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Lesson Plan Eight (Student Resources)

Oral Histories.

Introduction

Basing a monologue or short play on oral history interviews can produce writing that is both accurate and educational. A skilled interviewer can often guide a subject to reveal important memories about their life and the world that they grew up in, these memories can be turned into compelling monologues or dialogues that explore stories and people often ignored in traditional historical narratives.

Vocabulary

Oral history is the systematic collection of living people’s testimony about their own experiences. Historians have finally recognized that the everyday memories of everyday people, not just the rich and famous, have historical importance. If we do not collect and preserve those memories, those stories, then one day they will disappear forever.  Your stories and the stories of the people around you are unique, valuable treasures for your family and your community. You and your family members can preserve unwritten family history using oral history techniques (adapted from Do History’s website).