How to Participate » Especially for Educators & Students
Especially for Educators & Students
Students and youth groups throughout
the United States have contributed significantly to the Veterans
History Project. While we encourage participation of students 10th
grade and above we cannot accept individual classrooms as partners.
Indicating your school on the required forms with interviews submissions
will ensure the school receives credit in the database.
Webcast of guidelines featuring Veterans History Project director
and staff can be found at the Radio
& Television News Directors Foundation.
Contents: Guidelines | Sample
Materials | Keep a Copy
Resources for Younger Students | Selected
VHP Partner Web Sites
Based on our experience with young adult volunteers, we share these observations:
- Appropriate grade levels: grades 10-12 and higher. Lower grades
require significantly more guidance
- We want oral histories that tell more than
the dates and places of service: wartime veterans and civilians have
extensive stories to share.
- We also accept original letters, diaries and photographs with the recorded
- Familiarize students with interviewing:
on our Experiencing War web site
with the school librarian
or media specialist
- Practice interviewing
- Assign readings
and view videos such as Saving Private Ryan or We
Were Soldiers to provoke group discussion
suggested on this page.
- Interviews should be at least 30 minutes long.
- Help your students or members structure their
- Background and entry into the service
- Wartime service and experiences
- End of service and life afterwards
- A sample interview from
a youth participant is available online.
- Adapt our sample questions and ask others as the interview unfolds.
Do not interrupt or rush through questions.
- If transcribing an interview, check the spelling
of unfamiliar terms and place names. A sample
interview transcript from a youth participant is available online.
- Teachers should review the quality of each
submission prior to shipping to the Library of Congress.
- All forms must be fully completed including the Biographical Data Form and Audio
and Video Recording Log Form. Samples of Audio
and Video Recording Logs from youth participants are available
- The Interviewer Release Form must be signed by a parent or guardian
if the interviewer is under 18.
Sample Materials from School/Youth Organizations
- Sample Interview (requires the free RealPlayer)
- This 41-minute
interview with Vietnam Veteran Thomas Hodge was conducted by students
from Cathedral High School and Lyman Memorial High School in
Massachusetts. Note how the student interviewer gave the veteran time to answer questions fully, and asked follow-up questions to help the story develop. The accompanying A/V
Log form for this interview is also available online.
- Sample Audio/Video Recording Logs (requires the free Acrobat
These log forms accompany interviews conducted by students
at James Madison High School in Virginia with veterans Bernard
Edelman and Lewis Robeson. Note how
both logs cover what the veterans speak about, not just the questions
- Sample Transcript (requires the free Acrobat
- This interview
transcript was created by a 9th grade student from John
F. Kennedy High School after her interview with veteran Carmel
It is a complete transcript of the entire interview. Additionally, note that
it is easy to tell who is speaking, and spelling/contextual errors are
The following selected books and web sites present information about military history for audiences ranging from middle through high school. Students may use this list as a starting point to learn about the topics a veteran might discuss.
Contents: World War I - World
War II - Korean War - Vietnam
War - Persian Gulf War
More in depth: bibliographies and resources
World War I
- Coetzee, Frans, et al. World War I: A History in Documents. New
York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
- George, Linda S. World War I. Tarrytown, NY: Benchmark Books,
- Steward, Gail B. World War I. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale
- Zeinert, Karen. Those Extraordinary Women of World War I. Brooklyn,
NY, Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, 2001.
World War II
- Colman, Penny. Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in
World War II. New York: Random House Children's Books, 1995.
- Dolan, Edward F. America in World War II. Brooklyn, NY, Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press. (Note: There are five books in this series, one for each year from 1941 through 1945).
- Hipperson, Carol. The Belly Gunner. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, Inc., 2001.
- Kuhn, Betsy. Angels of Mercy: The Army Nurses of World War II.
New York: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1999.
- Langellier, J. Phillip. The War in Europe: From the Kasserine Pass to Berlin, 1942-1945. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999.
- Rice, Earle, Jr. The Bombing of Pearl Harbor. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2000.
- Stein, R. Conrad. World War II in the Pacific: "Remember
Pearl Harbor." Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2000.
- Benson, Sonia. Korean War: Almanac and Primary Sources. Farmington
Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2001.
- Stein, R. Conrad. The Korean War: "The Forgotten
Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1994.
- Denenberg, Barry. Voices from Vietnam. New York: Scholastic,
- Dowswell, Paul. The Vietnam War. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens,
- Kent, Deborah. The Vietnam War: "What Are We Fighting
Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2000.
- Young, Marilyn Blatt and A. Tom Grunfeld. The Vietnam War: A History in Documents.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Persian Gulf War
- Gay, Kathlyn. The Persian Gulf War. Brooklyn, NY, Brookfield,
CT: Millbrook Press, Inc., 1997.
- Kent, Zachary. The Persian Gulf War: "The Mother
of All Battles." Berkeley
Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2000.
- Schwartz, Richard A. Encyclopedia of the Persian Gulf War.
Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.,
Inc., Publishers, 1998.
- Strait, Sandy. What Was It Like in Desert Storm?: Honest Answers from Those Who Were There.
New York: Royal Fireworks Press, 1998.
Some classroom and youth organizations choose to create
web sites showcasing the work they've done with the Veterans History
Project. These are
How to Participate » Especially for Students