Writing Secondary Source Documents: Key Questions to Integrate into Exploration of Family History
Overview: Developing an understanding of Social Studies through exploration and research into family history is a major component of this unit. This lesson provides students with the information and skills they will need to conduct an interview.
Short Term Objectives:
Students will demonstrate ability to:
1. Identify key interview questions when researching historical topics
2. Apply questions to interview a peer in the classroom about an event that occurred when they were younger
3. Analyze data constructed through interview to compose a summary of their peers event
4. Work efficiently with partners
Activity #1: Anticipatory Set/ Focusing Event: Introduction to Project
1. Explain project and read through rubric. If students do not have knowledge of the topic of social justice, explain it in detail since it is an important component of the final project.
Here is a definition of Social Justice: Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice
2. Play your family history digital story for students. This will require you to create your own for an example. You are more than welcome to share my example with your class but in order to fully understand the technology, creating your will be more beneficial.
After you play your digital story provide students with this reminder:
Reminder to students: Students should also collect old family photographs to be incorporated into the digital story. They should talk to the interviewee about the photographs to be able to provide descriptions. Remind students they should plan time during their interview to do this. Also, tell students they will be responsible for scanning photographs themselves, but they will have time in the computer lab where they can sign up to use the scanner. Recommend to students to scan at home if do have a scanner or go Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, etc. to scan in photographs.
Activity #2: Brainstorming:
3. During this activity, students will work together to generate a list of questions to use during their family history interview.
Teacher should model and discuss:
· The importance of writing down quotes from the interviewee to be used in their later writing.
· Listening rather than telling the interviewee the knowledge you have on the topic.
· Asking new questions as they come up rather than only sticking to the questions on the list.
· Jotting down brief notes instead of copying everything down word for word.
If students have trouble writing everything word for word they could use technologies such as their computers or cell phones to record the interview. Check the technologies available within the school district because they may have recording devices students could sign out.
4. Once the interview is over, students should look back to make sure they have no further questions and understand all of their notes. Explain to students that it is important not to push the interviewee if they are uncomfortable answering your question.
6. Possible Starter Questions: When/where were you born? Where did you grow up? Were you in the military/did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Do you know if there were any major historical events going on the year you were born? What major events occurred during your life so far? Do any of them relate to anything that was going on in the country at the time?
Bridge: “The more time spent planning an interview the better the interview will go so it is important to take time and plan your questions ahead of time. Now we are going to look at organizing the information you will collect from your interviews.”
Activity #3: Gathering Information
1. Each student should bring enough paper to write down responses to each question. Model for students how to set up their paper ahead of time for interview. Students should write out the questions ahead of time in their notebook for the paper. Pass out Interview Questionnaire handout to students for their first interview. Explain to students that they will be writing a summary based on the information obtained during their interview. Scaffolding instruction is important at this level. Ask for a student volunteer to be your interview subject.
2. Ask the student one or two questions from the questionnaire worksheet to model for the students what a successful interview should look like. In order to demonstrate to students that it is okay to create new questions during the interview, ask your interviewee a new question based on their previous responses.
3. Now it is time for the students to begin to ask questions. Set each student up with a partner. Once everyone is situated and ready to begin interviewing, provide students 10 minutes each for an interview. Set a timer to students will know when to switch and give them a verbal warning of two minutes before their seven minutes is up.
4. Give students two minutes at the end to make sure they do not need any more information for their written summary.
Bridge: “Now that we have successfully completed our first interviews as historians, gathering primary source information, we are going to write a summary.”
Activity #4: Summary Writing
1. Provide students with an example written summary based on an interview. A good way to do this is to take an interview from a teen magazine and summarize it for the class. Modeling good summary writing
is important so based on your student’s needs this may take up the whole time for the activity.
2. Allow students to write their own summaries.
Closure: Ask students to write down one thing they learned and ideas about who they plan on interviewing and a historical/social justice topic they wish to explore. They can hand them in as they leave. Remind students as they leave to bring in family photographs if they do not have access to a scanner. Their homework is to create an essential question surrounding social justice and the historical time period their interviewee will discuss.