Teaching Tools

In this section of our website you will find lesson plans and supplementary materials developed for a four-week place-based Oral History module appropriate for middle school students.

We devised these materials for a specific use – teaching about oral history and Mashapaug Pond for a sixth grade language arts class in a Providence middle school. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStudents conducted two interviews and their recordings will be incorporated into a larger project, an audio cell phone tour. With some minor adjustments, the curriculum could be used for used for a range of grade levels. Although these resources focus on conducting oral history interviews about a specific place, Mashapaug Pond in Providence, RI, they can provide a useful outline for educators to teach similar modules about places in their own areas. The final week activity, selecting audio clips, could be adapted for teachers who wish to produce an audio documentary, podcast, or another outcome as the desired final product.

For teachers in the Providence area who are interested in continuing this work on the Mashapaug Pond archive we recommend getting in touch with the Urban Pond Procession to identify appropriate interviewees.

Best of luck, and we hope this packet is of use to you!

(Click here to download all materials)

Lesson Plans

4 Week Oral History Curriculum on Mashapaug Pond

Supplementary Materials

Fact Sheet

Mashapaug Pond Maps

Listening Guide

Group Roles

Reflection Sheet

Sample Audio Clip


How to Use ‘Mashapaug’s Neighbors’ Audio Tour With Students

‘Mashapaug’s Neighbors’ Audio Tour makes a great field trip as part of a unit on oral history, Providence history, or environmental issues.

Tips for using the tour with students:

  • To access the stories, call the phone number posted at each site. For groups, we recommend that you have at least one cell phone for every 4 people. Using the phone in speaker mode will allow multiple people to listen at once.  Older students may use their own cell phones. For younger students, one adult chaperone with a cell phone for every 4 students may be helpful.
  • Conditions around the pond may be muddy. Please tell students to dress accordingly.
  • Walking to each stop on the audio tour make take up to two hours and will take you through a variety of neighborhoods and terrains. To shorten the walking time, you may choose to visit fewer locations. The tour can be customized with as many walking stops and audio calls as you choose. There is no start or finish to the tour.
  • You can hear the audio by calling from any phone or location, or on this website. Tour audio can be easily previewed before going to the pond in order to pre-select stops or prepare students in advance.
  • To view pre- and post-visit activities for all grade levels, please see the link below:

Pre- and Post-Visit Activities for the ‘Mashapaug’s Neighbors’ Audio Tour

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