Summer Vacation Class (Fan Clubs)

September 23, 2014

In my continued quest for topics that interest my students, I tried out the theme of "fan clubs" during this summer's vacation class. Despite the lack of enthusiasm that students generally have for English, they do have passion for other things (how dare they). I decided that this might be a good platform from which to structure a class and for my students to funnel their fangirl/fanboy evergy. I've found that by focusing on projects, students apply their English skills in more useful ways and are more motivated when there is an end goal.

As always, I began the class with an icebreaker activity. By doing this, students become more acquainted with each other and I can loosely assess their levels. I had the students sit in a circle with one student standing in the middle. On the projector, I had some prompting statements. The student standing in the middle of the circle would make a statement such as "I have one brother". The students to whom this applies would jump up and switch seats. The student left standing in the middle would continue the game by making another statement like "I am wearing orange". The students got pretty into it. Chairs with wheels are a hazard.

To begin their fan clubs, I had the students outline what their club would be celebrating. I usually have students work in groups for projects, but decided to try this one out individually. For this project, I made sure that no two students had the same topic for their fan clubs. By doing this, I started out with three "LINDSAY" fan clubs and ended up with zero. Boo. The students did come up with some pretty creative fan clubs: Kpop groups (Sistar, EXO, BAP, B1A4), food (ice cream, fried eggs), and each other (HJ made a fan club to honour JW).

Once students had chosen their fan club's official name, logo, and colours, it was time to move on to the other activities. We designed posters to recruit new members, and wrote fan letters to the thing/person we loved. Because of the level of my students, I used mad libs instead of having them write a letter from scratch.

Here is one from the Infinite (Kpop group) fan club:

The final project of the class was to create official t-shirts. I debated doing this at the beginning of the session so the students could wear them throughout, but they took quite a bit of prep work. In order to cut down cost, I had the students bring in their own t-shirts (which they already had at home or bought for $3 at the dollar store). With the school budget, I bought a pack of iron transfer paper and fabric pens. I learned the hard way that Korea doesn't know how to print to iron transfer paper (after trying with the school printer and eventually visiting a print shop which ruined all the paper I had bought). My students were pretty disappointed that we weren't able to use the transfer paper, but the final products ended up looking pretty good! I first had the students make a thorough plan of what their t-shirt would look like, and then they were able to design their t-shirts (starting first with pencil). This round of summer vacation class ended with one of my favourite activities: watching scary movies with my students.

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