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Building a School Archives: The First Twenty Years

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Keywords: School Archives
Subject(s): Information Skills, Social Studies, Video, Technology, Podcasting, History, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 3 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Gold River Discovery Center, Gold River, CA
Planned By: Colleen Zoller
Original Author: Colleen Zoller, Gold River
Fourth graders love exploring history through investigations of the past. Acting as historians, they can piece together stories through primary documents and interviews, draw conclusions based on evidence, and plan how to share what they have learned with the wider community. Creating a school archives would allow my students to develop literacy and critical thinking skills while being collaboratively engaged in a long-term purposeful project. Not only will the project provide a valuable opportunity for the students, but it would also create a legacy for the future.

Our school opened in 1993 with about 250 students. Twenty years later, we have grown to 750 students. With many changes over the years, there is a need to collect, evaluate, categorize, scan, and store original documents and photos from the school's beginning. There is still time to obtain oral histories of the original players including the architects, land developers, district staff, parents, and students.

To begin the work, the students will learn about primary and secondary documents while participating in short investigation lessons. They will begin to collect, choose, categorize, scan, and store documents related to school history. As the year progresses, the students will collect oral histories and begin to create an on line archive. At the end of the year, the students will be responsible for sharing what they have learned with the community.
Building a school archives would increase student involvement and achievement while giving students the privilege of sharing and saving historically valuable documents, which might otherwise be lost. This project will increase school pride and strengthen the school's link with the community

Materials: Flip Video
Other Items: 2 Flip Video
1 Flash Memory Camcorder
1 Microphones
2 Digital Voice Recorders