Teach For America is once again partnering with StoryCorps, the national oral-history project, to help your students gather important stories from their families during The Great Thanksgiving Listen 2016. It’s not just turkey, stuffing, and pie that are on tap this Thanksgiving, but great conversation too!
StoryCorps is encouraging students to join together this holiday season and interview an elder member of their family about their personal history. With StoryCorps’ free app, students will be able to record their conversation and share it with the world, just as teacher Michelle Fockler did this past year. And teachers can take advantage of this teacher resource toolkit that includes detailed instructions on how to help students get started, permission slips, lesson plans, and follow-up activities.
Last year thousands of students from all 50 states participated in The Great Thanksgiving Listen and their family stories are now preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and on StoryCorps.me. This year TFA has also established an online community on StoryCorps.me to help teachers share their oral storytelling projects. To join our community, follow this link and create an account on StoryCorps.me, then download the free StoryCorps app to record and share your story! And don’t forget to tag your oral storytelling project with Teach For America and your region so we can find and feature your work. (Please note that this project is free, open to all students 13 years of age or older, and parental consent is required.)
The Great Thanksgiving Listen not only empowers your students to create an important resource for future historians, but it’s also a great way for students to preserve a slice of their unique family history for future generations to listen to and learn from. Teachers and students from all over the country participated last year in the project’s pilot year and honed their research, interviewing, and listening skills that will prove invaluable to their academic success.
Every family has a story to tell and as teachers you can help facilitate important conversations between your students and their loved ones. By helping students tap the knowledge and wisdom that only family can provide, you’ll ensure the voices and stories of an entire generation are preserved. Visit The Great Thanksgiving Listen 2016 today to learn more, and then join TFA’s community of storytellers to download the app and get started!