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Oral History Project: Preparing for our oral history (Part 4 of 7)


Language Arts, CHamoru, Oral History


Elementary, 3-5

Time required

70 minutes (This can be separated among two days.)

Materials required

  • Flipchart or chalk board
  • Markers or chalk
  • Recording device
  • CD player and speakers

Related background reading


Related documents


Related links

Lesson Plan


In this lesson, students will learn the mechanics of using a recording device, as well as begin to plan out their interview.


  • Students will learn the basics of using a digital recording device.
  • Students will devise a list of topics to cover in their interview.
  • Students, in pairs, will develop a list of questions on each topic.
  • Students will develop a plan to research their respective topics.


Teacher prep

Game (7 minutes)

  1. A student picks a game from the “games bag”.
  2. Play game.
  3. Recap what we learned from game (dependent on type of game… refer to games list)

Introduction to Recording Equipment (20 minutes)

  1. Show students the recording equipment to be used. (Anything from a cassette tape recorder, to a digital recorder on a phone, to a laptop with a mic can be used).
  2. Demonstrate to the students how the equipment is used to record and playback.
  3. Play sound samples (off speakers) of different recorder positions:
    • Too close to one person, uneven sound.
    • Too far, no sound.
    • Too close to mouth, pops.
  4. With teacher seated in a new location, ask students to position recorder in the correct place.

Introduction to Research (10 minutes)

  1. Ask students to come up with topic areas for the interview. (e.g. food, fashion, family life).
  2. List them on board, and have students consolidate them in order of importance/interest.
  3. Assign each topic to a pair of students.

Developing Topic Ideas (20 minutes)

  1. In pairs, students determine what they want to learn about their topic. 10 minutes.
  2. Each pair shares their ideas with the group for feedback. 10 minutes.

Overview of Research Resources (10 minutes)

  1. Have students develop a list of research resources.
  2. Outline basic steps students should do at home:
    • Ask parents
    • Check Internet and Guampedia (Demonstrate Guampedia to the class)
    • Check books, library (if possible)
  3. Come up with basic questions each pair should answer for their topic, due by the next class.
  4. Have students write down the outline and their questions into notebooks.

Recap (3 minutes)
Recap what we’ve done and learned in the lesson:

“We’ve learned how to use a recording device and position it correctly, we’ve developed a list of interview topics and questions, and determined at a plan to do the necessary background research.”

Ask students for their favorite parts of the lesson.