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By interviewing grandparents, or interviewing other family members about grandparents if they cannot be interviewed, young children learn about their historical and cultural heritage, their families, and themselves.
Introduce a study of grandparents by reading the Caldecott Award-winning book by Allen Say (1994), a beautifully illustrated account of the author-illustrator's grandfather's journey from Japan to the United States and back again over the course of his lifetime.
"Choose a topic for oral histories that is related to an area of study in social studies and is developmentally appropriate for the grade level of students.
In some cases, the people who are telling their life story may be the same, but the topic would be different. history and interviewing those same grandparents about their related experiences or memories of events.
Students are actively engaged in collecting data when they do oral histories.
Not only are they learning history, they are learning to be historians.
Students can do this by interviewing family and community members and creating oral histories — a type of primary source material in the study of history.
Other source materials to use with oral histories could be physical artifacts such as photographs, journals, documents, and other materials that the subject of an oral history could provide (Barton, 2001; Field, Labbo, Willhem, & Garret, 1996: Hickey, 1997).