Oral histories are important primary sources. They reveal intimate stories, relevant comments, and meaningful answers as recounted by important historical figures, as well as by the everyday people who are often overlooked in our history books. Hearing the actual voice of someone who has lived through a significant event or era can bring history to life, and can also greatly enrich insight into the personality and character traits of a person being researched. Exploring and analyzing oral history interviews and other audio files -- such as news reports, speeches, or music -- is also a great way to enhance a written report, article, or essay, and can lead to further research possibilities.
Lesson plans designed to integrate the audio-enhanced essays on HistoryLink.org ask students to listen to audio clips found in selected HistoryLink.org essays, then interpret the value of hearing real voices describe their personal experiences with historical events or persons. Students will be provided with an appropriate model for how to enhance their own projects with audio files through a format established by HistoryLink.org.
This curriculum was developed through a partnership between HistoryLink.org and Heritage 4Culture.