Mark Day School
39 Trellis Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

7th grade bizjack project

SOCIAL STUDIES: During this project, students reflect on how historical events have influenced them and others.

MEDIA AND INFORMATION LITERACY: Students learn about how media can tell history; they learn how to set up and use a camera and tripod, apply techniques like voice-overs and camera angles, and edit their film in iMovies.

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LITERACY (SEL): Students visit local senior care facilities and interview a senior citizen one-on-one, developing awareness and empathy from primary sources of history.

CROSS-CULTURAL LITERACY: Students reach beyond their own community and make connections with those of a different generation.

SELF-UNDERSTANDING: By reflecting on historical events that have impacted their lives, students gain a greater understanding of themselves

COMMUNITY MINDSET: Students engage with the community through conversations and sharing their video productions.

During the Bizjack Project, 7thgrade students conduct a video oral history interview of a local area senior to capture a “primary source” account of an historical event and how that event influenced that senior’s life. 

Students first reflect on historical events that have influenced their identities, values, decisions, personalities, and interests—addressing the project’s driving question, “How do events from the past influence people in the present?” Before they travel to local senior care facilities, they practice interviewing a partner and learn how to set up and use camera equipment. 

When students first meet their assigned senior citizen, they sit down for a casual conversation to learn more about him or her. Students ask prompting questions to understand what influential historical event the senior will discuss during the on-camera interview. They use the information gained in this first meeting to write a script that will help the senior partner tell the story in addition to the facts. 

Students return the following week to conduct the on-camera interview. Through interviewing senior citizens about historical events that influenced their lives, students deepen their perspectives, see things from multiple points of view, and understand more about the power of history to influence our thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Students then produce a high-quality, edited video of the interview, which they share with their partners at the senior care facility.