Roots with Wings, a Floyd County Place-Based Education Project:: Intergenerational Connections

Floyd Story Center

Since 1998, a community oral history collection partnership of the Old Church Gallery, Ltd., Radford University’s Center for Social and Cultural Research, Honors Program, Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center, and Floyd County High School. Our archives now hold over 100 interviews.

In our Roots with Wings project, college mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection to Floyd County High School students.

Students learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques, practice and complete several interviews, transcribe the audiotapes, create searchable content logs, archive interviewee resources and period photographs, learn the technology of audio and video recording, research historical backgrounds, acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling, and finally extract a theme from an hour long interview to create a seven minute movie production.

Monday, March 23, 2015

No Robots Please


A cold, snowy winter prevented RU students from going to FCHS for the past several weeks, but brown is turning green, pushing winter on its way.

During that time Mrs. Myers has been working to prepare students for interview day.  Kathleen and Catherine have also spent lots of class time making sure each student gets hands-on practice with all the audio/video equipment.

Last week RU students facilitated an interview practice session.  A few RU students acted out scripted examples of good and bad interviews. 

Look closely, and you will see Dr. Wagner's baseball cap (disguising her character as a teenage boy) as she portrays an interviewee for practice purposes. 
FCHS students brainstormed good "good" and bad "bad" aspects they observed in the practice interviews.

FCHS student Michael O. is seen interpreting a list of various "bad" interview examples as offered by the class.  A list of good interviewer techniques was nearby. 
Everyone then got into their "Interview Day" groups and FCHS students interviewed RU students.

Luke M. and Alex C. create interview questions based on the background of each WWII veteran to be interviewed on Thursday, March 26th.
In one group, Luke M. (FCHS) was attentively listening to his interviewee, Kasey C. (RU), until she mentioned the university she attended.

Luke:  "Where?!"

Kasey: "The University of Hogwarts."

Luke recovered quickly and asked insightful questions about what goes on at this university.  Ask him about it, the wizardry was beyond me.

Interviewer Things to Remember

  • Lots of eye contact with interviewee
  • Face interviewee not camera
  • Inject enthusiasm in your voice
  • Ask How and open-ended questions
  • Listen, listen, listen

This week is Interview Day!  Students will set up their studio in the Hotel Floyd and complete a total of four interviews.  

If you know any of the film crew or interviewees wish them awesome audio/video and lots of fun!

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