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COVID-19 Community Archive: Incorporating COVID-19 Community Archive into Curricula

Archive of local oral histories, documents, and polling pertaining to the Covid-19 global health pandemic.

Unit/Topic: Oral Histories

This curriculum familiarizes students with what an oral history is, its role in understanding people’s experiences and emotions, helps students to identify and work with primary source materials in research, illuminates the relevance of students’ own stories and experiences, and nurtures their ability to share their stories through an exciting ELA curriculum. The curriculum, developed in conjunction with NHTI Education Dept. faculty, is explicitly linked to relevant standards, assessments, and rubrics.

Course/Subject: Grade 8 ELA

Approximate Time/Length of Unit: 3 Weeks

About the creator:

Melissa Sprague, an education major at NHTI, worked on the COVID Diaries oral history project with a team of community college student interns from December 2020 through 2021. She interviewed numerous people affected during the pandemic, from New Hampshire business owners and artists to a New Hampshire community college student taking classes from her home in South Korea. The COVID Diaries project was shared at a symposium, sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Collaborative, in February 2021.

After the students recorded these oral histories and archived them, Melissa was excited to explore ways in which K-12 educators could use the COVID Diaries materials, either directly or indirectly, as inspiration for curriculum in their English Language Arts (ELA) classrooms, focusing on primary sources and oral histories. Rather than prescribing specific pandemic-related material that could be considered traumatic, particularly for students still living through a global pandemic that has not yet loosened its grip on New Hampshire, Melissa decided to provide lesson plans that would allow teachers to use materials that would best meet their students needs. The curriculum she developed follows and is available for instructors to use and adapt.

Click the link below to download unit plans!