English Camp Ideas

<b> Forum for discussing activities and games that work well in the classroom </b>

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English Camp Ideas

Post by Manny3 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:32 am

I am looking for games and ideas for an English Camp in October. Any advice would help. This is for jr. high school girls in Japan.


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Post by mesmark » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:09 pm

I've been told these are good camp games:

I've used my English Tycoon game with varied success. www.mes-english.com/games/tycoon.php time is my biggest issue but might work well for camp (you can play for 2-3 hours)

I have had some luck with ideas from Dave ESLcafe cook book. www.eslcafe.com/ideas/index.html They are generally for class instruction so they tend to be shorter activities/games, but worth a look.

You can print some free stickers and sticker charts from here: www.stickersandcharts.com You could use those in activities throughout the day. Students earn points or stamps for each activity/lesson. If they can complete the stamp sheets then they win some sort of prize. Or, for younger children you can give them a certificate that matches the stamp sheets www.123certificates.com

One of my games they seem not to shrug too hard at is this:
- one or two people per group
- I lay about 20-25 vocab cards on the table in random positions
- One group tries to memorize the cards and positions, then they have to look away
- The other group can change one thing on the board. (swap cards, change their location, take a card away, add a new card...)
- The second group will turn around and try to find the change.

They would say something like:
"You've change 'put on' and 'take out.'"
"We think you've added 'give away.'"

I use it to practice vocabulary they would normally be bored with and the present perfect tense. You could simplify it to simple past for Japanese JHS (I'm assuming they haven't covered this type of present perfect or you could teach it.)

I also play Othello a lot. I've used my cards to make an Othello game. One side has the pictures (white) and the other side is the backing (black.) The students must use the vocab on the cards in a sentence to flip them. For example

Simple: "This a boy playing the piano."
More difficult: "Yesterday, I saw a boy playing the piano."

The kids use Othello rules on a 6 by 6 board. It's a lot of fun and the kids will repeat the clause many many times and internalize the pattern.

www.funfonix.com has some great phonics worksheet makers

www.toolsforeducators.com has some games generators and printable worksheets

www.bogglesworldesl.com has some good stuff ready to go for higher level JHS students. I've used his movie worksheets and reported speech worksheets with some success. He also has some more advanced flash cards to help expand students' vocab.

Lastly the best by far: Describe the Movie
Ss divide up into groups. I play a short clip of a movie with no sound. Half of the group watches the movie clip. The other half of the group is given a sheet of questions. The group that watched the clip comes back and describes as best they can down to minor details what they saw. The question group, without saying anything or showing the questions, tries to answer the questions based on their group members explanation. - It's a little labor intensive on the part of the teacher and requires media capabilities, but I've used a lap-top to play DVDs before. The students don't really care. This usually get them talking.

You can also try dice games www.mes-english.com/games/dicegames.php Those always go over well for me even with adults. You can make dice with ext or images here www.toolsforeducators.com/dice/

I hope that helps or gives you some ideas.

Last edited by mesmark on Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:26 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:58 pm

Fantastic list above!
How about some of the old favourites like singing, a treasure hunt, a campfire with marshmellows and ghost stories, Wide Games (see Girl Guides or Boy Scout sites), dividing them into teams and doing short skits in English. They don't have to show them to the whole group, just another team although any future actors can show them off to the whole group, crafts and lots of funny races - dressing up in clothes when they get to the end of the course or an egg race and so on. I think we covered some of this for a summer camp in one of the threads. Alternate active and quiet activities and games during the day. Can they make their own food - Smores comes to mind and rice crispie bars. Take lots of pictures and get them to write in the comments to make books or bulletin board posters. You can make funny pictures too if you send some kids off in the distance and the ones nearer can hold them in their hands and so on, they can look like they are climbing a brick wall by climbing on a brick floor - trick photography. I 'm sure they will think of other things - people with six arms and such. It seems like a good time to make teams and have them make some kind of uniform, have a chant, a team name, a team song and to work toward some prize. Of course, all the time you are encouraging them to speak English - to cheer for their mates, to talk about their activities, to name things and so on. Air bands of English songs would be fun as well. They can make a camp newspaper with jokes, bits of information about each participant and lots of pictures.

Surrelia put these fun games on the Adult Education forum
*1* Announce that you have an interesting way to solve problems. Ask them first to tell you some of their problems. Write these up on the board. Then grab a dictionary. Call on someone to come up and find a word in the dictionary without looking (close their eyes and point). Tell the student to call out the word and its definition. Now get everybody to brainstorm a solution for the problem that this word brings to mind. Encourage them to be creative, and try to get several answers. Repeat the process for the other problems on the board.

*2* Put students in small groups (4 or 5 students). Give them 10 minutes to think of things they all have in common and write them down (for example, We all have cell phones or We all have noisy neighbors). When time's up, have each group read out their list. Tell the other students to listen carefully, and applaud when they hear another group say something that's on their list.

*3* Bring a small gift to class. Tell the students that they will win the gift if they can sit in the chair for one minute without laughing. Ask for volunteers, or you can just choose someone. Now, do everything you can to make them laugh: make crazy faces, farting sounds, silly dances, etc. Variation: you can have them try to make you laugh.

*4* Tell your students that you are going to tell them the story of your day up until you came to class. Their job is to interrupt you as much as they can with questions, so you don't get to school. Begin your story with waking up. If they don't join in right away, give them some suggestions for questions - "How long did it take you to brush your teeth?" "Why did you decide to put on that shirt?"

*5* Write up 6 categories on the board (some examples are household objects, cities, countries, animals, foods, beverages, parts of the body, girls names, boys names, rock bands, movie titles...). Now put the students in groups of 3 or 4 and tell them that in a minute, you are going to give them a letter. They have to find words for each category that start with the letter. When they get the answer, they have to shout at the top of their lungs "STOP THE BUS!!!!". Then you check over their answers to make sure there are no mistakes. If they got it all right, they get a point. Play it again several times with different letters and different categories. Note: You might want to check in advance that there are answers in all categories for the letters you plan to use...

For more ideas, take a look at this page for links to FREE games and activities:


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Thank you guys for the English Camp ideas!

Post by Manny3 » Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:44 am

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for the English Camp ideas. This will be my 1st English Camp that I will be helping out. Fortunately, there will be other English Native teachers, along with a couple of teachers from Berlitz, too. I am looking forward to this camp and the adventurous experience. Teaching here can be quite challenging at times, but it's a challenge that I would treasure. Eventhough some of the students may not like me too much, I still put it beside me and continue to like them and enjoy teaching.

Thanks everyone for your ideas. I will check these out!

Ja ne!


Don La Bonte
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Location: Lombard, Illinois USA

conversation topics

Post by Don La Bonte » Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:07 pm

Depending on the ability level of your students, I have written two books which should be of help. One relates to basic conversation patterns all students should be familiar with. and another book which has 44 conversation topics with a class methodology which gives everyone the opportunity to talk.
Don La Bonte

Carol Keeney
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:23 pm

A Fun Game

Post by Carol Keeney » Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:58 pm

I noticed that you are doing well to meet the challange of teaching at the cam. I thought of a fun game which you may want to suggest . How about a treasure hunt. Pair the children up so that atleast one of them is a decent reader. Next, provide a sheet with clues on it to motivate them find a given item. If they find it they can answer a question and proceed.Nearby they will find another clue until they have completed the treasure hunt and have found the treasure. You may want to check out my new book, Brand New Teacher. It offers great tips and techniques and allows me to be your personal guide to walk with you on your first roads to teaching. Good luck to you. Carol Keeney www.BrandNewTeacher.com

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Post by lelo » Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:47 am

I'll recommend my own site this time:

Flocabulary teaches vocabulary using hip-hop music.
The goal is to engage students and teach them.
The website features lesson plans, crossword puzzles, free songs...

hope you enjoy


Flocabulary: Vocabulary Hip-Hop to Teach Students

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Location: Lithuania

Post by Kootvela » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:17 pm

This time yours truly is in need of ideas. I've got 3 more lessons wo go with kids aged 7-9, 10-12, 12-14. Groups are a terible mix, so the smallest kids spend their time colouring because they cry if I give a handout. I need some good games for various levels using minimal reources (a pen, a paper and a head). We've done word scrambles, crosswords, brainstorming 'give me five'. I need something to kill time in English. The lesson is 60 minutes long. There are 18-25 kids in a class.

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Location: Lahore, Pakistan

ESL: The Dating Game

Post by HeatherC » Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:52 am

I have used this spin off of "The Dating Game" in a number of different settings and it is always a hit with students.


1) At home print out the four different sets of characters included in this article. There are four sets of characters, Female Contestants A &B, and Male Contestants A & B.

2) Cut each set along the dotted lines and put each in a separate envelope.

3) Label the envelopes Female A, Female B, Male A and Male B and put each set in it designated envelope.

4) You will need at least one set for every four students. If you have a large class, you may want to make two sets per each group of four so the game can move faster.

Playing the Game:

1) Explain the concept of "The Dating Game" to students. Draw a diagram on the board showing one female interviewing three male contestants. Explain that in the US there was a TV show called "The Dating Game." Explain that the female is looking to find the best date of the three men she is interviewing. If you are in a more conservative setting, you can change this to "The Marriage Game" and explain that the woman is interviewing potential husbands to find a match.

Continue Reading here - includes 4 complete character sets for the game
http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... html?cat=4

More game ideas and lesson plans can be found here
http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/2 ... reiro.html

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Location: Lahore, Pakistan

ESL Lesson Plan & Game: Greetings and Introduction

Post by HeatherC » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:47 am

I love using this lesson plan for the first class of any level, grade 6 to adult.

Time: 30 minutes

Targets: Alphabetical order, introductions, verb "to be" in person tense

Most students will come into the course already knowing alphabetical order. Give the following example. Then ask students to put the 12 names in order.

Alphabetical Order (10 minutes)

Put the following 12 names in alphabetical order. For example, if we have Naveed, Shahid and Ahmed, alphabetical order would make Ahmed, Naveed and Shahid.

Gail, Emily, Michael, Andy, Zachary, Gary, Sandra, Beatrice, Allison, Dawn , Frank , Thomas

Ask students the following questions:

In alphabetical order, is Shahid before Naveed?
No, Shahid is after Naveed. "S" is after "N."

Is Michael before Zachary?
Yes, Michael is before Zachary. "M" is before "Z". "Z" is after "M."

When students have completed the exercise, go over the answers together orally.

Activity: Class Introductions (20 minutes)

Now is time for students to activate what they've learned. For this activity you'll need enough open space for students to walk around and to make a large circle. You may want to go outside if your classroom is too small for this activity.

Tell students that now we are going to play a game using alphabetical order.

Say, "Okay, now everyone stand up!" (make a stand up motion with your hands)

Say, "I want everyone to get in alphabetical order by first name. "A" names should start to my right and "Z" names should come to my left. Make a circle with everyone in order by first name." (make sure to point where you want "A" and "Z" names to go)

Write a sample introduction on the board.

Student A: What's your name?
Student B: My name's Ali.
Student A: My name's Sara. "A" is before "S." You're before me. I'm after you.

Encourage students to use the target conversation on the board. Check their understanding by asking a few students, "What are we going to do?" When they are ready, say "Go! Let's see how much time it takes!"

For the entire lesson click the following link:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... html?cat=4

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500 audio resources for teaching ESL

Post by experctmore25 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:49 pm

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