How I Use It
I used to do readers theatre (in fact, I still do thins for my acting class) of transcripts of StoryCorps conversations as related to character development lessons or at time lessons linked to historical studies, such as stories from WWII or 9/11. Now that my students have 1 to 1 devices in the classroom, I'm freed to do a number of more interesting things. We often, toward the start of the year, listen together and discuss stories as told by the submissions to StoryCorps. Then, I'm able to send students off to find stories of their own. I've set them out with a theme, and they've reported back to a group discussion based on what they heard. I've had students expand on topics we've discussed in class by curating a series of StoryCorps clips to further a point they want to make. We also listen to topical stories, such as recounts of 9/11 near the anniversary to spur responsive writing. It's a great way to expound on the way that autobiography does not need to be mundane, but rather, can be episodic. Really, the classroom uses are endless.
Overall, students gain a better appreciation for slowing down and listening to another person's story. They learn to be more in touch with their empathetic side. This commonly opens students up to being more expressive and free with their emotions. Additionally, it slow students down when they are faced with opposing forces. They recall that they are not the only one that has been faced with a tough time and that, more than likely, there will be light on the other side of their circumstance. For studies in writing, history, character, leadership, and life, StoryCorps is a true gem.