My Home Territory: Traveling Back in Time
Introduction by Dell Waterhouse
The student writing pieces presented here are by the fourth grade class of Doty Memorial School for the school year of 2004-2005. They were the culmination of my class’s participation in the Community History Project, an oral history project we began more than a year ago, in collaboration with the Worcester Historical Society, sponsored and supported by the Vermont Historical Society and IBM Corporation.
I called our project Our Home Territory: Traveling Back in Time. The project gave students a chance to learn about the history of their town, Worcester, Vermont, by conducting primary source research. Students learned about the history of Worcester in the early and mid-twentieth century through conducting oral history interviews with elders who grew up in Worcester. The process involved conducting several exploratory interviews, followed by a process of narrowing down to a topic of special interest for each student, and then a series of follow-up interviews. The final step was to choose a genre – either writing to inform (a report) or narrative (a historical fiction story) – to demonstrate their learning.
As you will see, the students did some exceptional writing! I couldn’t be more pleased with their work!
I join with the children in thanking the many elders from our community who gave generously of their time to share their memories and their knowledge with us! It was really fun for us all, and I know these memories will remain with us, helping to deepen our connection with our wonderful and very special hometown.