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Preserving Living Legacies

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Keywords: Oral History, Book Publishing, American History, primary sources, video, broadcasting
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Writing, Reading, Information Skills, Social Studies, Journalism, Civics, History
Grades 9 through 12
School: Lincoln Senior High School, Lincoln, RI
Planned By: Grace Small
Original Author: Grace Small, Lincoln
Preserving Living Legacies

Objectives: United States history students will do an in-depth oral history project in which they interview a senior in the town community who has experienced, witnessed or witnessed a significant event in U.S. History. Students will create interview questions, video tape their interview, publish their research and interview in an individual book, archive their video, and broadcast their video-clip to the school community. Students will have gained a deeper understanding of how history is created and the history around them in the lives of people in their own community.

Standards: RI Civics and History Grade Span Expectations (9-12)

C&G 5: As members of an interconnected world community, the choices we make impact others locally, nationally and globally.
C&G 5 (9-12)-1
Students demonstrate an understanding of the many ways Earth’s people are interconnected by…
b. organizing information to show relationships between and among various individuals, systems, and structures.

HP 1: History is an account of human activities that is interpretive in nature
HP (9-12)-1
Students act as historians, using a variety of tools (e.g., artifacts and primary and secondary sources) by…
a. Formulating historical questions, obtaining, analyzing, evaluating historical primary and secondary print and non-print sources
b. Explaining how historical facts and historical interpretations may be different but are related
c. Identifying, describing or analyzing multiple perspectives on an historical trend or event.

HP 2:
HP (9-12) -2
Students chronicle events and conditions by…
a. Creating narratives based on a particular point of view
b. Synthesizing information from multiple perspectives to formulate an historical

HP (9-12)-2
Students make personal connections in an historical context
a. Articulating an understanding of the meaning implications and impact of historical events on their lives today.

HP 3 (Ext)-2
Students make personal connections in an historical context
a. Using knowledge of historical ideas and concepts and their enduring implications to formulate a philosophy statement based on personal values.

HP 3:
HP (9-12)-3
Students show understanding of change over time by…
b.documenting various groups and their traditions that have remained constant over time.

1. Students will identify a senior member of the town community who is 70 or older and arrange a preinterview for basic biographical information, the signing of a interview release form and find out the senior's most significant experience, event or memory in American history.
2. Students will do in-depth library research for primary and secondary sources on the general topic and decade in which that particular event occurred.
3. Students will develop at least ten interview questions and make an appointment with their interviewee.
4. Students will interview their senior and with a partner's assistance videotape the interview. Students will also request the senior permission for his/her photograph, and request to scan 5 major documents or artifacts such as certificates, passport, pictures, letters, etc. related to the interview.
5. Students will transcribe the interview.
6. Students will integrate the interview with their research and develop an historical narrative on print ready paper for individual publishing by the National Learning Publishing Company.
7. Students will add scanned images as illustrations and photographs of both interviewer and interviewees for the cover. Students will design their own cover illustratrion for their books.
8. Students will archive their videos on the class website.
9. Students will work with broadcast journalism teacher to create 2-3 minute clips from their interviews to be broadcast to the school community during morning announcements. The clips will focus on the interviewees response to a question concerning American identity. "What does it mean to be an American?"
10. Students will present their published book, video and display board about their interviewee at the Student Expo Night open to the entire town community.
11. Students will reflect on their learning, the process of making and preserving history, the difference and similarities between personal experiences as actual research and the value of being an American.

Assessment: Students will be assessed with a Narrative Procedure and a Visual Product School Wide Rubric.

Differentiated Instruction: Allow students to work in pairs to interview the same person and to peer edit each others written narratives.

Multiple Intelligences: Incorporates a variety of spatial, artistic, left and right brain learning.
My past book publishing project has won national and state-wide attention. I am the winner of the Gilder Lehrman "Preserve America's History" RI Teacher of the Year Award for a intergenerational project where books were created and illustrated by 80 high school students partnered with 80 elementary school children on the subject of Abraham Lincoln. I would now like my students to do an intergenertional project with seniors in our community in the oral history format.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
I will be working with the broadcast journalism teacher to broadcast the student created video-clips to the entire student body
Students will reflect on their learning with a reflection paper.
Students will also present their work at the Student Expo Night open to the town community.
Materials: Flip Video, Flash/USB Drives, Social Studies
Other Items: 30 Flip Video Cameras, $75.00 each, total of $2250.00
1 Flash/USB Drives, $25 each, total of $25.00