Let’s Get It Started

Its time to really start thinking about this project and getting things rolling.  Actually, I’ve been thinking about it for while, I just need to start taking some action.

Here’s an outline of my plan. I’m hoping to drastically improve last year’s oral history project that I started with my 8th grade humanities class.  It was a mild success last year, but it I walked away from the project with lots of thoughts on how to make it better.

microphone-307365_1280This year we’ll be adding a few more elements to the project that will hopefully make it more meaningful to not only the students participating, but to the community of our school as well.  The basic plan is for our students to collect stories from the staff at Lincoln Community School about their teenage years and educational experience.  We’re hoping to build a collection of stories of youth around the world and throughout different eras of history.  Our staff, like our students, is quite diverse and should provide an intriguing array of stories.

The project is part of our service learning initiative at LCS as we ultimately share this collection of recordings on a website that I created last year for this purpose.  I’m also considering giving students the option to work on redesigning the website or looking for ways to enhance it as part of the project.

I plan on beginning the project by tapping into another project that I stumbled on via Twitter.  The #hearmyhome project closely relates to some of what we are hoping to do ourselves and will provide students with an opportunity to practice recording, finding stories to share and challenging their creativity.  The hope is once we get to the point of interviewing teachers, the students will be somewhat comfortable with the process.

Throughout the project I want students thinking about several things.  One of the top ideas being: How and why is history recorded?  One of our first activities will be a reflection on a house color event we had last week.  Students competed in an obstacle course, tug of war and jump roping to earn points for their house.  We’ll use the reflection to open a discussion on perspectives and details in a story.  In a moment of what was hopefully genius, I decided, while they were sharing their stories, to ask them to go home and record their stories so that we can begin the work of creating good recordings, and telling stories.  We’ll see how this turns out.

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