By: Dorothy Drake
Though I am retired from Henrico County Public Schools, I am a part time teaching assistant at an elementary school in the county. The school is in the east end near my home and has a Black population of approximately 70%. Virginia History is a part of the grade four curriculum; therefore, this is where I plan to share my Teachers in the Movement experience.
The parents will be informed through the weekly newsletter that is sent home on Friday by the students. This oral history assignment will serve as a reinforcement of the language skills: reading, writing, and speaking, especially making eye contact. The assignment is for the student to interview an adult family member, such as a grandparent or a great aunt or uncle. A list of guided questions will be included in the weekly newsletter.
At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year I will be sending a letter to fourth grade parents to share my experience with Teachers in the Movement at UVA, 2020. I will also use this opportunity to share oral history and their support that I am depending upon for the upcoming interview that will continue to enhance my new learning. “Oral history,” is what is not printed in the history books. Whether this is positive or negative, something is left out. There are many citizens who have worked and made significant contributions to society or the community; however, their names are not in the history books or in print. These resources can be tapped into by interviews or listening to a person tell his or her story.
Culminating Activity: An Oral History Wax Museum
The museum will be staged in the multi-purpose room at our school. Participants will include family members that were interviewed by the students and elected and selected county officials. This will be a replica of a real wax museum. There is no talking unless the model is turned on. To engage in a conversation, the spectator must point his or her index finger at the wax model. Then the oral history lesson will be heard. None of this information is printed in a book, so listen carefully!