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.
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
I made a sorting hat out of some materials we had lying around.
It was pretty fun getting the kids sorted into their houses then having them draw a house banner.
Wands – The kids made some amazing wands!
This student actually brought ribbon from home to decorate her 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
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.
My favorite class (and I think the kids’ as well) is Potions.
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.
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.
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.