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You are here: /main/research/NWHI ED 2005/activities/Talk Story Time

By Margaret Prevenas
(Adapted from "Shifting Baselines," Navigating Change Education Kit)

The way we live, the things we do, and the places we live have changed. We need to know what the past was like to understand what kinds of changes are happening today. In science, we do 'baseline studies' to understand what is happening to an ecosystem. This activity asks you to talk story with someone who has lived on your island for 20 or more years. Find out what changes have happened to the land or the sea since they have been alive. Visit the place that they talk story about. What do you see?
  1. Select a person who has lived in Hawaii for more than 20 years. It can be your parents, grandparents, any relative, or friend, even a teacher.
  2. Talk Story with them about what the islands were like 20 or more years ago. Write down their answers. Some questions you can use:
    • Where did you live back then?
    • What did you do for fun?
    • What was the beach like?
    • What changes do you see from then to now?
  3. Get a picture of that area from back then, or DRAW a picture of that area from the Talk Story. Make sure you show it to the person you talk to, to see that it is how THEY remember it.
  4. Visit that area and draw or take a picture of what you see. Make sure it shows the changes that your person said. Write at least one change from then to now under the picture.

This is just one example of how your island has changed during your lifetime. Do YOU like what is happening to your island home? How can you make sure that future changes help your island home thrive?

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