Students learn English through art, science summer camp

Students from the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District learn about the ocean biome in an integrated art and science English Language Development program at Melrose Elementary School.

Beginning last Monday, July 13, over 150 English learners in grades three through five from Melrose and Rio Vista elementary schools in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) have been participating in an eight-day summer English Language Development (ELD) art and science program at Melrose Elementary School.

This “Fun in the Sun and Under the Sea” English Learner Enrichment Summer Camp runs for two weeks from Monday through Thursday, ending this Thursday, July 23.

An outstanding group of 10 PYLUSD teachers and six California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), co-teachers attended three days of professional development led by CSUF professors Andrea Guillame (science) and Ginger Geftakys (art), as well as PYLUSD Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) Laurel Estrada (integrated ELD).

“The energy in the room was infectious as teachers engaged in art and science integration activities themselves, and planned curriculum in preparation for the camp,” said teacher Laurel Estrada.

During the eight-day camp, students have taken part in integrated lessons based on the ocean biome, including building volcanos, making coastal habitat murals, using engineering practices to test the buoyancy of foil, clay and origami boats, recording experiences in journals, creating videos, learning an ocean-related dance, visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific, and much more, all while developing essential ELD skills.

Further, every student selected a sea creature to study through the eyes of both a scientist and an artist for the camp. The students researched their creature, and created a two-minute documentary about their animal using well composed, complex sentences that incorporate science content related to the camp’s cross-cutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science and engineering practices.

Funding and in-kind contributions for “Fun in the Sun and Under the Sea” have been provided by PYLUSD, CSUF’s SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Center for Creativity and Critical Thinking, and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

“The camp has been a huge success under the leadership of teachers Shealee Dunavan and Guillermina Flores-Magaña,” added Estrada.

For more information on the innovative ways in which PYLUSD is creating educational opportunities for its English learners over the summer, contact Director of English Language Development Minerva Gandara by phone at 714-985-8705, or by email at

english-learner-enrichment-summer-camp-1 english-learner-enrichment-summer-camp-4

Be the first to comment on "Students learn English through art, science summer camp"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.