According to beloved historian and radio interviewer Studs Terkel, the purpose of oral history is to tell the story of the world through the voices of the salt of the earth. Everyone has a story to tell, and StoryCorps is dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of everyday Americans from all backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. To date, StoryCorps has recorded more than 40,000 interviews among more than 80,000 Americans in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and several American territories.
StoryCorps offers a variety of ways for people to record their stories—from a publicly accessible StoryCorps booth to a personal session with a trained facilitator. We’re excited to share do-it-yourself resources for you and your students, so you can capture those stories between you and someone you know and admire. And when you listen to a StoryCorps interview, get ready for an emotional roller coaster ride—from that single-tear-sliding-down- the-cheek moment, to that foot-stomping, throw-your-head-back belly laugh.
National Teachers Initiative
At the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, StoryCorps launched its National Teacher Initiative at the White House to celebrate great teachers and to call attention to their invaluable contributions. Since September 2011, StoryCorps has dispatched facilitators to several cities across the country to record at least 625 interviews with teachers and their interview partners.
From “Do You Remember Your First Day Being a Teacher?” to “I Felt Like a Star Walking Down the Hallway,” listen to these heartfelt stories with your students, your colleagues, and your family. Be inspired by great teaching and the people who appreciate the difference teachers make in our lives.
Interview How-To Bundle
Here’s a fantastic bundle of resources to sharpen your students' interviewing skills and get them started on interviewing someone they care about or admire. In addition to learning something new about their interviewees, your students may benefit from doing this interview by finding their own voices and becoming more empathetic.
Interview Skills Lesson Plan
This one-lesson workshop demonstrates the skills needed for interviewing and storytelling. Get your students talking—and listening—in one-on-one and group settings. What might your students discover about their interviewee—and themselves—through an interview?
Who should I interview? What should I ask them? Organized in categories, such as “Great Questions for Anyone,” ”Raising Children,” and “Grandparents,” this list of questions is meant to jump start a conversation. Use the ones you want, and come up with others on your own.
Do-It-Yourself Interview Guide
When your students know who they’re going to interview and what questions to ask, they’ll need some guidance on how to conduct the actual interview. This DIY guide offers advice on recording equipment and simple step-by-step instructions. Note: Downloading link is located in bottom-right corner.
Pull up a chair and get ready to be delighted, enchanted, and touched by all of the interviews from StoryCorps' long-time series on NPR’s Morning Edition.
LISTEN to StoryCorps interviews
Like what you see?
Check out more great resources from StoryCorps.
- Animated shorts on some of StoryCorps' best-loved radio stories
- Unheard Voices Curriculum— a collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network (GLSEN), and StoryCorps
- StoryCorps Initiatives that reach out to targeted populations
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, StoryCorps has conducted over 40,000 interviews. It does this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters.