Tuesday, May 17, 2005


What I learned from our first art camp

Running this art camp has been a good experience for me as a teacher. This is the first time I have had to come up with my own curriculum. In my two years teaching at Purdue, I only had to come up with bits and pieces of the course work, but here, with the help of Jonathan, I was responsible for all of the activities we did with the children. We decided to have the children make marionettes, write stories, and then perform the stories with the puppets. I was hoping this would be a good indication of what their daily life was like.

The children seemed to enjoy the week, but I was a bit disappointed. The classes seemed a bit chaotic. I think the problem was the age difference in the children. We had children as young as 6 and as old as 13. While the older children seriously worked on the puppets, the younger children got bored. They have a shorter attention span and sometimes had trouble understanding what we were doing. I think this workshop would have been more successful if the children were closer in age, but that is always a challenge of the teacher- different levels of ability.

Will all the children you have at these camps speak English? If not it might be harder to understand their stories and explain the projects. Trust me - it is hard even when they speak English! I'll keep reading your future comments.
Maybe you can get the older kids to help the younger kids, like a buddy system. Young kids will often behave better if they just have someone to pay attention to them.
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