This! is Canada – Virtual Exchanges
Experiences Canada is offering a fun, engaging virtual alternative to connect young people across the country when travel is simply not possible. Virtual Exchanges encourage youth to discover and share their the diverse histories, geography, languages, cultures and ways of life that shape their communities and our country. Virtual Exchanges can support social studies, language, and creative studies curricula from Grades 7-12, as well as second language learning.
In addition to our typical pairing of two schools or youth groups, in recognition that many youth are studying independently at home this year, Experiences Canada is also offering an option for youth to apply individually and be twinned with other individual youth in Canada.
Overview video – click to enlarge
How it works
Classes/youth will be twinned together based on age level, shared goals and objectives for the program. Groups who have other connections across the country can ask to be paired together. Each group will have the opportunity to choose from up to six different activity units. A minimum of four (4) units should be completed for groups wishing to be preapproved for an in person exchange next year (or when it is safe to do so). However, there is no obligation to travel in the future, groups can choose to be virtual participants only.
This mandatory module will introduce the virtual exchange program and start the journey for youth to make connections between their own communities and their twins. Participants will begin with ice breaker activities, then focus on defining identity and community so they may prepare information about their community to present to their twin – Where’s their favorite place to eat, to hang out, what music they like, etc.
- Youth will create a kahoot quiz, or a short video showcasing their community.
This unit will foster an understanding of the diverse individuals, groups and institutions within communities. Youth will develop an understanding of significant people, places and events in the past that have shaped their community and their twins’ community. Youth will gain an understanding that every community has many histories to explore. Within this module, students will learn about who has come before them and how times have changed.
- Youth will create a short photo gallery or slide show with captions to share some of the historic people, places, and events within their community.
In this activity, youth will be encouraged to get outside and explore their natural environment. The unit will help them explore the unique natural characteristics of their community; consider Indigenous worldviews about the interconnectedness of all living things, and the impact of human activity on their local environment. Students will reflect on why it is important to connect to the environment and consider their responsibility with the natural environment.
- Youth will create a map featuring natural characteristics in their community or graph human activity that has impacted their natural environment.
This unit will help youth develop an understanding of economic concepts and how various industries work together to shape our regional and national economies. The unit will also encourage youth to explore their own future opportunities by reaching out to local business and industry leaders to learn about their jobs and how they got started. Youth will be encouraged to determine an occupation of interest and research the steps involved that will lead to their preferred profession.
- Youth will create short documentaries featuring (zoom) interviews with business and/or government leaders about economic challenges and opportunities in their community.
This activity will develop an understanding of the important relationship between language, customs, culture and identity; strengthen awareness about First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, increase understanding of Indigenous worldviews, and help youth become more familiar with treaties and land claims across Canada. Youth will be asked, “what does it mean to be a treaty person?” By exploring this question, non-Indigenous and Indigenous youth will better understand the relationship between Indigenous people and Canada.
- Youth will create a PowerPoint highlighting the language, culture, and leadership of their local First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
ARTS & CULTURE
This unit will support and encourage youth’s artistic expression and/or the exploration of their community through an artistic lens. Youth will be encouraged to create their own art projects that reflect on their community and their cultural identity and/or research historic and contemporary artists in dance, music, theatre and literature that have helped shape their community’s identity.
- Youth will create a website featuring local art and artists (could be all or any one of visual, dance, music, written; or create a gallery of their own works).
This! is Canada – Interactive Map
The 6-module set of activities will offer twinned groups an opportunity to get to know each other through a series of activity challenges that will inspire them to share stories, photographs, and videos about the people and spaces that define their communities.
The created projects will be uploaded to an Interactive Map of Canada displayed on Experience Canada’s website at the end of the school year. The contributed works from all groups will offer the rest of the country an impressive virtual tour across Canada as seen through the eyes of our youth.
An Experiences Canada Virtual Exchange is a fun, engaging online activity that can support social studies, language, and creative studies curricula from Grades 7-12, as well as second language. It virtually twins groups or individual youth in different part of Canada...
Our first round of twinning will take place February 1st to ensure that groups have an ample amount of time to connect with their twins. The twinning process will be ongoing, but we suggest that you apply as soon as possible. Groups can complete 1 unit together, or...
SUPPORT THE VIRTUAL EXCHANGES PROGRAM
Finding ways to help connect Canadian youth together has never been more important!
We know that many families have been severely impacted by the pandemic, and we are looking for your support to ensure no youth is left behind due to changes in their family’s financial circumstances. In order to ensure our programs are accessible to all, we ask that you please consider making a donation, allowing youth to stay connected and participate in our virtual programs.