On Coming to America

We are proud to showcase the work of students from all over the country that we’ve connected with through the Time of Remembrance Website. Through our lesson resources, such as On Coming to America – Small Moments, Big Meanings, we invite students to join us in documenting and celebrating all cultures.

A shout out to a group of 8th grade students at Marsh Junior High School, Chico, CA, for submitting an interview with a refugee. We are honored for this oral history to be the first student-created content featured in the Time of Remembrance Student Gallery.

On Coming to America – An Interview with Altijana Sinanovic
Refugee Story – Bosnia

With a little support and mentoring from school counselor Pam Bodnar, the students at Marsh Junior High School took on the role of oral historians by interviewing and recording the story of a refugee from their own community.

We hope you enjoy listening to and learning from a young woman’s first-hand account of the 1990’s war in Bosnia (the former Yugoslavia) as much as we have. Through their interview, the Marsh students have provided us with a window into a historic event from a survivor who was about their age when the war – and genocide – began.

Several days after the students completed their interview with Altijana, they listened to it again. They then reflected on Altijana’s journey by creating a Small Moments, Big Meanings drawing. Through this art activity, students think about one moment (small moment) from an interviewee’s story that sticks in their mind and has special meaning (big meaning). They then capture that small moment by creating a drawing. Words can be added to the drawing, either as a caption or as part of the design or as dialogue boxes.

As you can see from the sampling of the students’ drawings, Small Moments, Big Meanings is perfect for capturing special moments from oral histories.



If you are interested in involving your students in an oral histories project and needs some tips for getting started, we recommend visiting the On Coming to America lesson. If your students are already conducting oral histories, we invite you to share about their projects by leaving a comment.