Interview a Family or Community Member: Taking Oral Histories

This Interview a Family or Community Member: Taking Oral Histories lesson plan also includes:

Young scholars gain insight into how historians record events by engaging in an oral history project. In preparation, class members brainstorm open-ended interview questions and take part in and debrief a mock interview simulation. Working individually or as part of a group, pupils then interview a family or community member. The project is designed to help young people develop an understanding and respect for older generations.

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Instructional Ideas
  • As a model, invite a family or community member to volunteer to be interviewed by the class so that pupils can practice interview techniques before setting out on their own interviews
Classroom Considerations
  • While not essential, access to tape recorders, cassette tapes, or video cameras would be helpful
Pros
  • The plan is richly detailed and carefully scaffolded
  • Offers two different ways of conducting the interview as a group or individually
Cons
  • None