English Winter Camp D-11: Hot Chocolate

After a pretty hectic few days with the stop motion films, Friday was a more relaxing day. The students were given these Disney winter day activity books to complete and then paper crafts (my back up for any extra time). And finally, we made hot chocolate to drink while watching all the finished stop motion films. The students loved watching their creations (published on YouTube) and they were really excited about the hot chocolate. I also brought in chocolate chip cookies which I taught them to dip into their hot drinks. Hot chocolate, success!

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English Winter Camp D8-10: Stop Motion

This is the big project that I’ve been preparing specially for this winter camp. I wanted to do something that the students haven’t had any experience with and would be a lot of fun with. I broke it down into three days – starting with motivation videos, preparation (story ideas and storyboards), preparation (stage and characters), filming, and finally, editing, sound effects, and finalizing the videos.

Day 1: Story, Storyboard, Stage

The first day, I showed the students a few videos to start – the Moleskine stop motion called “A Year in Full Colour” (that’s quite amazing) and the how-to video. I also showed the students my own amateur stop motion film, that I posted awhile ago. I showed them an example of a brainstorming sheet and a storyboard before they were divided into two groups to work on theirs. The students come up with such interesting ideas to say the least. After they got my approval for their storyboards, they were given materials to start creating their backdrops and characters for their stories. I tried to convince most of the students to use the clay because it would make for easier filming but some of their story ideas were a little more unique and clay wouldn’t work very well. The students worked on the creativity and I seemed to be the one running around figuring out the technicalities and logistics of it all.

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Day 2: Last Preparations and Filming

Second day meant that the students had to finish all the prep work that they started on the day before. We had a little hitch with one group because one of their members took the characters and clay home to work on – and then didn’t show up that day. So we needed to quickly remake the characters. Nevertheless, we also finished filming. One group in each class would use my laptop to take their photos, the other group used my digital camera. Working with each group, I would teach them how to take their photos and how to use the technology properly. We did manage to finish filming and the students learned how to be patient while working together on it. They actually finished this part a little faster than I expected and I need to work out how the next day will play out. I only have my laptop for the students to edit – which means only one group can work on it at a time. Lots of after camp prep work for materials for quiet activities for the students on the next day.

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Day 3: Editing, Dialogue, Sound Effects, and Text

Last day for the stop motion videos. I’m so proud of all my students. While I did some of the technical work (just setting up the recording), the students did everything. From making and recording the dialogue, choosing their sound effects and music, and putting the beginning and end of the videos. Enjoy the four stop motion films from my cute little students.

Stop Motion Video 1: AHCHOO

Stop Motion Video 2: New Year’s Money

Stop Motion Video 3: Monster and Hulk Fight

Stop Motion Video 4: Larva Volcano

English Winter Camp D-7: Calvin and Hobbes

On this particular camp day, I decided to take the “easy” route and found a ready-made PowerPoint on Calvin and Hobbes on the internet. It covered the characters and it was perfect for an introduction for the students. Matched well with the winter theme as the creator used all winter comics from the popular comic series. (Thank you to whoever made it!) The students loved the comics as we worked through them together and I helped them understand what was going on. But the great thing about some of the comics is that it’s pretty self-explanatory. The text just serves to make it even funnier.

Afterwards, the students filled in some of the comics on their own before making their own winter-themed comics.

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I’m glad I chose to make the start of the week comic day because it got the students using their imaginations to create a story. Which is exactly what we’re going to continue doing this week as we begin our stop-motion project.

English Winter Camp D-6: Movie Day

In keeping with the Grinch theme from last week, I decided to let the kids watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas to end this week of camp. I had a feeling my CTs would plan their movie days for next Friday and I felt that two movies in one day would be too much. So, I prepared the movie with subs and some movie-related activities for the students. These included a dot-to-dot activity, a word search, and a Grinch paper craft.

The students really enjoyed the movie – so many of them haven’t seen it before. Which makes sense considering how old it is now. 14 years now! Crazy reminder of how old I am now. Anyways, the students also enjoyed worksheets. Perhaps more because of the fact that they were trying to finish faster than everyone else.

And then when it came to making the Grinches. Well, it was a lot more intricate cutting than I had in mind. Which meant that I had to use a craft knife and help the students cut everything. The template is the type where if you cut properly, you don’t need glue to assemble it. But you take into account that these are done by the kids and I ended up doing most of the assembling. Next time, I’m telling them to just glue it. It’s better for them to be able to bring them home anyways.

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All in all, good movie day at winter camp. Not exactly as relaxing as I had in mind. And now to prepare for the big project next week. I’m really excited for it and I’ve dropped hints to the students. But I don’t think they have the ability to pick up on it yet…

English Winter Camp D-5: Role Play

To the initial dismay of some of my students, I love doing role play with them. I say, “initial” dismay because a few of them do voice out their objection when I tell them what we’re going to do. But once they learn the stories and roles are chosen, they get really into it. For Class B, I decided to break the group into two and have two stories – Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Rabbit and The Turtle. I changed the name of the latter because children are more familiar with these terms for the animals, rather than the hare and the tortoise.

To start, I always introduce the story with the stories. I’ve read them the stories before but this time, I decided to let YouTube do the work for me. I found some good videos online, a few with songs, to introduce the stories to the children, afterwards I ask them comprehension questions and also introduce new vocabulary to them. Then, we get down to the business of distribution of the scripts and roles. I separated the groups with their English levels in mind. I placed one of my higher level third graders as the leader in the bigger group to do Goldilocks and the Three Bears. While my CT did sit in on their initial reading, the students in this group were able to facilitate their readings and practice themselves. There’s great leadership and peer-to-peer help in this group.

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With my second Class B group, I gave the shorter and easier story of The Rabbit and The Turtle. I focused on one of the third grade students who have almost no English ability at all. I’ve been having trouble all week with just having her talk to me but I think we made a lot of progress this camp day. I realized right away that she can’t read and we worked on a lot of pronunciation, reading, and repeating for her three small lines. I took out my limited Korean vocabulary (which I try to never reveal to the younger ones) to help her understand what the English words she was saying meant. And after I was sure that she could practice on her own, I enlisted her team members to be the ones to help her, give her signals, and work together with her during their performance.

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The final performances were better than anything I had ever gotten from my students – whether from regular classes or summer camp. This time, I wasn’t rushed (by the students or my CTs). I was adamant about how much time the students should be given to practice their lines, prepare their props, and dress rehearsal. I challenged the students to memorize their lines and most of them “half-memorized” as I suggested. (They were allowed their scripts as long as they weren’t just reading off of it.) I’m quite proud of these little ones.

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With Class A, I generally have less to worry about in terms of their English speaking ability. It’s usually their motivation and enthusiasm that I need to focus on. Luckily, this winter’s batch of older students include one charismatic sixth grader who is my second-in-command with the group (she was the group’s Little Gingerbread Man and my appointed Director for the play) and one fifth grader whose voice changes for his role motivates everyone else to give their all into the performances (he was the Old Woman – my brilliant idea). This group performed as one to remake the Little Gingerbread Man. One of the regrets I do have with this story choice is that half of the students had only one or two lines throughout the script.

With this group, I had some resistance to the idea of making props for the performance. And I had pretty much given up on that idea when my fourth grader who had the role of the pig agreed to the nose that I had made for her. Soon, all my animal roles were asking me to make them their ears and tails. My Old Woman and Old Man started making their own costumes and were quite creative with them.

Another performance, success!

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