Summer Vacation Classes (Create a Country)

July 30, 2013

Once the semester ended, summer vacation classes began. It must be clear by now that summer/winter vacation has a different meaning for Canadian and Korean students. I've written about my experience teaching during vacation periods on three separate occasions. Although vacation started, many students studied via their schools, private academies, or other camps.

For a span of only 8 days, I taught two classes which were 90 minutes each. My first class consisted of 1st grade students (Canada's 7th grade) and my second class was 2nd and 3rd grade students (Canada's 8th and 9th). I had a really low number of students in each class, only 6 students, and that's only when they all showed up between vacation plans and private academy stuff.

I decided to focus on a project during these 8 days which was for the students to create a new country. During each class we focused on different aspects of a country and saw how they operated in existing countries before creating our own. The aspects we focused on were national flags, systems of government, laws (illegal vs. legal), cultural components, and maps.

In order to break up the monotony, we played games and made patbingsu (a Korean dessert) on Friday.

First challenge: Musical Chairs.


Second challenge: Boys versus Girls in a race to mummify a friend. The boys gave up leaving the girls with a lead in points. Look at that speed...


Third challenge: Face the Cookie.
This is a game idea I got from the TV show, Minute to Win It. Students had to move a cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands. Only one of the girls made half an attempt. These faces are priceless. The final challenge was a Rock/Paper/Scissors competition which didn't present much of an exciting photo opportunity.


Patbingsu is one of my favourite things about Korean summer. Shaved ice topped with red bean, ice cream, fruit, rice cake, and condensed milk. I think we did well!


With only 15 minutes left of class, we ate our desserts while
watching a drama.


In order to finish off the projects, the students displayed their country on a poster board. Tomorrow is the final day of class where I'll have each group rate the other countries' components on a scale of 1 to 5. The team with the highest score will, of course, be the winner and gracious recipient of a bag of snacks. We'll then wind down with a movie. 

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