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Memory Bank Notes
Personal Interviews
The main writing may not begin until May, but your child should use the next several weeks to
communicate with the subject. Personal interviews are ideal when possible, but these can be replaced or
supplemented by phone interviews, letters, faxes, emails, etc. A log must be kept for each time the subject is
contacted since it will be recorded as a primary source in the bibliography. Please remember that this is a
writing project for your child – NOT for you or the subject.
In March, the librarian will review and expand on the components of a bibliography, covering both
primary and secondary sources. The initial interview must take place by April 23rd when the sidebar topic(s)
are due. At this time library research will begin. The sidebar must be pertinent to the life of the subject.
Possibilities include an historical event (WWII, the Great Depression, etc.), a technological advancement
(cassette players, jets, etc.), and a cultural influence/ movement (theater, art, music, the Civil Rights Movement,
etc.) Your child has more information on these.
Your child will have a Memory Bank folder to keep all material relating to the project. Photographs or
other memorabilia should be expendable duplicates or photocopies. Many students have been including color
photocopies or electronically scanned items, but this is not required. Anything that is of significant monetary
or sentimental value should not be sent to school at all.
Graphic Organizer
The outline enables your child to see the scope of the subject’s life in sequence. It is helpful as a tool for
organizing the information. When this method for organizing interview information is used, it may highlight
areas where more information is needed. It is during this time of the Memory Bank process that your child may
have to contact the subject again in order to obtain pertinent information, anecdotes, details, etc.
The schedule has due dates for the various elements of the Memory Bank. We have spread out the
workload in a manner that will prevent this major project from being left to the last minute. If the due dates are
met the students will have effectively practiced time management and organizational skills that will be key to
their future academic success at middle school and beyond. Your child has the schedule in the Memory Bank
folder. In this manner, we can work together at school and at home to help the students to succeed.
Publishing as completed
This biography is being written over several weeks. Each week different sections must be published. It
is recommended that you create it as just one document in your computer at home. This way the pages can flow
as you revise and add graphics. We request that you send in the pages of the section being published on the due
date. The format may change as you add sections and/or graphics; however, in the interest of making sure your
child hits the target deadlines, we ask that you send in the published pages in final draft form.
As always, contact us if you have questions/concerns!
The Fifth Grade Teachers