Plan an oral interview with a relative.
Conduct an oral interview.
Write a "Thank You" note and a family story.
Close-ended questions: questions that can be answered with a very short, specific response -usually about some fact (e.g., "What is your maiden name?" "What year did your grandfather die?")
Open-ended questions: questions that can be answered with a free response -like the answer to an essay question (e.g., "What was it like when you were growing up?" "What can you remember about your grandfather?"
Oral History: a verbal account of the events and circumstances of the life of a person or an entire family.
Oral Interview: a conversation with someone (e.g., a parent, grand parent, aunt, uncle, friend) in which open-ended and close-ended questions are asked to learn information about a person or family.
EPISODE THREE: GATHERING FAMILY STORIES
In this third episode, suggestions for interviewing living relatives will be presented. Part one introduces Fabiana Chiu, a recent immigrant to the United States. She was born of Chinese and Peruvian parents, and had mixed feelings about her heritage. She wanted to travel with her parents to Peru to learn more and interview her relatives. In her journey, she discovered traditions and links to her Chinese heritage of which she was never aware. In part two, expert Bill Zimmerman will explain how to successfully interview living relatives and document family stories.
Before Viewing the Episode
After Viewing the Episode
Im beginning to put together a history of our family, and it would be very helpful if I could spend some time talking with you. Im interested in what you can remember about my great-grandparents (your mother and father).
I would also love to look at any old photographs or documents you may have of great grandma and great grandpas. I have enclosed a list to help you remember items that you might have.
I would like to come to your home and would only need about one hour of your time. Any Saturday or Sunday would be fine. If you will let me know a date and time that are best for you, I will plan to come.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Your grandson/ granddaughter
NOTE: Be sensitive to children who may not be living with their parents or relatives. You might suggest to them that they conduct an interview with their guardian or another member of the community.