IV. Preparation

In order to prepare students to publish a book of the stories of Lummi Nation residences and family stories of local settlers, we had many steps to accomplish. The planning began last summer with three teachers, a student teacher from Western Washington University, and our school’s community coordinator; making calls to find community members interested in the project and setting up lessons to prep the students were are main objectives. By the end of October, students in our US History classes began a unit of “Moving West” in which was imbedded local history of the Lummi Indians and the early beginnings of our town of Ferndale. They did lessons about oral history projects and lessons pertaining to the early interactions of the native groups (including Lummi) and white settlers (Lessons 1.1, 1.2). By mid-November we had organized students into small groups, their interviewees assigned, and their interviews schedule arranged. It was time for the preparation for the interviews to begin.

In English class, students began the process of writing historical and appropriate interview questions (Lesson 1.3) while they simultaneously were engaged in interview technique lessons and activities around cultural sensitivity in their US History class. (Lesson 1.4) Working in small assigned groups, of three or four, our students created a list of possible questions, planned and practiced their techniques for the upcoming interviews.

For schools interested in developing a service-learning program, CESNW service learning coach Kate McPherson has constructed a Curriculum-Based Service-Learning Project Planning Tool. This tool will help school staff articulate the purpose, standards, audience, and essential question(s) of your program.

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