TURNING POINTS - ORAL HISTORY

Without oral history, we would not be able to appreciate and understand the events of the past and the impact the events have on the present. While it is often difficult for young historians to find suitable subjects for oral history on historical topics, that challenge becomes much easier the closer we come to the 21st century. In Unit 8, all students will be conducting some sort of oral history interview concerning an event, era, idea, or issue from our final unit.

Instructions:
  • You may collaborate with one or two more individuals on this assignment.
  • Find a person to interview and a topic of discussion.
  • Talk to your families, friends, and teachers for ideas. The person should be someone you know or have a connection to, but you do not need to be related to them. More than one subject on the same topic would be awesome!
  • Research and write a brief summary of the topic of discussion (the historical event, issue, or idea). The topic can be specific (the Detroit Riot of 1967) or general (memories of the Civil Rights Movement). You obviously need to have background information. Your research must include at least two cited sources. The historical New York Times or the archives of Time Magazine are great resources!
  • Develop 7-10 interview questions for the subject. Don't ask just what happened, but find out their reactions, memories, etc.
  • Conduct the interview. If possible, record the interview (audio or video).
  • Post the questions and interview responses on your Unit 8 Online ISNs.
  • On your wiki, discuss your reaction to the interview, and include any relevant pictures, artifacts, and links.

Start thinking about this assignment by choosing partners (if you want) and talking to your parents about who you can interview. Your parents might make great subjects!

I will have an example and a rubric posted soon.