This is a very thorough and detailed guide to a Seattle-area high school English teacher's oral history assignment. It includes excerpts from student interviews, as well as a sample explanatory letter to potential interview subjects.
This is the teacher and student guide to the Smithsonian "Stories from Main Street" project. Another interesting idea for your students, in addition to submitting the interview to this projects, is creating an online exhibit from their research.
Scroll down to "America's Stories" to find out how your students can record their own stories using an app, and submit to the Smithsonian Stories from Main Street project! What an amazing way to get your students, families, and entire communities involved in a meaningful, authentic history project.
This Edutopia article was written in 2008, but it's still relevant. The teacher describes how an oral history assignment engaged and motivated her students, and gives tips for how to make the projects successful.
I'm including this lesson plan as an example of how you might design an oral history assignment with your students. I'm not suggesting this as a model, but simply an example of how these projects work.
What an amazing opportunity for your students to become real historians and contribute to the Veterans History Project! Click on "How to Participate" for detailed instructions on how 10th - 12th grade students can contribute interviews and documents of living (or deceased, through Power of Attorney or cooperation of heirs) to the Veterans History Project.
The "Great Thanksgiving Listen" for students was held in 2015, but I'm including a link to the page so you can get an idea of how the project worked. After all, they might decide to repeat it in 2016, or maybe StoryCorps will encourage submissions for a different theme this year. The idea was to interview "someone you love" on Thanksgiving--parent, neighbor, family, friend over 65, using the StoryCorps app and built-in prompts. Includes an "Intro to StoryCorps" video.
StoryCorp's mission is to "preserve and share humanity's stories." You and your students can record oral histories/stories to be shared and stored online. The recordings can be made in mobile recording booths that travel to major cities or, more conveniently, with an iOS or Android app. What stories would your students think are important to obtain, preserve, and share?