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For Educators
Geoffrey C. Ward

The documentary process provides an excellent model for engaging students in seeking out and understanding history in their own communities while using the technologies that are part and parcel of their lives. The Power of Story is a how-to guide to creating video histories of World War II witnesses so that students will better understand the value of recording individual histories — of one generation talking to another — and will seize the opportunity to tell stories of their communities and of individuals who might otherwise be overlooked. The guide can easily be adapted for classroom use.

Download the Power of Story (180 KB PDF) »

Watch Ken Burns talking about the Power of Story»

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Submitting student documentary projects

The Veterans History Project »
Students can submit interviews, transcripts and tapes to the Veterans History Project and they will become part of this country’s documented history.

Apple Student Gallery »
The Apple Student Gallery is a convenient place to post and share student-created documentaries.

National History Day »
Each year, more than half a million students nationwide participate in the National History Day contest.

Stories of Service »
Stories of Service invites young people to join their national team of service-minded youth leaders who are using technology to preserve the stories of men and women who have served our nation and our communities.


Infantryman of the 121st Infantry Regiment fighting near Hurtgen, Germany.  December 5, 1944.
National Archives
“Throughout the making of the series, one theme stayed constant, one idea continually emerged as we got to know the brave men and women whose stories it is our privilege to tell: in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.”

– Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on making THE WAR