Recording Everyday Social History

Collage of photographic images of service personnel from WW2 against a green background with the words Their Finest Hour.

Recording Everyday Social History is an open open educational resource for the Second and Third Scottish Curriculum Level. It can be downloaded from TES Resources: Recording Everyday Social History.

This OER was developed as part of the University of Edinburgh’s collaboration with Their Finest Hour project, run by University of Oxford. Their Finest Hour aimed to empower local communities to digitally preserve their stories and objects related to the Second World War through a series of nationwide Digital Collection Days.

Through stories and objects collected at a Digital Collection Day in Edinburgh, this resource introduces students to alternative perspectives of WWII history, distinct from the views of political and military decision makers. There is considerable historical value in viewing war and other historical events from a wide range of alternative perspectives. Looking at everyday objects and collecting testimonies from many diverse voices can enable an understanding of how war and significant events affected the whole nation.

This lesson includes an oral history exercise for students. Oral history interviews provide varied perspectives on historical events by privileging voices that are not typically part of the historical record. By interviewing a relative or member of their community, students gain an understanding that history is all around them, rather than something that happened far away, a long time ago, to distant people. In connecting public and private history, students are able to reflect on their family and community’s place in history, and the meaning of history more generally – who makes it, how and why.

The lesson pack includes powerpoint slides, teacher’s notes, a student worksheet, and links to Their Finest Hour Archive.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop important social communication skills: active listening /effective listening
  • Develop analysis skills
  • Develop a better understanding of the definition of history
  • Develop an understanding of the history, heritage and culture of Scotland, and an appreciation of their local and national heritage within the world
  • Learn how to locate, explore and link periods, people and events in time and place
  • Learn how to locate, explore and link features and places locally and further afield
  • Explore and evaluate different types of sources and evidence
  • Develop communication skills: conveying information, describing events, explaining processes or combining ideas in different ways.

Experiences and Outcomes:
LIT 2-02a, LIT 3-02a, LIT 2-05a, LIT 3-05a, LIT 2-06a, LIT 3-06a, LIT 2-09a, LIT 3-09a, LIT 2-10a, LIT 3-10a, LIT 2-28a, SOC 2-01a, SOC 3-01a, SOC 2-02a, SOC 3-02a, SOC 2-03a, SOC 3-03a

‘Recording Everyday Social History’ was created by Eden Swimer. The resource is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 unless otherwise stated.