having a Harry Potter themed camp.

At first, my co-teachers were not thrilled with the idea since they already had a schedule and curriculum planned. In the end I convinced them after I (open mouth insert foot) offered to plan the curriculum. Yes, I planned a 3 week summer camp centered around the Harry Potter theme. Thank you, God, for waygook.org and the numerous Harry Potter resources online. My head teacher made a cool cover for the workbook and some great banners to promote the camp. Our camp has 48 students, 3 different classes of 16 students each. Each class is taught by one Native English teacher and one Korean English teacher.

The workbook

It took a lot of time to prepare for the camp but I’m pretty happy with the results. Here’s a peak into our Harry Potter Camp world.

The fun in Week 1

The Sorting Hat Ceremony

Sorting Hat

I made a sorting hat out of some materials we had lying around.

Gryffindor House

It was pretty fun getting the kids sorted into their houses then having them draw a house banner.

Slytherin House

4 house banners

Wands – The kids made some amazing wands!

One of my favorite wands - there's some personality!

Another wand with personality.

This student actually brought ribbon from home to decorate her wand :).

My wand

I liked seeing the kids get into their roles of witches and wizards. During break time some boys started using their wands to curse their classmate. Not exactly what I would have wanted but at least they were getting into it. It surprised me that they were using spells from later HP movies like , “Sectum sempra,” “Aguamenti,”  and  of course, “Avada Kedavra”  (the killing curse).

Week 2 – classes

Messy podium - ready to teach!

By week 2 the kids already had the routine down. We gave them a password the day before such as “alohomora,” “wingardium leviosa,” or some phrase from the movie and then had them line up and say the password to enter the class. After classes the kids wrote an owl postcard to their friends in the other classes telling them their likes and dislikes about camp, what they learned, etc. Here are the kids saying the password “sherbet lemon” to get into class.

Different elixirs for potions class (yes those are empty soju bottles!)

My favorite  class (and I think the kids’ as well) is Potions.


Close-up - each one was a different color

We made polyjuice (a mixture of different sodas and re-hydrating drinks), a dragon mucus potion (strawberry yogurt with candies) and next week we will do a magical ice cream potion which is basically making ice cream in a ziploc bag.

Drinking her potion in "one shot".

Dragon mucus potion

Break times were particularly interesting to watch because the girls would get into a circle and play a sort of duck duck goose game while the boys would run around the room, spin and chase each other.

Boys playing:

Girls playing

I have one more week left of camp and then go immediately into the second semester. I think Week 3 will be the most fun since each class will be working on a re-enactment of their favorite scene in the first movie and perform it on the last day. I’ll write about the conclusion of HP camp in a follow-up post.


7 thoughts on “Harry Potter English Camp

  1. What? No quidditch??? Get some brooms and devise a type of quidditch with soccer goals. Camp looks like a blast to me! Great work, Andrea!

    • Haha. Yes we actually are playing a type of quidditch game. It’s more like catch the snitch where two teams line up and each student gets a number. When a number is called two students from each team run and catch the snitch (placed between the two teams).

  2. Way to be creative! I bet you’ve just inspired future teachers to do the same. I bet the kids could tell you enjoyed teaching too. 🙂

  3. FABULOUS JOB! I’m really impressed but the real compliment is seeing all the smiles ond the kids faces.

  4. So cool to see your creative juices flowing in your teaching job, Andrea! Good for you for abandoning the dull & boring for ALL involved! ‘Looks like you have adjusted well to your new environment & your blogging is great with all the pix & details.
    Take care!
    Kathy Keays

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s