Kaua‘i educators to
participate in ‘Talk Story’ oral history
Educators from the Kapa‘a Complex were selected by the Japanese American National Museum to participate in a year-long planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Entitled “Talk Story,” the project will examine how schools, communities and museums work together to integrate the study of oral history into the classroom for the benefit of young people.
Selected to participate in the planning grant are Althea Kaleinohea Arinaga, fourth grade teacher at Kapa‘a Elementary School; Denise C. Asher, senior economics and psychology teacher at Kapa‘a High School; Patrick Bruno, seventh grade social studies teacher at Kapa‘a Middle School; Brent Mizutani, Department of Education school renewal specialist; Rene Relacion, seventh grade language arts teacher at Kapa‘a Middle School; and Michelle Rundbaken, digital media and arts teacher at Kapa‘a High School.
The educators are looking at ways to incorporate local oral history in the teaching of various subjects across grade levels while aligning to state content and learning standards. The study of oral history in the classroom may begin with identifying existing repositories in the community and online that make resources accessible to teachers and students.
Certain classes and grade levels may involve students in the actual recording of oral histories, teaching effective interview and videotaping techniques. Product outcomes may eventually range from oral history curriculum to student created oral history collections, videos and exhibitions.
A public program to share the outcomes of the Kapa‘a Complex planning grant and to discuss the significance of oral history will be held Aug. 26. For more information call Brent Mizutani at 821-4460.
Using photographs and ledgers from the archives of the Kaua‘i Museum and the Kaua‘i Historical Society, Kapa‘a Elementary School students in Kalei Arinaga’s fourth grade class were able to infuse traditional instruction with new emerging technologies.
The class worked on a project to create digital and multimedia stories of Kealia residents. Through the experiences and memories of people who lived in Kealia 60 to 75 years ago a bit of history was captured. The work was done through the composition of personal narrative stories on community members, integration of family photographs, recorded voice narration and multi-media production.
The project attempts to preserve a small segment of a relatively recent historical period. Over time memories will fade and emotions associated with events of the day may be altered or lost, so capturing the stories for current and future generations is a valuable undertaking for both students and the community.
Kapa‘a Elementary teacher Kalei Arinaga is one of six educators from the Kapa‘a Complex participating in a grant to develop oral history curriculum for schools. The project is sponsored by the Japanese American National Museum and supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Learn more about the use of oral histories in the classroom and the Kealia project at a public meeting to be held in Lihu‘e on August 26. For more information call Brent Mizutani at 821-4460.