The gift of storytelling

High school teacher David B. Cohen shared his enthusiasm for this National Public Radio project recently in our daily TLN Forum discussion group. We thought we’d pass that enthusiasm along to you.

After warning that “you may become quite interested and distracted from whatever else you’re supposed to be doing,” David writes:

There’s an NPR project called Story Corps that has done some great work in the past, but I can’t believe what I discovered this morning.

First of all, they’re promoting a National Day of Listening (throughout the winter holidays), encouraging people to gather and record stories from friends and relatives. Consider it a new post-Thanksgiving  tradition, to give someone the gift of your time and interest, to seek out knowledge and preserve personal histories. Much better than the mall!

You can record or videotape the interview. (I can’t decide where to start, but glad for the idea. My family did some things like this with my grandparents, but we haven’t begun to dig into our parents’ stories enough). There’s a truly easy step-by-step guide and a teacher toolkit with ideas about getting your students involved.

Then, if you go the Story Corps webpages, you’ll find they have incredible resources for teachers. Hours and hours worth of oral histories, personal stories that you can download to listen to and share with students. There’s a study guide/summary as well – it’s all very educator friendly. In my case, this is exactly the area of language arts that I’ve set personal goals to do more of in class — how to listen effectively.

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