This past week, I had the pleasure of presenting the story of how my students connected with our community, and, although it sounds like a cliche’, with the world to compile a series of researched multi-touch books. Within the pages of these books, students interviewed friends, family, neighbors, politicians, and more to answer a simple question, “How do historical events impact individuals?” Each interviewee was able to share their oral history of how a historical event direct shaped who they are, and vice versa. This served as a launching point for students to dig into primary source archives now available and accessible from their iPads and to intertwine this research with their interview. In the end, I was able to team teach with my grade’s English teacher to put students in a position to publish their individual section or chapter within one of four volumes of these oral histories. Each chapter included a primary source photo, the archived interview audio, and a student research paper, truly combining both “old school” and “new school.”
We were thrilled to be recognized as the Association for Middle Level Education Community Engagement Award Winner for 2017, and even more excited that were invited to Philadelphia to present our project and process at their national conference. I am even more excited that we were granted the funds necessary to further our collaboration with the community, by bringing students to our local library and history center.
It was invigorating to share our students’ work with an international audience.
Here is a sample of one of the books: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1224973543