My Grandma’s Story

Map showing the extent of Japanese occupation in 1940 (in red).

Map showing the extent of Japanese occupation in 1940 (in red).

Hi my name is Eric, I’m in seventh grade, and I’m a world history student in north California. The person I interviewed was my grandma.  From my grandma I  learned about Mao Tse-Tung and about the World War II.  During the Communist Revolution they would take people that would stand out or have a good education to jail. He [Mao]  also changed the requirements in high school. One was that people needed to learn a foreign language.  If people knew a foreign language they could ask someone from a different continent or country for help. They also couldn’t learn science because people would be able to make warfare weapons.  Another world historic event that happened [during my grandmas’s life] was World War II.  The Japanese’s main goal was to get to the capital of China, which was Beijing.  [Since my grandma’s family lived in Beijing,] my grandmas’s parents bought a boat to get to somewhere else that was safe.  They went to a farm that very few people knew about.  They lived there for about a month and a half.

So, do you know your family’s story?


History is Your Story

We, the recently dubbed, History Maniacs, are middle school students who study elements of civilization around the world during the Middle Ages.  We also have just finished a unit in which we focused on the histories of our own elder family members or friends.  As we learned to interview and really listen to our family members, we learned what national and world historical events they lived through and were affected by.  This gave us a better understanding of why they think they way they do. Sometimes, we tend to think that our grandparents, for example, are crazy and don’t understand us.  This time, we tried to understand them.

Family Members

Family Member

One example is my own mother-in-law.  She was the child of farm workers who had to migrate west during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  Her stories about living out of the florist delivery van they drove and moving often from school to school helped me understand and empathize with her.

What are some of the stories you know about your elder family members?  How do they connect with historical events?  Does knowing that make you more interested in that part of history