objectives materials technology background activities assessment resources

Louisiana Voices Educator's Guide  
Getting Started With This Guide  
Study Guide Summary  
Outline of the Study Guide  
Study Unit I Defining Terms  
Study Unit II Fieldwork Basics  
Study Unit III Discovering the Obvious: Our Lives as "The Folk"  
Study Unit IV The State of Our Lives: Being a Louisiana Neighbor  
Study Unit V Oral Traditions--Swapping Stories  
Study Unit VI Louisiana's Musical Landscape  
Study Unit VII Material Culture-The Stuff of Life  
Study Unit VIII The Worlds of Work and Play  
Study Unit IX The Seasonal Round and Life Cycles  
Educator's Links  
Louisiana Voices Milestones  
Educator's Guide Glossary  
Educator's Guide Credits
Educator's Opportunities For Professional Development  
Join The Community
Louisiana Folklife website

Louisiana Folklife Program

Louisiana's Living

            Traditions: Articles, Photos and Virtual Exhibits about Louisiana Folklife  

Unit II Outline:

Fieldwork Basics Overview

Classroom Applications of Fieldwork Basics

Lesson 1: Getting Positioned for Fieldwork

Lesson 2: The Practice Interview

Lesson 3: Interviewing a Community Guest

Lesson 4: Terms in the Field

Lesson 5: Making Use of Fieldwork (this page)

Unit II Resources


Unit II
Classwork Applications of Fieldwork Basics

Lesson 5 Making Use of Fieldwork

My dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather all played four-string show-boat banjo on the steamboats, among many other instruments, and my great-grandfather was also the captain of the Lizzie Castle, [a tugboat] which pushed show boats on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. I spent seventeen years as the interlocutor, which is something like a combination emcee and social director, on the Delta Queen. I guess I have this in my blood–it's like a disease. I read music, but as Louis Armstrong said, "not enough to interfere with the enjoyment of my playing." The finale of my act used to be playing "Tiger Rag" on the five instruments at once. I'd play the accordion with my left hand, the xylophone with three mallets in my right hand, the harmonica in my mouth with a neck rack, the bass drum with my right foot, and a sock cymbal with my left foot.

—Vic Tooker, Musician, Orleans Parish

Grade Levels


Curriculum Areas

English Language Arts, Social Studies


Purpose of Lesson

Students transcribe, analyze, and archive fieldwork and create a team project drawn from fieldwork.


Lesson Objectives/Louisiana Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Foundation Skills

  1. Students effectively sort, manipulate, and organize the information that was retrieved.
    ELA-5-M6 Locating, gathering, and selecting information using graphic organizers, outline, note taking, summarizing, interviewing, and surveying to produce documented texts and graphics. (1, 3, 4)
  2. Students interact with the information by categorizing, analyzing, evaluating, and comparing for bias, inadequacies, omissions, errors, and value judgments.
    H-1A-M3 Analyzing the impact that specific individuals, ideas, events, and decisions had on the course of history. (1, 2, 3, 4)

    H-1A-M4 Analyzing historical data using primary and secondary sources. (1, 2, 3, 4)

    H-1C-E4 Recognizing how folklore and other cultural elements have contributed to our local, state, and national heritage. (1, 3, 4)

    ELA-4-E7 Participating in a variety of roles in group discussions (e.g., active listener, contributor, discussion leader). (1, 4, 5)

    ELA-1-M3 Reading, comprehending, and responding to written, spoken, and visual texts in extended passages. (1, 3, 4)

    ELA-2-M6 Writing as a response to texts and life experiences (e.g., letters, journals, lists).(1, 2, 4)
  3. Students make decisions on how to use and communicate their findings.
    ELA-7-M2 Problem solving by using reasoning skills, life experiences, accumulated knowledge, and relevant available information. (1, 2, 4)

    ELA-4-M4 Speaking and listening for a variety of audiences (e.g., classroom, real-life, workplace) and purposes (e.g., awareness, concentration, enjoyment, information, problem solving). (1, 2, 4, 5)

  4. Students prepare presentations or some other product using materials from fieldwork collected in Lesson 4.
    ELA-1-M4 Interpreting texts with supportive explanations to generate connections to real- life situations and other texts (e.g., business, technical, scientific). (1, 2, 4, 5)

    ELA-2-M2 Using language, concepts, and ideas that show an awareness of the intended audience and/or purpose (e.g., classroom, real-life, workplace) in developing complex compositions. (1, 2, 4)

    H-1A-E1 Demonstrating an understanding of the concepts of time and chronology. (1, 3, 4)

    H-1C-E1 Describing the people, events, and ideas that were significant to the growth and development of our state and nation. (1, 3, 4)

Time Required

3-5 class periods



Team Interview Folder -- For the Teacher, Field Kit -- For Teachers, Student Interview Folder -- For the Teacher with forms, fieldnotes, photographs, tapes, and logs that students produced in Lesson 4. Access the Archive Folders page and prepare these folders for each student and team using the Archive Folders Checklist. Try to arrange computer access with LCD projection. Print and duplicate the Worksheets and Assessment Tools listed below.


Technology Connections

Internet Resources

American Folklife Center

Adaptation Strategies

Louisiana Voices Outline

Transcribing, in Fieldwork Basics

Student Products, in Fieldwork Basics

Thumbnail Sketches of Student Products, in Fieldwork Basics

The Hmong Cultural Tour

Voices of Youth

Documentary Project for Refugee Youth

Baton Rouge Bus Boycott

Learning From Your Community: Folklore and Video in the Classroom, A Classroom Curriculum for 4-8 Grades


Student Worksheets

Interview Folder -- For the Teacher (for teachers)

Interview Folder -- List of Contents (for students)

Audio Log

Transcribing an Interview Worksheet

Conducting an Interview Evaluation

Archive Folders (for teachers)

Archive Folders List of Contents (for students)

Processing Fieldwork Tasks Worksheet

Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation Worksheet

Storyboard for a PowerPoint Presentation

Writing Poems Worksheet


Assessment Tools

Oral Presentation Rubric

Processing Fieldwork Tasks Worksheet

Conducting an Interview Checklist

Interview Folder -- List of Contents

Archive Folder List of Contents

Rubric For Firsthand Biography

Fieldwork Rubric


Evaluation Tools/Opportunities


  1. Archive Folder List of Contents
  2. Transcribing an Interview Worksheet
  3. Processing Fieldwork Tasks Worksheet
  4. Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation Worksheet
  5. Storyboard Worksheet
  6. Writing Poems Worksheet



  1. PowerPoint presentations
  2. Oral Presentation Rubric
  3. Conducting an Interview Evaluation - graded by teacher
  4. Archive Folder List of Contents
  5. Fieldwork Rubric



  1. Archive Folders
  2. Student transcriptions
  3. Interview recordings
  4. Audio Logs
  5. Photos and/or Slides
  6. Photo Logs
  7. Cultural Interpreter's Essay
  8. Team PowerPoint presentations
  9. Team Poems
  10. Class PowerPoint presentation
  11. Found Poems
  12. Biographies of Interviewees
  13. Team Drama
  14. Conducting an Interview Checklist
  15. Interview Folder -- For the Teacher
  16. Archive Folder List of Contents


Background Information for the Teacher

For every fieldwork project, there are basic steps to follow if you are conducting fieldwork at a specific site:

  1. Select a site and a topic.
  2. Identify and line up Interviewees.
  3. Establish student teams and gather equipment and materials for each team.
  4. Conduct background research.
  5. Develop a list of questions that you will ask.
  6. Consider your "insider" and "outsider" positions.
  7. Visit the site with Field Kit -- For Teachers and Interview Folder -- For the Teacher.
  8. Conduct the interview and file materials.
  9. Record, process and archive collected materials.
  10. Analyze findings and interpret their significance.
  11. Prepare a product to exhibit findings.
  12. Thank Interviewees and all who helped.
  13. Assess fieldwork and products.

Steps 1 through 8 were presented in Unit II Lesson 4, and Steps 9 through 13 are covered in this lesson. Conducting fieldwork will become more relevant to your students once they process, analyze, and create final products from their efforts. This final stage involves several tasks: transcribing, interpreting, archiving, and collaborating on a project that presents the analyses to a defined audience.

Review the Transcribing, Archiving, Student Products, and Thumbnail Sketches of Student Products sections of Fieldwork Basics.

The analysis applied to fieldwork results is one of the most important factors in undertaking such a project: What does it all mean? Why is it important? What aspects will other people find interesting? How can the information be presented to best communicate the importance of the interview? Final products can be multiple and varied, from team poems to dramatic performances to written essays to PowerPoint presentations to multimedia extravaganzas.

This lesson guides students through a PowerPoint presentation and a team poem, but many other products are possible. The 42 Louisiana Voices lessons include a variety of products and provide rubrics to evaluate them. See the Extensions and Explorations below for other student products addressed in lessons and rubrics available. Also use the Louisiana Voices Outline to find other content and assessment strategies. Hint: On the outline page, use Ctrl-F to search for content standards and these rubrics.

Adult Play Presentation Rubric

Rubric for Collaborative Group Fieldwork Research

Rubric for Firsthand Biographies

Listening Logs Rubric

Observing Meal Preparation Rubric

Oral Presentation Rubric

Rubric for Portfolio Exhibits

Production Rubric

Rubric for Research Papers

Rites of Passage Rubric

Collaboration Rubric

Rubric for Creating an Exhibit

Interpreting Music Data Rubric

Moving To Music Rubric

Occupational Fieldwork Research Rubric

Presentation Rubric

Quilting Research Rubric

Story Retelling Rubric

Treasure Presentation Rubric


To Prepare

Provide each team with an Archive Folder to store their work. Ensure worksheets completed in Unit II Lesson 4 have been filed and are available. Decide on the best product for your students. If they will be making PowerPoint presentations, reserve computer lab and training, if necessary. Decide how photos will be handled and provide a digital camera. You may also want a photo scanner. For the presentation, provide computer access with LCD projection.


4th and 8th Grade Activities

Step 9. Record, process, and archive collected materials

  1. Brainstorm with students a list of reasons why preservation of collected materials is important. Ask students to explore the online archives of the American Folklife Center. Then return to the list of reasons to preserve fieldwork and add any new insights students come up with.

  2. Review with students the importance of proper preservation techniques:

    • Photographs, audio files, fieldnotes, and videos must be archived where the materials will be protected from disintegrating and where people may study them.

    • To label printed photographs, write lightly with a #2 pencil on a label and place it on the back of the photo. Never use regular ink as it can damage the photo.

    • Securing release forms is very important. Without a release form, materials cannot be made accessible to the public, nor can they be used to produce exhibits, publications, or programs.

    • Archiving requires careful logging, so labeling materials is very important.

  3. Prepare each team for processing their fieldwork:

Step 10. Analyze findings and interpret their significance.

  1. The analysis applied to fieldwork results is one of the most important factors in undertaking such a project. Lead a whole-class discussion by asking the following questions:

    What does it all mean?
    Why is it important?
    What aspects will other people find interesting?
    How can the information be presented to best communicate the importance of the interview?

    Each team should determine the most important point in the interview. What do these stories tell us about the person, place, or event? What did you learn in the interview that you didn't learn from background research? Then, if the interviews were on related topics, as a class, the teams should compare their interviews and determine how they are related.

    Write these points on the board and add any that the class feels are important, then ask each team to work together to come up with a list of important points that should be conveyed in a presentation.

  2. Ask each team to decide on a final product they will prepare for presenting their findings. See the list in the Background for Teachers section above for suggestions. For a technology option, this lesson will guide students in creating a collaborative PowerPoint presentation.

  3. Using the Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation Worksheet have students work in their teams on Part 1, using the guide to analyze and interpret the findings and materials they have gathered. Ask them to write Thesis Statements and three Main Points that support it, which will be shared in the presentation.

  4. Teach students the correct format for writing the Bibliographical Sources, using the format found in each lesson's "Resource" section or the style your school recommends.

Step 11. Prepare a product to exhibit findings

  1. Review the General Guidelines for Presentations in Part 2 of the Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation Worksheet, then have students design their presentations using these guidelines. It may be helpful to use the Storyboard Worksheet for capturing the key ideas to be presented. Encourage students to include relevant details, recount the words of the participants, and be as accurate as possible.

  2. Have each team present their final product to the class following the guidelines in Part 3 of the Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation Worksheet. If possible, invite the Interviewees to the presentations.

  3. Use Oral Presentation Rubric to evaluate the presentations.

  4. Many non-technology options exist. One option is to have students write a team poem based on their team's interview. You may want to conduct this activity in steps as a class or in individual teams as they finish their processing of fieldwork. Have students follow these steps.

    • Use the Writing Poems Worksheet to write ten nouns that relate to their interview in the first column. Then, next to each noun, write in the second column two or three verbs that the noun "does." In the third column, write a simile or a metaphor that matches the noun and verbs in that row. A metaphor is an implied comparison between two different things in which a word that ordinarily means one thing is used of another thing in order to suggest a likeness between the two, such as "heart of stone" or "a copper sky." A simile is an expressed comparison of two different things or ideas, such as a face like marble, or hard as nails. Metaphors and similes both make comparisons, but in a metaphor the comparison is implied and in a simile it is indicated by like or as.

    • Next, write one line about the interview using each set of nouns, verbs, and metaphors or similes. Organize the lines into logical stanzas, taking out or inserting words to create poetic rhythm.

    • Last, develop a creative title for the poem.

    • Write the poems on poster board and read the finished poems to the class. Display the poems in the hall or class.

Step 12. Thank Interviewees

  1. Besides an oral "Thank You" at the end of the interview, students need to write a thank-you note and mail it to the Interviewee.

Step 13. Assess Fieldwork And Products

  1. Have students complete the Conducting an Interview Evaluation to document what they have learned in this lesson. If desired, grade the students' work and record at bottom of the form.

  2. Students can use the Interview Checklist and Archive Folder List of Contents to document which forms were collected and archived.

  3. Arrange for Interviewees to visit your class to see student presentations.

  4. As a final evaluation of the entire unit, use the Fieldwork Rubric to evaluate students' progress and expertise.

  5. If you want to have students produce a video documentary, use Learning From Your Community: Folklore and Video in the Classroom, A Classroom Curriculum for 4-8 Grades.

  6. Have students create a Jeopardy game like the Musical Legend Jeopardy. Instructions are included in Unit VI Lesson 6 Louisiana's Musical Legends.

  7. Have students design an exhibit around what they learned from the community guest. You can evaluate the exhibit with the Rubric for Creating an Exhibit from Unit VII Lesson 1 Reading Artifacts.

  8. Have students draw on their research and the Bingo Worksheet to create a Bingo game. Instructions are included in Unit VII Lesson 4 Family Foodways for a Foodways Bingo and in Unit IX Part 1 Lesson 3 Folklife Around the Year and Around the State for a Seasonal Change Bingo.

  9. The Make A Cake Quilt Worksheet from Unit IX Part 1 Lesson 1 Birthday Calendars can be adapted for many projects needing a visual organizer.

  10. As in Unit II Lesson 1 Getting Positioned for Fieldwork of this unit, a simple product is the I Learned template.

  11. If students are examining a place, See Unit IV Lesson 3 Sense of Place for activities on documenting and mapping their neighborhood.

  12. Consider these activities and worksheets for many types of data:


    Constructing a Musical Legend Resume Card

    Writing a Music Review

    Concept Map Worksheet

    Star Seasonal Round Worksheet

    From Unit

    Unit VI Lesson 6 Louisiana's Legendary Musicians

    Unit VI Lesson 5 Music Is Business

    Unit VI Lesson 3 Generational Music Communities

    Unit IX Pt 1 Lesson 2 Constructing Personal Calendars


    These technology applications can be used for any type of data:

    Spreadsheet Directions

    Data Chart

    Creating Tables and Frames with MS Word

    Unit VI Lesson 5 Music is Business

    Unit IX Pt 2 Lesson 1 Birth and Early Childhood

    Unit VI Lesson 2 Listening Logs


4th and 8th Grade Explorations and Extensions

  1. Work together to prepare one total class presentation about your fieldwork and use the Rubric for Collaborative Group Fieldwork Research Rubric, the Presentation Rubric, or the Production Rubric.

  2. Write a Found Poem or Song about your fieldwork experiences using the Found Poem - Found Song worksheet. Send these poems to the Interviewees.

  3. Write a Diamante using the Diamante Worksheet.

  4. Write a paragraph or essay producing a biography of your Interviewee. Use the Rubric For Firsthand Biography to evaluate them.

  5. Write a paragraph describing another fieldwork topic or location you'd like to visit. Compare/contrast that site with the one you documented.

  6. Use the teams' transcriptions to prepare a drama in which all the different Interviewees communicate with each other in their own words. Use the Production Rubric.


Unit II Resources

Unit II Outline


National Endowment for

            the Arts.

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