About The Great Thanksgiving Listen
The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national movement that empowers young people— and people of all ages—to create an oral history of the contemporary United States by recording an interview with an elder using the free StoryCorps App.
Interviews become part of the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, where they will serve as an invaluable resource for future historians.
Now in its ninth year, The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a rapidly growing national movement to collect the voices of this country and recognize the importance of intergenerational listening. To date, thousands of high schools from all 50 states have participated and preserved more than 150,000 interviews, providing families with a priceless piece of personal history.
The project is a free, technology-based assignment originally developed for students aged 13 and over studying American History, Social Studies, English, Language Arts, Journalism, Drama, ESL, and Media and Technology. It has also been applied successfully as an extracurricular and community-building opportunity in classrooms, universities, OST environments, community centers, living rooms, and kitchens across the country.
Participating in the Great Listen
For this project, students will learn about the importance of storytelling and use StoryCorps to record an interview with an elder or another member of their family or community. Storytelling and the gift of listening are critical skills for young people. This project offers the opportunity for young people to honor someone in their lives with an interview. They can spend 40 minutes with a grandparent, a sibling, a mentor, or a friend, asking important questions and listening carefully to their answers.
We invite you to adapt these resources in whatever way best suits the needs of your students. We recommend introducing the project at least two weeks prior to Thanksgiving to provide time for students to plan their interviews and practice using StoryCorps Connect or the App.