ERIC Number: ED343144
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Senior Citizens' Personal Stories...Literacy through Narrative...Sharing the Richness of the Past.
Using simple writing strategies, senior citizens at an elder camp workshop collected memories in journals. In some cases, readings were used to trigger memories. The exercise enabled students to make connections between their own life experiences and the life experiences of others. Workshops encouraging participants to tell their own stories for their children, their grandchildren, and themselves encouraged members of the responsive, yet often unheard, older population to feel good about themselves. As the project developed, narrative became the vehicle for recalling and telling personal stories and for defining and understanding lives. The writers wrote about such vanishing objects as victrola needles, coal chutes, and penny candy and recollections of such brand name products as Ovaltine and 20 Mule Team Borax. During the project, the teacher learned a lot about the past, while students learned that a writer's journal can be a collector's cabinet of sketches, memories, or anything else, as well as a map of individual identity. The sharing of recollections became as important as the writing. Students felt empowered because they saw they had something to offer one another, their children, society, and themselves. The availability of such a forum for writing, reading, listening, and talking will encourage senior citizens' voices to be heard. (Twenty-three references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Empowerment; Life Review; Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Responsibilities for Literacy Conference (Pittsburgh, PA, September 15, 1990).