Prescott middle-schoolers document oral history of Pioneers’ Home residents
PRESCOTT – Middle-schoolers connected with residents of the Arizona Pioneers’ Home for a school project that taught students both some history about their community and how to work as a team.
In the final week of February, students in Robin Andre’s eighth-grade social studies honors class at Prescott Mile High Middle School received information about their interview subjects and prepared a series of questions before meeting in person for a video-recorded interview.
“It is an outreach type of assignment and one in which we give back to our community,” Andre said.
Students learned about each interview subject’s history. “She likes to dance,” Marley Engisch said of Shirley Ann Hineman Shen. “She was a kid, she did tap-dancing and clogging.”
Lila Keane, whose group interviewed Al Johnson, said, “Learning about people’s backgrounds can tell you a lot about a person.”
Though the interviews lasted about an hour, students said they formed friendships.
“Once we got to know her and what she liked, we formed a relationship,” Emily Hobson said. Her group interviewed Betty Dickinson Kent.
Mia Davis, who also interviewed Kent, added, “You can really build a friendship with anyone regardless of age.”
“To communicate with people is rewarding, because you learn about their history,” Kenlee Wright said. “I was always a shy person, and I never really interacted with people outside of school and home.”
Not only did students learn about longstanding community members, they learned to work as a team.
“We work together really well,” Riley Myers said. “We collaborate very well and share each other’s ideas.”
Students learned to edit the video and presented a copy to each interviewee, along with a handcrafted item that symbolized the person’s life and interests.