The Great Thanksgiving Listen By Storycorps


This week in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday we would like to encourage folks to check out the The Great Thanksgiving Listen project by StoryCorps. What is the Great Thanksgiving Listen?

Founded in 2015 by Dave Isay, the Great Thanksgiving Listen is a nationwide movement that gives citizens the power to create oral histories of their lives in contemporary United States. The project primarily focuses on youth, encouraging them to record a conversation with a grandparent or older relative about their lives. They can also record with a friend or mentor, or someone they greatly admire. They should use the free downloadable StoryCorps App, the app can easily be downloaded on any smartphone, allowing students to record the interview and archive it. Although the emphasis is on encouraging youth to be a part of making history, it is extended to people of all ages. Each interview people create through the StoryCorps application will be housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in the StoryCorps Archive.

Teachers can add to the more than 100,00 interviews now within the StoryCorps Archive.  Educators can join thousands of students from all across the US who have recorded interviews and provided their families with a “priceless piece of personal history.” Teachers can use the resource as part of a class project in helping students understand the process of making and archiving history. The Great Thanksgiving Listen can also be used in lessons surrounding, primary sources, oral history and family genealogical research. Check out the state and national standards this project would align with:

Students will learn their family history by interviewing an elderly loved one and recording it on the Storycorp App.

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
1 Culture; 2 Time, Continuity and Change

Common Core Standards (CCS):
English Language Arts Standards/ History/Social Studies » Grade 9-10

Ohio Middle Grades Social Studies

Also check out these ideas for using StoryCorps in your classroom.


  1. I think that this is a really good idea. This is a great way to record history and it is right at everyone’s fingertips, it isn’t hard to access. The app sounds like a great idea and is something that many people could use to look back at memories that they have created.

  2. I love this idea. Not only because it’s teaching younger individuals to be with family and talk but also, because its oral tradition. The story that one grandma may tell them, may be completely different that someone else’s story. I like this because it brings back talking and listening to peoples voices and stories and lives. I think now more than ever (because of covid) we need this.

  3. This app would be a great way to get students involved in learning about their own personal history or even just history from a community member. It would be a great project to have students ask an elder to tell them a story about something significant that happened in their life. Students in higher grade levels could be required to do more than one elder and could write a report comparing and contrasting the life experience of the different people that they interviewed. I also really like this project because it can be for many different uses and for many different people. Finally, I like the aspect of students learning about their own history from an elder in their family.

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