NIU 2/14 StoryCorps: Lessons in Local History

Grades 11 through 12

Social Studies, English

Students will use February 14, 2008 Memorial website to understand the tragedy and its impact on the local area.  They will assess the event’s impact on the University, the local community and how it has shaped broader history, then compile their findings into a research paper.  

Students will use the February 14, 2008 Memorial website to explore local history by researching and gathering information.  Students will listen to oral histories of the NIU shooting, view the digital archives, and read any available resources for further information to investigate the impact of 2/14 on the local community.  Students will then write a research paper that analyzes the tragedy and what impact it had on the surrounding area.

Computer access

Activity 1: (30mins)  Explain to students that they will be conducting research on the February 14, 2008 shooting on NIU’s campus.  They should seek to answer questions such as: Who, What Where, When, Why and How?  After sufficient evidence has been found to answer those questions, students should begin writing a brief summary.

Activity 2: (30mins)  After they have finished the first part of the research paper, they should begin research on the effects the shooting had on the university and local area.  Students should begin by explaining the shooting’s effect on individual students and the campus, then on the local area and DeKalb region, and lastly on the State of Illinois or the Country as a whole.  As concluding, students should try to make correlations between other school shootings such as Kent State or Columbine, and note any similarities and differences on the local impact and societal reaction.

Students are free to focus on which ever aspects they like, but need to write a proper research paper with main points supported by details found through research. Whatever is not finished in class, allow students to turning the next day.  

Students’ research papers should gather information from a variety of relevant sources and be logically organized.  The paper should carefully analyze the information collected and draw appropriate and inventive conclusions supported by evidence.