Monday, May 31, 2010

StoryCorps - America Telling Their Story

Thanks to Michael Zimmer for passing this site along on his blog

The one thing I really wish I had was some of the stories my grandparents told about growing up in Italy. I hear some of the stories from relatives that remember bits and pieces of them and I remember some of those stories, but we all know what happens when you play the telephone game. Now there is a way for our generation to save these important stories for our future generations.

StoryCorp is a site that offers to store your stories for free. Here is a snippet from their About Us page;

"StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, over 50,000 everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages."

They have places set up all around the country for people to make an appointment and tell their story. Over time, these stories will help define who we are as a people and it can be an invaluable resource in teaching history. History is often viewed as old men doing things that happened a long time ago. History texts are just filled with names and dates and students find it hard to engage in learning that information. I feel that StoryCorps offers the chance for History teachers to bring stories of people who lived history to the classroom. There is an educators toolkit that will help teachers considering using StoryCorps in the classroom. 

One example of how this site might be utilized in the classroom is the September 11th section. There is a full collection of stories told by various individuals about how the events of September 11th have impacted their lives. Watching news stories and researching information on the internet is one thing, but hearing people talk about the event is important as students learn the importance of Primary Sources. Listening to these stories could reach some students in a very important way that a text book might never accomplish. 

Take some time and check out the site. You might find it helpful for your class or you might even decide to make an appointment and telling your story to America.

1 comment:

  1. What a really great idea. Now that we have digital cameras, we are sharing photos much more. Now we can also share our stories. My mum has so many cool stories that just amaze her grandkids (and her kids) and this is a cool way to preserve those experiences.


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