Oral History Project: a Huge Success

On the night of February 24th, Grade 10 Social Studies students presented their oral history projects. Each student came up with his own unique Driving Question, spending up to six weeks working furiously on the project.

The oral history project is the biggest project of the school year for Grade 10s. It incorporates the use of oral history, which is the collection and study of historical information through interviews with people who have personal knowledge of past events. Through their research, students gathered information and artifacts to use in their presentations.

On the night of the presentations, the Grade 10 students and parents gathered in McLean Hall for a brief welcome and introduction. After that, students dispersed to their designated rooms to share their findings and projects with other students. During this period, peers videotaped presentations, asked questions, and gave feedback. Parents were welcome to wander in the rooms to listen to the presentations. The photos at the top of the page display some projects.

To gain a better understanding of the project, we interviewed Ms. Coates, who is one of the Social Studies 10 teachers.

“How do you think the oral history project helps advance the students’ learning?”

“What I hope is that it was, and it is an opportunity for people to look at something they’re interested in and to learn something about their family. But certainly, have a chance to be in control and in charge of what they (students) look into. Often we tell the students what to learn about, but hopefully this was an opportunity to get to choose something that you (student) are interested about.”

 “Do you have any advice for students going into Grade 10?”

“Yeah, the biggest thing I think it takes many students a long time to realize is: A, they’re in charge. So, it’s up to them to push ahead. They don’t have to ask us for permission to do things. Looking at what the objectives and expectations are, the students should feel confident in making these decisions on their own. The second thing is realizing the scope of the work that is expected. I think some people put it off and don’t jump in with 2 feet right away. So, sometimes some people end up being surprised when they have to catch up on the different stages as they go. My advice would be to have confidence in yourself that you are in charge; what you do and how you move forward is as important as jumping in right away.”

Overall, all of the students presented their projects and the night was a great success!