Lesson Plan

Teaching with Oral History: Middle School

Oral history is a tool for learning about people, places, and events.

Students utilize oral histories as a tool for learning about people, places, and events. As students explore the interview process by developing interview questions, conducting interviews with their classmates, and retelling the stories they collect, they gain an understanding of the way oral histories help us to learn about the past and each other.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Understand that oral history is a way of gathering detailed information that helps us understand a specific time, place, person, or event.
  • Connect past and present experiences.
  • Understand that perspectives of events change over time.
  • Understand that all of us have important stories to tell and perspectives to share.

Grade Levels

Middle School | Grades 6-8


1‐3 class periods

Related Programs


Essential Questions

  • How do historians learn about the past?
  • How can the past inform our understanding about the present?
  • How can one’s understanding of an event change over time?


  • Oral History
  • Perspective

Questions on lessons and activities?

The materials on this page can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us.

Are you an Educator?

Sign-up here to receive information on upcoming workshops and school program opportunities.