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Introduction

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle/High School History, Language Arts

Introduction

As educators, we can raise awareness about the Medal of Honor in our schools and ensure that
our students appreciate the invaluable lessons that Medal of Honor recipients provide. Through the
lessons of this curriculum, we can help students recognize the gifts that these men and women have
given so selflessly to all. The Oral History Project can support our focus on the traits of a hero
identified as courage, integrity, sacrifice, commitment, citizenship, and patriotism.

An oral history project helps students learn about people they would not have known and gives them
an opportunity to connect to the past. Students learn history beyond the history books and make
personal connections to other generations. It is a rewarding way to learn about the past.

Using an oral history project as part of the school curriculum can address essential concepts and
skills that sustain national academic standards, including research, public speaking, historical
documentation, and interviewing,

There are several components of the project that teachers may tailor to suit their individual school’s
curriculum or particular state standards.

THE ARTIFACT

Artifacts serve as a focus for understanding ourselves and others. In the oral history project, the students
can ask the person they are working with to share an artifact that represents an aspect of that person's life.

THE MEMOIR

A memoir is an account of the writer’s personal experiences. It is often about part of a life, and often a
public part of one’s life, rather than one’s whole life, from youth to old age, supported by memories of specific
experiences. In the oral history project the students practice writing a memoir. When they interview the subject
of the oral history, they can use the details that the person provides to help write that person’s memoir.

POEM (Optional)

Students may create a poem as part of the oral history project to express their ideas about the person they
interviewed.

THE NEWS ARTICLE

The purpose of the newspaper article in the oral history is to reflect the interviewee’s life and times using
informative writing. The student will select a time period and write about representative events, places, and
people. Information is gained through the student’s research after interviewing the person. The characteristics
of news articles should be taught with examples from many sources. Characteristics of articles include: the
5-W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why), stylistic characteristics and conventions.

THE RESEARCH


As part of the oral history project, research provides important information to questions about an aspect
of the interviewee's life and time that occur before, during, and after the interview process.

THE PRESENTATION


The Oral History Project will be presented in formats agreed upon by the teacher and student.