At the end of both the summer and winter semester the English department creates a camp for the students to participate in. During the summer we did our Color Camp and this Winter we decided to do a Pirate themed camp.
Our camp is three days long so for the first day we introduced the camp theme to the students and explained the reward system to them (my friend Leana had made a brilliant treasure chest with gold coins in it that I borrowed so the students got gold coins as a reward.)
We then gave each of them an English name and placed them in to teams (using random selection). We did a short activity teaching the students body parts and then gave each student a chance to choose a pirate name for themselves. Mine was Green Finger Grainne (they had to choose a color and a body part)
Afterwards it was time to make our swords (every good pirate needs a sword!). These are incredibly easy to make just using white paper and tape and the kids had fun playing with them afterwards.
When we finished making our swords the different teams then had a chance to learn some pirate lingo and create their own pirate flags. This activity took some time as they had to decided to a theme and design together before creating the flags. But they turned out really well!
As our final activity for day one the students had a chance to play thumb of war against other teams. If they won they could push their chair and desk towards the other teams side. This was a winning game that my co-teacher came up with and they all loved it!
As a great warm-up for day 2, each team had ten pieces of paper. They had to come up with a word for each paper. When they were finished, their papers were given to another team and that team would play speed pictionary using the papers. They really enjoyed this game!
Afterwards, it was time to make their pirates hats (again, every pirate needs one!) This took some time (maybe an hour). It was a bit stressful for us teachers as we had to make sure their headbands were big enough and some of the hats flopped down so we had to put extra cardboard on them to balance them out but in the end all of the students were happy with their hats and they all managed to last the two days!
Our final activity for day 2 was a treasure hunt! We actually decided that a photo treasure hunt would be fun. They completed this activity in pairs and because they were 3rd and 4th graders the hints were easy enough (for example; find something blue, find something square) They had to bring their phones and take photos of the items that they found (10 in total) and they got extra coins for something unique. The kids enjoyed being able to run around the school and thinking of fun ideas.
Our final day…The first activity of the day was to create a treasure map for another team. The day before we had asked each student to bring in a small treasure to give away (some snacks, toys etc…) We also dipped white paper in to cold coffee the day before and left it to dry over night. This gave the old worn effect to the maps. The teams then had a chance to hide their treasure and draw a map that would lead the other team to it. This definitely wasn’t their favourite activity but I think they enjoyed the treasure at the end of it.
Our next activity was a cooking activity! Initially we were going to make peanut butter cannonballs but they were too messy so we decided that instead of rolling the mixture in to balls we would put it in to pans. Each team member had one job (mixing, melting, pouring…) They enjoyed it and luckily there was no cooking involved only the melting of chocolate in the microwave.
When all was done I put them in to the fridge to let the chocolate cool down. It was then time for our final camp activity….counting their coins and claiming their rewards!
My co-teacher had bought lots of different gifts for the students and placed them in to different brown paper bags. The student with the most coins had 3 minutes to look at each bag and feel it and then choose their gift. Then the person with the second most coins and so on…
When they were all finished it was time to open tem all together and enjoy their sweet treats that they had made earlier. It was funny to see some of the boys get girlie gifts but for the most part they were all very happy with their gifts.
Then it was finally time to say goodbye to camp. I love doing camp as it is so much fun getting to really know some of my students and just have them enjoy English in a relaxed fun setting
Now to think about what to do for my final camp this summer….