Is there a more interesting way to study history than just sitting in a classroom looking at textbooks? Students from five local primary and secondary schools thought so, swapping their books for the chance to study Hong Kong's past through oral history and producing creative history-related artworks. And the people they turned to were elderly folk from their families and districts. The project - the Reconstruction of Hong Kong Elderly Anecdotes - was initiated by local teachers' association Arts Teachers' Link and non-profit arts group Artmap as a result of the Education and Manpower Bureau encouraging teachers to explore alternative teaching methods. More than 100 students from Cognitio College (Hong Kong), TWGHS Mrs Fung Wong Fung Ting College, St Mary's Canossian College, Sacred Heart Of Mary Catholic Primary School and Hop Yat Church School spent more than a year collecting anecdotes from the elderly and creating artworks and music based on the information obtained. With the research over and the artworks completed, the collective results will go on display at the Cattle Depot Artist Village in To Kwa Wan from tomorrow and run until May 25. Project leader Lee Chi-wai said that speaking to the elderly in such an intensive way was a new experience for a lot of the students. He said textbooks offered a passive approach to learning history. 'For this project, however, they were in an active position to collect first-hand information through interviewing the elderly. 'Speaking to the elderly had a good impact on students, who were able to get information from people who are a part of the history of Hong Kong.' Before meeting the elderly, students were introduced to the idea of oral history, equipped with interviewing skills and techniques of gathering information. Students first experimented on their elderly relatives before visiting senior citizens in retirement homes. Project creator Lee Man-chi said getting information from the elderly was not an easy job for the students. 'Some elderly have strong accents and some would give answers totally unrelated to the questions,' he said. 'The information they gathered was also very fragmented. The students had to piece stories together with their imagination and deductions.'