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Slavery and Oral History

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Keywords: podcasting, oral history, African American History, Social Studies, video, student centered, U.S. History
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Podcasting, Writing, Photography, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Journalism, History
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Christ the King Jesuit College Prep, Chicago, IL
Planned By: Matthew Monahan
Original Author: Matthew Monahan, Chicago
Students will evaluate the impact of oral history on the development and spread of North American slave culture.
Students will create their own oral histories using podcast and video technology.

Lesson Agenda:
1. Bell Ringer- (10 min) Students will write on the following prompt for 7 minutes. Students share their responses for 3 minutes (5-7 min. if necessary)
Why is oral history so essential to the development and spread of antebellum slave culture? Do you think oral history plays a role in today's society? Explain your answer.

2. Project Introduction. (5-10 min depending on questions)

Teacher will pass out project information sheets detailing the main objectives of the project, the timeline for completion, and the assessed, formative checkpoints along the way. Students will ultimately be responsible for creating a 5 minute oral history of their time in high school. They must use at least 2 video interviews, 5 original photographs, and one podcast used to describe their overall experience. They will compile these materials into a windows movie-maker presentation to go along with their podcast, and the class will watch the oral histories. One of their interviews must be of a family member or close family friend, NOT a part of the high school. Students will have three days of class time, and one weekend to complete the project. After day one, students must turn in their project proposal and action plan. After day two, students must complete a one-on-one interview with Mr. Monahan discussing the scope of their project, and any areas of concern they may have moving forward. After day three, students must submit their first frames of their moviemaker final project. Each of these submissions will count toward their final grade.

3. Individual Action planning (30 min + 2 subsequent 50 minute class periods)

During the first day of planning, students will complete their project proposals and outlines describing exactly what their final product will be, who they will interview, and what pictures they will use. Students will then have the 2 subsequent class periods to record interviews, use the computer labs, and record their podcasts.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This can be used as a cross-curricular program with tech teachers or english teachers as a way to build movie making skills, video skills, and podcasting skills. This can just as easily work for a unit on Native American history as well.
Class presentations, self-evaluation
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Flash Memory Camcorders, Flip Video, Digital SLR, Short Throw Projectors, Projector Screens, Digital Voice Recorders, Video Tools, Hard Drives, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Power, Keyboards, LCD Monitors, Mice, Social Studies, Office Suite, Podcasting, Speech and Language