Local Learning Toolbox

Observing the traditions and traditional art forms around us, we learn why and how informal local learning underpins our lives and the knowledge and skills that we acquire in classrooms and formal academic settings. By interviewing family and community members to document their stories, songs, crafts, and skills, we encounter deep local learning, which we can record and share in many ways. Because the folk arts encompass so many types of art forms and traditions, you can easily integrate the study of folk arts and the collection of traditional knowledge into any subject at any grade level. The rich content of folk arts inspires many types of student projects.

Local Learning Tools provide some methods of folklorists and other cultural specialists to identify and document personal and family traditions as well as local and regional traditions and tradition bearers.


In addition to our Interview Basics, Great Interview Guides link to a variety of more in-depth and practical guides to student interviewing that are free and online.

Adapt our Sample Release Form for your use. Asking permission to use a person’s stories and images is not just good manners, it’s ethically essential.

The Local Learning Profile Worksheet helps students prepare for fieldwork research, study local learning in their communities, and tell the story of people they interview through Local Learning Profiles.

In the Local Learning Glossary find definitions of terms that folklorists and other cultural specialists use in documenting, preserving, and presenting folk arts and artists.

Visiting a museum or other cultural site? Prepare your students using this  Museum Observation Field Journal worksheet.