Mining the Riches of History

Teach Interviewing Skills & Do the interviews

Generate lists of 15-25 high-quality questions. Teach the difference between “open-ended” and “closed” questions. The best questions are those that keep the subject talking! See Doug Lipman’s site for games that will help teach questioning and other interviewing skills.

Practice active listening skills. Nothing is more annoying than to have an interviewer ask a question that the subject has already answered in a previous response!

Share and examine some examples of oral histories (see list of resources below).

Conduct some “mock” interviews to practice. Practice using recording equipment as well.

Complete the interviews (or view/read primary sources), having students follow the guidelines you’ve put in place.

Introduction Getting
Lay the Groundwork Teach
Process and
Help with Interviewing Oral History Resources