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Author

Wisconsin Energy Institute

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Social Studies, History, English Language Arts, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Types

  • Project
  • Video, 40 minutes, 48 seconds, CC
  • Lesson Plan
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin

Format

PDF

Energy Transitions Oral History Activity

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Synopsis
  • This Wisconsin-based learning activity brings people of all ages together as students conduct oral history interviews with family members and friends of an older generation.
  • The interviews center upon memories of grandparents, older neighbors, or family friends regarding their experiences with energy sources, and the gradual transition away from fossil fuel usage.
  • Extensions are provided to engage students in oral histories on a variety of topics.
Teaching Tips
Positives
  • About halfway through the included video, the presenters begin teaching how to best conduct an oral history interview.
  • This lesson will allow students to positively interact with someone of an older generation.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It will be helpful for students to have a basic understanding of the phrase "oral history" before beginning the activity. 
  • Students will need access to a recording device.

Differentiation

  • The embedded video mentions the difference between primary and secondary sources, which will be a helpful introduction or review for English and History classes.
  • Although the activity and video are geared toward Wisconsin residents, the activity can be assigned throughout the United States and other English-speaking countries. 
  • This project can easily be implemented as cross-curricular research between Social Studies, Science, and English classes.
  • Since the assignment lends itself to conversations about emotional reactions, it will be a beneficial resource for SEL inclusion.
Scientist Notes
The resource from The Wisconsin Energy Institute, in collaboration with the UW–Madison Oral History Program, promotes an initiative encouraging young people to conduct oral history interviews on renewable energy transition. The resource also provides access to recorded stories, an activity guide, and workshops to strengthen students' capacity to conduct oral history interviews especially on eco-anxiety and emotions surrounding climate change and Wisconsin energy needs. The resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Language (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.8.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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