PART I: About StoryCorps/Why Do Stories Matter? - StoryCorps
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PART I: About StoryCorps/Why Do Stories Matter?

PART I: About StoryCorps/Why Do Stories Matter?

Introduce students to StoryCorps and The Great Thanksgiving Listen using a selection of the following videos, animations, podcasts, and the StoryCorps mission statement.
These clips are provided in multiple formats for educational use so that teachers can access them in the classroom. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

StoryCorps Classics

Title Watch Download
“An Intro to StoryCorps” (3 min.)
Learn more about StoryCorps in this conversation between StoryCorps Founder Dave Isay and his nephew.
“No More Questions” (4 min.)
Timeless wisdom from Kay Wang, a
strong-willed grandmother who shares stories
with her son and granddaughter.
“Eyes on the Stars” (3 min.)
A remembrance of NASA astronaut Ronald E. McNair,
who followed his childhood dreams to become the
second African-American to enter space.
“Clean Streets” (3 min.)
Sanitation workers Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves
reflect on their years of working together
and what they learned on the job.
“The Icing on the Cake” (3 min.)
Blanca Alvarez in conversation with her daughter,
Connie, about hardship their family faced and the
lessons learned when they came to the U.S.

Further Inspiration

Watch these intergenerational animated stories in your classroom as inspiration leading up to Thanksgiving, or invite your students to watch and share a story with the person they are going to interview.

Title Watch Download
“The Temple of Knowledge” (2.5 min.)
Growing up, Ronald Clark spent every night in
a library with his father, who worked as a custodian
at the New York Public Library.
“My Father, The Giant” (2 min.)
Kiamichi-tet Williams learns about his grandfather,
Melford, who was a tribal leader for the Caddo Nation
in Oklahoma.
“Detective Simmons” (3 min.)
Camaran Henson grew up thinking his grandfather
possessed superpowers. He remembers large and small
ways the man lived up to his legendary status.
“Mi Abuela Panchita” (2 min.)
A San Antonio bishop believes he is his family’s
dispenser of spiritual wisdom. He is reminded
by his abuelita that there are some things only elders can grasp.
“Silvia’s Legacy” (2.5 min.)
In the 1950s, Ellaraino travels to the Louisiana
log cabin of her elderly great-grandmother, gaining
a new perspective on what it means to be free.

StoryCorps Mission Statement

Share the StoryCorps mission statement and ask students to identify words or phrases that stand out to them, or which they think are most important.

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.