ORAL HISTORY by fjzhxb


PURPOSE: The oral history provides students three distinct opportunities. First, they are able to take issues they are studying in American Studies and relate them to the life of a person who is important to them. Second, students learn, refine and practice interviewing techniques. Third, students write in a variety of forms, using the writing process.

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INTERVIEW Study interviewing techniques Organize/arrange interview Conduct and record interview (1-3 hours)

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PAPER From the interview:
Complete free writes, rough drafts, and final drafts Write in a variety of forms: reflection, narration, description, poetic, exposition


PRESENTATION Student selects, rehearses, and prepares a selection from the oral history to be presented aloud in front of an audience.

Self-Directed Learners are able to:  Find a person to interview  Task analyze  Persevere through a semester task  Budget time  Self-critique  Work independently Collaborative Workers are able to:  Work in peer-editing groups  Encourage the interviewee Quality Producers are able to:  Revise rough drafts effectively  Create a product whose presentation shows pride Community Contributors are able to:  Focus empathetically on another person‟s life  Show respect for the life of the interviewee Effective Communicators are able to:  Write to a particular audience and in a variety of forms  Share orally with others Complex Thinkers are able to:  Select and organize information from the interviewee to incorporate into the components of the final draft

HISTORY WRITING SKILLS 1. Writes clearly & effectively 2. Knows variety of forms for different audiences/ purposes 3. Understand & uses steps of writing process 4. Analyzes and evaluates effectiveness of written work COMMUNICATION SKILLS 1. Listens and observes to gain understanding 2. Communicates clearly & effectively 3. Uses communication skills to work effectively with others 4. Analyzes and evaluates effectiveness of communication

1. Examines ideas, eras, themes, turning points, chronology, cause & effect 2. Artifacts & historical accounts are subject to analysis, interpretation from multiple perspectives 3. Impact of technology, ideas, creativity or history & social change

Must be audio and/or video taped
BEFORE AN INTERVIEW: A competent, thoughtful interviewer has: 1. 2. 3. Arranged for the interview ahead of time. Written a series of evocative sets and a series of related questions. Arranged a tape and/or video recorder and checked its working order. EVOCATIVE SET: A prompt that helps the interviewee access his or her memories. “One of my most vivid memories from my childhood is when I broke my toe and I couldn’t go trick-ortreating…. What is one of your vivid memories from your childhood?” SERIES OF RELATED QUESTIONS: (5 W’s—who, what, when, where, why) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Who was present when this happened? What details do you remember (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound)? Where did this occur (time, day, year, age)? Where did this occur (setting)? Why were you there? Would you consider this a good or bad memory? Why?

DURING THE INTERVIEW: A competent, thoughtful interviewer: 1. 2. Listens intently and asks clarifying questions. Uses appropriate body language, timing, and questions to keep the interviewee at ease and talking. Avoids writing lengthy, distracting notes as the interviewee speaks. Closes with a “thank you.”

3. 4.

ALL DRAFTS UTILIZE THE WRITING PROCESS: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing

LETTER OF INTENT    50 POINTS VERIFICATION OF INTERVIEW   100 POINTS Block format (see Writer’s Inc.) One page Contents:  Full name of person who is the focus of the oral history  Date and place of birth  Reason for selecting him/her Evaluation from interview packet completed by interviewee Signature on evaluation

TIMELINE    100 POINTS SIGNIFICANT MEMORY      100 POINTS Minimum of twelve events each side from his/her life and world Chronological order Makes connections to the life of the interviewee A vivid memory, rite of passage, or recollection of an historical event Written in interviewee‟s own voice (first person) Interviewee‟s experience of this event Where, when, who, what happened, why important Dialogue of quoted material correctly punctuated

BIOGRAPHY       


Overview of the person‟s life Contains a minimum of six anecdotes (2 early life, 2 middle life, 2 late life) Written in third person with several extended quotes Includes the interviewee‟s dreams, hopes, plans, accomplishments, realized or unrealized Includes an explanation of the interviewee‟s primary values Includes an explanation of the interviewee‟s filters Includes a description of the interviewee  What others say about this person (friends, siblings, children, etc.)  Interviewer‟s perception of personality (dominant traits, what is observed in the interview)  Interviewer‟s perception of physical attributes (eyes, posture, voice, movements, laugh, clothing, mannerisms, habits)  Places the person in a familiar setting  Concludes with interviewee‟s reflections on life, lessons he/she wish to pass on, current activities

CREATIVE COMPONENT    All final projects will be required to incorporate at least one creative component. Some possibilities are listed below. Visual component--photos, drawings, or art work related to the interviewee Poem—may focus on a complete experience, memorable person or event, an outstanding memory, favorite occupation, favorite place, or group of vivid memories Other component approved by teacher

FINAL DRAFT   All components will be bound in a final form; therefore, it is important to keep copies of every component. It is highly advisable to keep components on a disk in order to make necessary changes for final product




Student will prepare and perform a scripted oral reading of a selection of his or her project 1-5 minutes in length Incorporates some kind of props and/or costumes that represent the interviewee

IN TEXT QUOTATION AND CITATION FORMAT When her children were preschoolers, Bea ran the family fuel business from the backyard of their home. “As I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes this last day of business, I saw a young man come into the yard, and at that same time my regular customer appeared. The first young man wanted a sack of nut coal, and as we walked farther into the yard, he asked how much it was. I told him it was a dollar and he responded, „I can get it at the corner for ninety cents.‟ “„Well, that‟s the place to get it then.‟ “„But they don‟t have any.‟ By this time we had approached my regular customer who had his own sack ready, so I began shoveling coal into it. The first young man continued, „I sure wouldn‟t let my wife shovel coal.‟ “To which I responded, „You wouldn‟t let your wife shovel coal, but you‟d chisel me out of ten cents, wouldn‟t you?‟ That was the end of that. I don‟t think he got any coal. “When we sold the coal yard, it was the hardest thing for me to learn to focus on finishing a task in the house. I had grown so used to working with interruptions that I had to relearn how to complete tasks in a timely fashion.” (Mathewson interview)

FIRST SEMESTER _________ Project kick-off, pass out guide, narrow down prospects, hand out interview packets


Letter of Intent


Practice Interviews (evocative sets)



Interview Verification DUE


Timeline DUE


Significant Memory DUE

FILTERS (influence objectivity): education, experience, religion, era, race, culture, age, gender VALUES: aesthetics, affiliation, artistic expression, civility, companionship, competition, cooperation, the earth, exercise, family, health, honesty, humor, independence, justice, knowledge, money, perseverance, power/authority, privacy, religious faith, respect for diversity, safety, selfrespect, service to others, skill, technology, time alone, wealth


Biography DUE


Revise, edit, reprint, layout, bind


Final Projects DUE


Oral Readings

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
--Dakota Indian

My teacher’s late policy:

Students are required to earn a passing grade on this project to pass second semester.

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