This Thanksgiving holiday, teach students the importance of storytelling, and most of all, listening. Based on StoryCorp’s The Great Thanksgiving Listen, students will record an interview with an elder relative, hone interview and listening skills and become part of America’s great oral history project.
ELA, English, Social Studies, U.S. Government, Civics, Science, Mathematics, Journalism, STEM, Language
Flexible: 20-minutes to a full-class period
To hone interviewing skills, particularly listening.
To understand that school is a place where students with unique strengths come to grow and learn about themselves and others, something at the heart of StoryCorps.
Warm up activity
StoryCorps was founded as a way to help people share and preserve their stories in order to create a more just and compassionate world. Watch the NewsHour video below with StoryCorps’ founder Dave Isay. You may also want to watch this animated version of Isay discussing how he interviewed his elders growing up and why it meant so much to him.
Students will use class time to learn the basics of The Great Thanksgiving Listen project, including basic interviewing skills, feeling comfortable using the app and choosing the questions on the placemat that they will ask family members about over the holiday. Note: You can do this activity after Thanksgiving as well, or any time of the year for that matter!
1. Watch this short video on The Great Thanksgiving Listen. Print copies of The Great Thanksgiving Listen placemat here and give to your students. Ask them if they need additional copies for their family members and friends to use over Thanksgiving. Send students a link to this lesson, too, so they can email it to family and friends ahead of their Thanksgiving get-together. Check out the hashtag #TheGreatListen via Twitter for helpful tips.