Amy Kissel will soon start reading The Giver with her 6th grade English students. In the meantime, she asked the kids to interview someone over their Thanksgiving vacation and record these stories via video, audio, or text. The idea of collecting and archiving stories is so profound, and even at her own Thanksgiving table, Amy asked her dad to share stories with the family. He replied, “Amy, I have so many. I’ve been around so long. Give me a specific question.” He also said to her, “When you’re finally old enough to ask these questions, the older generation is usually gone.”
Today, Amy asked her students, “What is memory?” After a discussion, we all watched a short video, Fifty People, One Question. Information about the filmmaker is listed on the YouTube link:
Then we visited the StoryCorps website to see how they structure the collection of stories shared on the site. Each story includes a quote, a photo, a blurb, and a link. Amy then introduced the idea of building our own MemoryCorps, so she created a shared GoogleDoc with a table comprised of 3 columns and 18 rows. (One column per class and one cell per student – all students have editing rights). Like the stories featured on StoryCorps, the students too will include a quote, a photo, a blurb, and a link from the stories they gathered at Thanksgiving. If the student is unable to locate a photo, they can use an avatar/image that represents the story or the person. They will link to a transcript of the conversation in a separate GoogleDoc and also link to the audio or video file created with GarageBand and uploaded to our internal video server called TheTube (powered by Drupal).
(*** This is a modification of a project that Marisa Guastaferro, Monica Amaro and I designed last year. I wrote about it here.)