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Photo of 3rd grade class at Brown Elementary School with quilt
Jill Taylor's third grade class at Brown Elementary School, Brownsburg, Indiana, with their quilt featuring rural Indiana landscapes

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From the Emerald Isle to Little Ireland: The Legacy of Farming in Brownsburg
A Local Legacy

Have you ever conducted an oral interview? An oral interview documents history by asking someone questions about his or her experiences in order to learn what life was like through that person's eyes. Do you know anyone whom you'd like to interview? There are probably many people you know who could tell you a lot about your community -- your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents or almost anyone who is a few years older than you.

In Brownsburg, Indiana, Jill Taylor's third-grade class created an oral history project. The children made a list of interview questions for the farmers of Little Ireland, an area settled by Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s. They also took photographs. After conducting the interviews, the children wrote a report on what they learned, selected the photographs, painted a rural Indiana landscape, and hand-stitched a quilt that commemorates the legacy of farming. Mrs. Taylor's project was such a success that she was named runner-up for Indiana Teacher of the Year.

Next time you have to do a project on something, try and think of someone you can interview. That way you will learn first-hand about the subject.

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