Summer Camp Challenges
Here are a few activities designed to use the language while requiring minimal supplies and no prior experience. These can be incorporated into school lesson plans, summer camps, or rainy day activities.
Challenge 1 - Illustrate a Word - (Ages 4+)
Check out an example of educational posters
Use the Uma Dictionary to pick a vocab word
Create a drawing, take a photo, or create a digital illustration that captures the meaning of that word
Write the word in English and Uma on the drawing, or in the filename
Share with others, and post and tag #UmaSeyah on social media
Challenge 2 - Translate your Name - (Ages 10+)
Write your name on a piece of paper
Use the Uma Alphabet Guide to translate the sounds
Check the Uma Translation Guide for any special cases
Submit a translation to our Name Challenge Form and our team will check your work
Post on Social media using #umaseyah
*Hint - Check the Surname Translation Sheet if you need a translation of a common last name
Challenge 3 - Conduct an Interview - (Ages 13+)
Check out interview examples on our Youtube page
Think about who you would like to interview, and write down a few topics you would like to talk to them about
Ask them if you could interview them one day, let them know the topics you are interested in, and set up a time and date to meet.
Use the topic list to create some questions. You may want to start with 1-4 really easy, one word answer questions, and at least 1-3 deep complex answer questions. (Check out the Story Corps question list if you need inspiration: https://storycorps.org/participate/great-questions/)
Decide on how you will record. Sometimes it is best to just listen and take notes, and other times it may be best to record the audio or video of the interview. Make sure pencils are sharpened, you have plenty of paper, and any recording device is charged and in working order.
Meet up for the interview. Let them know you are grateful for their time.
Tell the guest a summary of the questions you will ask, and ask them if these are ok topics to cover with them. In low-stakes cultural interviews, you want to make sure your guest is comfortable and understands what they will be talking about.
Be sure to confirm that the interviewee is ok with however you choose to record. This conversation should be recorded at the beginning of the interview. It should include asking them if it is ok to record, letting them know where the recording will be stored, who may see it in the future, and what you plan to use it for. Also let them know that they can revoke consent at the end of the interview if they need.
Start! Ask questions and listen to what they have to say.
Its ok to get off topic and go into talking about something that you had not planned if that if both you and your interviewee are ok with it.
Keep room for long pauses, and don't try to fill in the silence. A lot of times interviewees need the quiet time to think.
Deeply listen to what the person is saying. Ask yourself - what would I have done if I were in their shoes? How does this make this person feel? Is there a reason why the person has chosen to talk about this?
Its ok to change your questions, or ask different questions than you prepared.
If you find the conversation is getting off track, steer back to your question list. You could say something like "I appreciate that info, but I have a question about ____ I would like to ask."
Check out the Smithsonian's Oral History Guide if you need more tips on interviews: https://folklife-media.si.edu/docs/folklife/interviewing_guide/InterviewingGuide.pdf
Stick to the amount of time you both agreed on, and let the interviewee know when the time is up. You all can certainly keep going if both people are willing.
Thank them for their time and knowledge.
Ask them if they would like a copy of your notes or the recording, and get an address for sending it.
When you are out of the interview, spend some time thinking about what your heard. Could you tell their story again from what you heard? What parts were interesting to you? Why were they interesting? What did they feel most excited to talk about? What made that important to them? How has your perspective changed about this person after you have interviewed them?
Send a copy of the notes or recording to your interviewee no later than one week after the interview.
If it is ok with your interviewee, post online, and tag #UmaSeyah