The process of learning to think historically and to practice becoming historians is a large component of 7th Grade history at St. John’s. By the end of the year, students will become published historians themselves.
Each year, St. John’s 7th Graders embark on a yearlong research project that will serve as their final exam grade in Trimester 3. The project culminates in the production of a 3-5 minute historical documentary film to be published in the Weaving Our Story archive. Students will use an interview with a grandparent as the main primary source for their film. We will work in a steady, organized fashion throughout the year in order to achieve this end. Students will receive grades along the way for different tasks or assignments as part of the regular classroom routine. These assignments are recorded in the Oral History Progress Category each trimester.
Today I assigned the Oral History Contact Information Form. Please help your child to identify at least two family members who might be able serve as interview subjects. While interview subjects are not required to be a grandparent, I would like for this project to involve an older family member if at all possible. Students have successfully interviewed grandparents who live as close as down the street or as far away as India. Ideally, the interview will ultimately be conducted in person, but students have conducted interviews by letter, phone or FaceTime as well. If you are unsure about whom to interview, please email me, and we can work together to find the right match for the project.
On Monday, we will take the first steps on this academic journey that will continue through the end of the year. Mr. Parr and I will work with your students on narrowing down potential interview candidates and giving them the tools to conduct preliminary informational interviews in advance of the formal interview that will take place mid-year.
This blog will help keep you informed about the project’s progress throughout the year. We are looking forward to a great year ahead!!