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US2- Oral History Project


Getting Started

An oral history tells a personal story, such as the effect of momentous events on a person's life.  Find someone to interview, a friend or family member, who clearly remembers the period of World War II.  If you have trouble finding a friend or family member to interview, you might also ask a local senior citizens' center to suggest a person. It need not be a person who actually fought in World War II , they just have had to live through it.   Once you have chosen the best possible interviewee, arrange a mutually convenient date, time, and place for your meeting.  If you are planning to tape-record the interview, ask permission to do so.   


Planning and Conducting Your Interview

Prepare for the interview by writing open-ended questions that are based on information in Chapter 25.  If you do ask questions that have only "yes" or "no" answers, be sure to ask follow-up questions to keep the person talking. 

Even if you are tape-recording the interview, jot down important points that you would like to probe further.  Then refer to your notes to ask follow-up questions.  For example, you might say, "Can you tell me more about your fears that the Nazi's would defeat the British"?


Drafting An Oral History

Using your interview as a source, write an oral history highlighting one person's recollections of  life during World War II.  Refer to the following suggestions as a guide:


Be prepared to read your paper to class.  It should be approximately one and half to two pages in length and take about five minutes to read.  The rest of the students may ask follow up questions. Check out the grading rubric (linked on homework page)to get a better understanding of what I expect.