3 exciting summer projects to hone your skills

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Want to make your summer memorable and productive? Stretch your creativity and practice your language skills by trying one of all of these projects this summer. A bonus is that you may also uncover your artistic skills!

  1. Make six-word memoirs

    What are six-word memoirs? It is a simple and creative way of summarizing your thoughts, experiences, principles, etc. using just six words. This practice was popularized by Larry Smith of Smith Magazine with his Six-Word Memoir project. He asked groups of people to provide six-word descriptions of themselves, their lives, or their views on certain topics.

    Here are some examples:
    On life: “This week’s highlight was free coffee” (BanjoDan)
    About teens: “Books. Music. That’s all I need” (daisy.atson5)
    About work: “Do the work. Get paid. Repeat!” (AMHerrera)

    This is a great way to use new English words that you learned and combine them in an interesting (and sometimes funny) way. It will also teach you the discipline of using words thoughtfully since you are limited to only six. If you find it hard to start, look at the samples at the Six-Word Memoir site. Or use your native language first then translate to English. Use Google Translate or a dictionary.

    What you will need:

    • A topic that you like. Here are some suggestions:
      • Describe your weekend.
      • Life as a newcomer to Canada.
      • What you love about Canadian summer.
    • Decide on when you will do it. For example, you can write one every weekend as a reflection of the week that passed. When you get the hang of it, you might want to do it every day.
    • You can use a journal (a notebook or a device). If you are feeling more creative, take photos and add six-word captions, or make drawings and cartoons with dialogue (remember the six word limit!).
  2. Make a “Five new things I learned in Manitoba” video

    Your first few months as a newcomer will be filled with so many discoveries and great experiences. Share this with others (or reflect on them) by making a short video about the most interesting things you’ve learned. If you are camera-shy, an option would be to interview your newcomer friends. Ask them the most important things they’ve learned so far. Limit the video to three minutes. You can make a part two if you want to share more.

    What you will need:

    • A phone or video camera. You may shoot the video yourself or ask someone to do it for you.
    • A list of the five things you learned. You can write a script or a guide.
    • If you want to shoot the interview, find five to seven newcomer friends who are willing to share their learnings and agree to be filmed.
    • Use an editing tool to produce your final video. You can use these editing tools/apps (they’re free and easy to use). Download to your smartphone or computer:

    These tools are user-friendly but if you need help editing, read the tutorials on the app’s site.

  3. Describe your Folklorama experience in photos

    Folklorama is one of Manitoba’s most popular summer festivals. It is the largest multicultural festival of its kind in the world (read 5 reasons to see Folklorama this year and every year to know more). This year’s Folklorama will run from August 4 to 17, 2019 and will feature more than 40 pavilions. If you get to visit one or more pavilions, take some photos and make a photo montage.

    What you will need:

    • A phone or camera
    • Write a caption for each photo or use just one caption for a group of photos. Try to answer the five Ws and one H: Who, what, when, where, why and how.
    • Option: If you don’t catch Folklorama, you can use any Manitoba summer experience. For example, your first time to go camping, staying at a cabin by the lake, or what you saw when you visited the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (or any museum).
    • Use a photo collage app on your smart phone. Free apps like Canva, Pic Collage or PhotoGrid (iPhone) or PhotoGrid (android) are easy to use.

Share your projects!

Post your projects on your social media page or ask your English tutor or English Online e-Facilitator to review your project/s. You can also share it with us (email: cloza@myenglishonline.ca). We’ll be happy to share it on our Facebook page (Your English Online) or in our monthly newsletter.

Have fun and enjoy your summer!

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