Historic Conversations

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As a culmination of their study on the 20th century, James Wilson Young Middle School eighth-grade social studies students had the chance to speak with several local veterans during an interactive panel discussion in the school’s library.

Leading up to the event, the students worked with teacher Peggy Vallely and library media specialist Kelly Noeldechen to research the different wars that transpired during this timeframe and learn proper interviewing techniques. In small groups, they interviewed the veterans in attendance, discussing what their pre- and post-war experience was like, how they came to serve and how their experiences helped to shape their life.

To preserve the moment and heroes’ stories, the students recorded their interviews on iPads and other electronic devices. They also compared the responses they received and the veterans’ varied experiences in follow-up class conversations.