Leslie Butler and Robert Bonner, both professors in the Department of History at Dartmouth, share what history is and specifically about how historians do their work, and how we learn and write about the past. When historians answer questions about the past, they often put answers in the form of a story.

Become a historian today and share your own story.

Video Lesson

Primary Sources Referenced in the Video

Gardner Sketchbook
Protests Through a Child's Eyes

Please be advised: this video may include some sensitive (yet important) historical subjects such as pandemics, wars, and social unrest. 



We are living in an important and unique time in history as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic. Years from now, historians will learn from the experiences of people who went through it just like you and your family. Parents and/or Guardians, please complete and attach the Permission and Deed forms on behalf of the child for any submission. 

Please mail letters and drawings to:
Dartmouth on Location Kids: Living History Project
Rauner Special Collections Library
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

Here are some other projects you can do to record your part in history.

1) Write a news story about your family:

Interview everyone who lives in your home about how they’re feeling and spending their time, as well as what they are thinking about. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What has changed?
  • What has surprised you?
  • What makes you feel worried?
  • What makes you feel hopeful?
  • Have you learned anything new during this time? Have you taught anything new to someone else?
  • What do think you’ll remember when you look back at this time?

Turn your interviews into a news story in the form of a written article, podcast, or short video. Be sure to include quotes.


2) Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Imagine you are someone else—a friend of yours, one of your teachers, a waiter, a grocery store cashier, a nurse, a member of your family, etc. Think about what that person’s life might be like, how they might be feeling right now, questions you have for them, and why you feel grateful for them. Then write that person a letter.


3) Be a photojournalist.

Here are some things you might document with photos:

  • What’s happening in your home at different times of the day, such as at meals, school time, or in the evening.
  • Symbols of unity you see in your neighborhood, such as chalk rainbows or cheers for healthcare workers.

Put your pictures together in a collage or slideshow, with captions explaining each one. If you take a picture of someone else, be sure to get that person's permission.


4) Write a poem or song.

Brainstorm a list of words and phrases to describe how you’re feeling about being at home. Turn your list into a poem or song.


5) Create a timeline.

Keep track of important events, celebrations, or announcements that happen during this time, as well as those that are canceled. Be sure to include dates, photos or drawings, and descriptions.