Sunday, January 15, 2012

Harry Potter Camp - Day 9 - Defense Against the Dark Arts

Day 9 was another day that would have gone over better in the summertime, outdoors, for sure.  It got mixed reviews from the students, but I think that would have been solved, given more space and a more appropriate setting.  As it was, though, the kids basically ended up with a free pass to run wild throughout the school (given that they stayed within my boundaries and I knew where they were and what they were doing at all times, of course.  No worries, I'm not THAT irresponsible).

The core of the lesson surrounded a PowerPoint on various monsters and the legends surrounding them.  I was shocked to find that the kids were never taught Greek mythology.  I guess I took it for granted that they would be valued here, since it's drilled into us back in the States, but that's what I get for assuming things, I guess.  My co-teacher had a very hard time understanding that I couldn't give her a Korean name for Cerbeus.  I was especially at a loss when my cell phone dictionary, which so beautifully translated "Harry Potter" came up dry.  It was rather frustrating, to be honest, as the whole thing took place in front of the kids, but more so because I couldn't understand why she couldn't understand.  The best guess that I have is that I was the only person in the room with any kind of exposure to Greek and Roman mythology at all.  What a shame.

Following the PowerPoint, we played a modified freeze tag game, in which the house that was helping Voldemort attack would run around, putting the Imperius Curse on the other students.  When a student was tagged, his/her tagger would issue a command.  The student then had to follow that command until one of his/her free teammates found them and asked, "What are you doing?"  The frozen student would then have to answer, "I'm ______-ing."  It was a pretty genius twist on the game for which I wish I could take credit, as there isn't as strong an emphasis on understanding English verb "conjugations" (which is in quotations because I'm pretty sure I remember someone telling me that English verbs don't actually conjugate), as much as there is on memorizing dialogues.  As a result, I often hear things like, "I am play," and "Do you want playing?"  Sad day.  Maybe a little kinesthetic action will help it to stick.  Here's hoping!

I, like all the other Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers, will continue the trend, and only hold the position that one time (unless I teach this camp again, I guess).  Whether or not that is because of a mysterious curse on the position, I could not say, but it is a rather suspicious trend; that's for sure.


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