HOME: The Story of Maine
|ALIGNMENT WITH MAINE'S LEARNING RESULTS:
I. A Clear and Effective Communicator
II. A Self-Directed and Life-Long Learner
IV. A Responsible and Involved Citizen
Students will use the chronology of history and major eras to demonstrate the relationships of events and people. Students will be able to:
Middle Grades: 5-8: Describe the effects of historical changes on daily life.
B. Historical Knowledge, Concepts, and Patterns
Middle Grades 5-8:
Timing: 4-5 weeks
1. Watch Power Lines with students. Discuss with students what they learned from the video. What was it like to live before electricity was widely available? Make a list on the board.
2. Now, have students raise questions they would still like to know about. What more would they like to learn about the effect electricity had on the lives of the people who had lived without it for so many years? Make a list of questions they have on the board, next to the previous list. Encourage students to take notes, because they may want to use these questions to help them write questions for the interviews they will conduct later.
Note: At this point, you might choose to take this lesson in a different direction by having students research a question they are interested in, one that might not necessarily involve interviewing someone. Some students will be fascinated with how electricity works, and this could be an interesting research project in itself.
3. Tell students that they will have the chance to ask some of these questions to people who might have interesting answers. There are still people living who remember what it was like in the early days of electricity. Assign students the oral history project. They will interview a relative, friend, or member of the community who is over 60 years old. Students must choose their interviewee, prepare questions ahead of time, and get them approved before conducting their interview. They should practice using a tape recorder and asking questions with a classmate before the interview as well. Suggest a time limit for the interview (30 minutes to an hour). See student assignment sheet for details.
4. Give students 4-5 weeks to set up the appointment for the interview, conduct it, listen to the interview, transcribe any quotes they want to use in their papers, and write their papers.
5. When students have completed their projects, discuss with them the advantages and limits of collecting oral histories. Ask them questions like the following: