African American LivesThe Story in History: A Toolkit for Researching the Past -- Inspired by the PBS series AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES
Researching Your History Resources Project Ideas Gallery About This Site
Project Ideas and Examples

Who says you need to reinvent the wheel? Whether you choose to create a video, Web site, PowerPoint presentation, or audio file, these project ideas and examples should get your creative juices flowing.

Digital Oral Histories
Learn about the lives of family members or people in your community, and help them share their stories with others via the World Wide Web! Arrange for a visit to a senior center in your neighborhood, or arrange a meeting with a family member or friend. Before your visit, use the resources on this site to learn about oral history interviews. After your interview is complete, share some of the stories you heard on the AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES Web site. Keep an online journal or blog about your experience, or create a Web site to share your oral histories with others. Be sure to include a link to the Sharing Stories page of the AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES site.

Analyzing the Evidence
Use the Analyzing the Evidence interactivity on the AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES site to discover what you can learn from old photos and documents you may find while researching your family's, community's, or organization's history. The interactivity also includes tips and ideas for preserving historical documents and photographs. Use the information presented here to do some historical detective work. Share the evidence you find while researching in a PowerPoint presentation or on a Web site you create with your club. The "Analyzing the Evidence" lesson plan has additional ideas on ways to explore the use and preservation of records, documents, photographs, and artifacts.

My Place in History
How does your life history, the history of your family, or the history of your community compare to national and international history? How were individuals impacted by the events of their day? The "My Place In History" lesson plan includes ideas and tips for comparing personal history to larger events and trends. Create a timeline comparing an individual's history to larger events. Use photographs, documents, and sound files to create a media-rich timeline comparing and contrasting different experiences of history.

Community Photo Journal
History is all around us -- even in our own communities. Here's a way to share your community's history with others, through word and image. Start by taking pictures of important community landmarks: the library, a park, a cemetery, schools, shops, houses of worship, and municipal buildings are some examples. Then, ask people in the community to share stories about the places you photographed. Long-time residents, community leaders, and local historians are all good story sources. When you've got all your information together, record your photos and the stories that go with them in a Web site or PowerPoint presentation for all to see.

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Project Planning Guide

PowerPoint Template

Editorial Guidelines

Students' Take

Students' Take is an innovative Web project that provides a place for students from afterschool programs to speak out in their very own Web sites. Check out their great work.

Boys and Girls Club of Boston
Photography and digital art and animated film -- oh my! You'll get lots of ideas from exploring this gallery of original creations.

Chinatown Beacon Center
Check out the amazing body of work from the youth at the Chinatown Beacon Center in San Francisco. Their work with digital video and clay animation is sure to spark your imagination.

HarlemLive is an award winning, critically acclaimed Web magazine produced by teens from throughout New York City. Take a look and be inspired.

The Story in History Funded by: CPB African American Lives - Co-produced by: Thirteen/WNET Co-produced by: Kunhardt Productions African American Lives Funded by: Coca-Cola African American Lives Funded by: P&G