“It is hard to be unbiased” – ​an Oral History Project

The aim of Oral History is to preserve accounts that are not highlighted in the mainstream discourse due to a range of reasons. The voices heard through Oral History are stories not acknowledged or presented in dominant narratives, because these are perceived as insignificant or never captured. The aim of this Oral History project was exactly that: recording stories of people that are often forgotten or dismissed. The eventual end result was for as well teacher as students inspiring.

Lesson 5 – Dividing Africa

Students re-enact the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 during which European countries divided Africa amongst themselves. The lesson makes the students realise how ignorant the Europeans were of already existing tribes and connections in Africa, and only concerned about their own gains from the continent. The lesson includes a script for each country, a selection of maps, and historical context. 

Lesson 4 – Writing Injustice

This lesson was linked to Anti-War protests during the Cold War. The focus was injustice in our current day society. During these two lessons, students created their own narrative about injustice, and thought of ways for them to get involved in a particular cause. This lesson is meant as an example of how history can be used to explore a general concept in past and present times, hereby developing reflective skills and awareness among students.

Lesson 3 – Talking History

This lesson was designed on the basis of four different texts in which people put forward pro-slavery arguments or abolitionist standpoints. Students conducted "Table Talks", so they conversed about the different texts in groups. They recorded these conversations with one cell phone. This idea of Table Talks is created by Mr Fischburg, who gave permission to share the great activity. 

Lesson 2 – Rappin’ about Revoltin’

This lesson was a part of the lessons series on Slavery in the New World 1500-1800 for the IB diploma program. In a previous lesson, students were surprised to find pictures of revolts organized by the enslaved in their book. Therefore I thought it necessary to use some lessons on the different ways enslaved people revolted during their enslavement.

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