6th graders posing on the last day of camp.
During week two, the 3rd & 4th graders studied body parts and animals. Both units were covered in the regular lessons, but review is always good, and I used the opportunity to teach extra vocabulary and grammar. During the body parts unit, I put the students into pairs and had one student trace their partner's body on a sheet of butcher paper. Once they were done, they drew in additional features (such as the face) and labeled the body parts. Their favorite part about the activity was how they didn't have to sit at their desks. My favorite part was how few students actually sat on the ground when tracing their friends; half of them chose to Asian squat and do a funny squatting waddle as they made their way around their partner's body.
During the animal unit we read Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?. Well, I read Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? and the students listened to me and looked at the pictures. The first time, they just listened to the story. The second time, they made their own copy of the book. I gave the kids pictures of the different animals (bear, bird, duck, cat, etc.) and as we read the story, they colored the pictures the appropriate colors and wrote descriptions of the animals (brown bear, red bird, yellow duck, purple cat, etc.) Or at least they tried too. One boy had some trouble.
On Wednesday afternoon, 안 수빈 and 신 다해, two 4th graders who aren't in English camp, saw me in the hallway and followed me back to my classroom to play. We colored the animal flashcards from camp and they entertained themselves for a while by writing things like cat and ice cream and I love you Teacher on the whiteboard. Then they gave themselves eye tests. 다해 wrote an eye chart on the board and 수빈 sat on a desk a couple of rows back, covered one eye with a fuzzy plush ball and called out the letters. Apparently this was fun, although they did get into an argument when 다해 told 수빈 her eyesight wasn't very good. The eye chart reminded me of the eye test I had during a medical exam my first year in Korea. I had only been in the country for a few days, the only Korean I knew was hello, kimchi and I love you very much, and all the eye charts at the hospital were entirely in Korean letters. Eventually, the nurse found an eye chart used for very young children that had pictures instead of letters, and I had to identify the pictures in English while my co-teacher translated my answers into Korean.
They also wrote out the Korean alphabet and, with some help, transliterated it into the Latin alphabet.
My mom and sister arrived in Korea on Thursday and I brought them to school with me on Friday. They made quite an impression on my students. Fourth Grade, Chapter 7 is titled Who Is She? and it was a gratifying moment when every single one of my 4th graders looked at my family and asked, "Teacher, who are they?" Yes, retention! My students were also the only people we met during Mom and Leah's trip who accepted that my sister, who was adopted from Korea as an infant, was American without question. I guess I'm so firmly linked with America in their minds that despite looking like a Korea person, my sister must be American. While they didn't question her nationality, they did seem a bit fuzzy on her age. My 5th & 6th grade class objected to me calling Leah my 여동생 (Korean for younger sister, as opposed to 언니, older sister), so I asked them how old they thought Leah was. "Is she 30?" one girl asked. For the record, my sister is fifteen. I'm twenty-five. While I'm routinely mistaken as my 21-year-old brother's younger sister, this is the first time someone has ever asked if I'm younger than Leah.
Leah is on the left. Does that child look 30?!?
At the beginning of camp, I divided the 3rd and 4th grade classes into three teams and told the students that group with the most points at the end of camp would get a special prize from America. Teams could get points for winning a game, volunteering to speak in class or having the first person to finish an activity. On the last day of camp, I brought in Silly Bandz my mother had brought me from the US and gave them to the winning teams. Despite the fact that I guarantee you that none of my students have ever seen a Silly Bandz in their life, they loved them. I gave the older students Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (also from America) and my kids, who have only ever had Korean candy, were throughly impressed. "Teacher," they told me, "VERY GOOD CANDY!" I know kids, I know.
All the photos from English Camp are here. I'm so glad it's over!