The Great Thanksgiving Listen: For Educators - StoryCorps
The Great Thanksgiving Listen: For Educators

The Great Thanksgiving Listen: For Educators

Lesson Plans and Handouts

There are many ways to use StoryCorps in your classroom (virtual or in-person). For our complete educational offerings visit our online learning platform, StoryCorps DIY. You can also access our Great Listen Toolkit on the DIY platform, if you prefer.

Office Hours

Did you miss our previous office hours to reflect on #TheGreatListen? Don’t worry! You have another chance to join us on December 13 at 5 pm ET to ask StoryCorps staff your questions, share your highlights with fellow teachers, and help us enrich your experience!

This isn’t a formal presentation. Come prepared with your questions or to share your past experiences or plans for this year. Please note, these office hours are live only, and no recordings will be shared later on.

D.C. Public school teacher Lisa Jones and her student, Louis Wingfield, III

Sign Up To Learn More

Raise your hand to be a part of an important effort to create a culture of listening! By signing up, you will join our year-round monthly newsletter with resources for educators. It is chock-full of stories, useful tools, and tips for success for participating in the Great Listen.

Pledge to participate in this year’s Great Listen by signing up below. Not only will you be raising your hand to be a part of an important effort to create a culture of listening and bring StoryCorps into your classroom, you will also receive a series of emails chock-full of useful tools like suggested lesson plans, worksheets, and stories.

Ways to Use StoryCorps in Your Classroom

UTILIZE the lessons found in this Toolkit and on
INCLUDE recording and interviews in your lesson plans.

COORDINATE with your school or local library to start an oral history project.
WATCH the Intergenerational Stories playlist with your family at home, and then share some of the stories that make your family unique (record the conversation, if you like!).
HOLD an assembly to highlight favorite stories from your class.
INVESTIGATE a social issue in your community (make a list of “sources” you’d like to interview).

WRITE a reflection paper, a follow-up essay, or a poem inspired by your interview.
TRANSCRIBE a part of your interview, and/or use quotes from your interview to support another project or research paper.
CREATE a video inspired by a TED Talk with Adobe Spark Video based on the process of preparing for and conducting an interview, and present it to the class.
EDIT your interview using free editing software (such as Audacity) to create a two-minute excerpt.
PRODUCE a podcast of your interviews using excerpts from different interviews.
CREATE a visual storyboard of the process of preparing for and conducting the interview, plus what was learned, and present it to the class.
DRAW OR PAINT a portrait of your partner inspired by your interview with them.

LISTEN to your interview again.
SHARE your interviews with us @StoryCorps with the tag #TheGreatListen.
COMMEMORATE classroom milestones like graduation with interviews.

How To Use StoryCorps Connect And The StoryCorps App

Before starting a new class, students and teachers make sure they have the right notebooks and pencils. The same is true for anyone who wants to be a part of The Great Listen. Pick which tools works best for you; we can support lots of different situations.

Under StoryCorps’ terms of use: Children under the age of 13 may not participate in The Great Listen, and parental consent is required for people under the age of 18 to register for a StoryCorps Archive account. You can review the full terms of use at

If you choose to require a parental permission slip, we have included a sample one here that you can easily customize to your needs. (Please note: The permission slip is for school/community use only and should not be submitted to StoryCorps. You should seek further legal advice from your counsel as needed to finalize any terms.)

After recording, students will have the option to publish their interviews. If published, the interviews will be entered in the StoryCorps Archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and appear publicly online at If the students do not want to publish their interviews, they can save the interviews to their devices. (Please note: Only interviews recorded via the StoryCorps App can be saved locally to the device.) Students and other participants should not be required to publish their interviews publicly to receive credit. This is to preserve participant privacy. Please see our privacy setting recommendations for those who prefer to keep their recordings private.

Common Core Standards and Alignment

Standards: Applicable Common Core Standards

With specific alignment to the following:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.9-12.2-4 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-12.1-10 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.9-12.6-9 Use technology, including the internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Get the Printable Placemat

It’s the connections they’ll remember more than the centerpiece or the stuffing. Download and print the official Great Thanksgiving Listen placemat, in whatever quantity you need, and you’ll have a sampler platter of Great Questions closer than the salt shaker. Use them as ice-breakers around the table, then after the meal find a quiet place and record your interview with the free StoryCorps App.

Download Printable PDF (size: 8.5″ x 11″)

Additional Resources

Connect directly with other educators and StoryCorps staff in our StoryCorps in the Classroom Facebook group.

Find answers to your technical support questions in our Help Center.

Explore additional resources in the Education section of our website. For our complete educational offerings (including The Great Listen) visit our online learning platform, StoryCorps DIY.