Directions: Watch the PBS NewsHour video as well as the two short videos produced by StoryCorps, read the summary and answer the discussion questions below. If you would like to participate in #TheGreatListen before, during or after the Thanksgiving break, check out NewsHour Extra’s lesson plan here.
This Thanksgiving holiday, practice the art of storytelling, and most of all, listening. StoryCorp’s The Great Thanksgiving Listen project asks students to record an interview with an elder relative using the StoryCorps app, hone their interview and listening skills and become part of America’s great oral history project. StoryCorps was founded by Dave Isay in 20023, based on a very simple yet powerful premise: Bring two people together with a microphone and let them talk and listen to each other. Since then more than 60,000 stories have been recorded and preserved in the Library of Congress. While this NewsHour interview with Isay was recorded in 2015, StoryCorps has kept coming up with new ways to help people tell stories, including the StoryCorps app and The Great Thanksgiving Listen project, which is focused on helping young people share stories of their elders.
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.
1. Essential question: What does it take to be a good listener?
2. Do you think you are a good listener? Why or why not? How could you be a better listener?
3. How could participating in The Great Thanksgiving Listen help to hone your interviewing skills? Read tips for interviewing here. What skills do you think you have down pretty well? What areas could you work on more?
4. What elder in your family or in your neighborhood might you like to interview and why?
5. If time permits, download the free StoryCorps app. and think about whether or not the Great Thanksgiving Listen is something you might like to try. Take a look at the placemat. What are a couple of questions you would like to ask an elder in your family or in your neighborhood? What question would you like someone to most ask you and why?
Watch this short video on The Great Thanksgiving Listen. Print copies of The Great Thanksgiving Listen placemat here to 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.
Let us know if your class participated in The Great Thanksgiving Listen! Use the hashtag #TheGreatListen and @NewsHourExtra.
Visit PBS NewsHour Extra for more education resources designed to help teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. You can read the original story here. @NewsHourExtra