This is the fifth year I have had my students participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen on StoryCorps. Last year, we were not allowed to assign any homework over the break due to COVID. This year students had two days in class to complete a timeline of their interview subject’s life and generate twenty interview questions. They only had to record a ten minute interview and do four pages of transcription over the Thanksgiving Break. When they came back to class, I gave them another two days to complete a corroboration (fact-checking) activity and a reflection.
Forty-nine out of sixty-nine students or 71% completed all six parts of this project. Another six students turned in their work late. Ten students did not complete any part of the project. Over 650,000 Americans have participated in this project which records oral histories for the Library of Congress. This is the second interview that my students have conducted this year and in their reflections I asked them to describe their favorite moments. Their comments are insightful, appreciative, and emotional. I am publishing six of their highlights. If you would like to read your child’s reflection, send me a message and I will send it to you.
With masks on in every classroom, I feel like I don’t really know my students this year. Seeing their smiling faces with their interview subjects was a gift that made my teacher heart smile. I hope families will return to these oral histories again and again. Thank you for sharing the gift of your family with Kennedy High School .