I love StoryCorps, the oral history project that has recorded over 50,000 interviews since 2003. You can listen to many of these interviews on their site, and you can also view some that have been transformed into animations. One of my previous posts was about one of these animations, “Eyes on the Stars.” (Not all of them are appropriate for all age levels, so please preview before you show them to students.)
“Making It” is a relatively new addition to the site (September, 2014). This dialogue between a young man and his high school teacher is very inspirational. It’s about hard work and perseverance – and making your mom proud. For those of you who like to teach your students the value of grit, this video will support that message very well.
If you would like to find more Inspirational Videos for Students, check out my Pinterest Board here.
This is an excerpt from the “About Us” section on the StoryCorps website: “Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.” I have always enjoyed listening to StoryCorps interviews on NPR, and was excited when they introduced their animated shorts. I featured one of them, “Eyes on the Stars“, on this blog at the beginning of this year.
To me, StoryCorps embodies the message that “You Matter.” I have found so often in my own life, whether in my classroom or at home, that the simple act of truly listening to someone honors them in a way that many of our actions cannot. That is why I was thrilled to hear about their upcoming television show, “Listening is an Act of Love.” Premiering on November 28 at 9/8c on PBS, this show will feature 6 animated stories from the last 10 years.
I suppose it’s ironic that I am recommending watching a television show while I am trying to promote that we listen more to each other. However, if you even watch one of the animated shorts on the StoryCorps page, I guarantee that you will see the value of these conversations and be inspired to begin one with someone close to you. If so, you might want to use some of the ideas on the “Great Questions” page, such as, “If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be?” StoryCorps also has an iPhone app with recommended questions and other resources. (This could be a great project for Genius Hour. Just be sure to preview the questions, first.)
StoryCorps just posted a new short animated video that is incredibly inspirational and moving. “Eyes on the Stars” tells us about the perseverance and pioneering spirit of Ronald McNair, one of the seven astronauts killed in the Challenger explosion, as told by his brother. There are so many lessons that your students can glean from this less-than-4-minutes video: the importance of reading, standing up against adversity, pursuing your dreams, civil rights, etc…
I had been thinking about writing a post about the StoryCorps animations for awhile, but hadn’t found one, yet, that I was ready to integrate into my classroom. “Eyes on the Stars” was just published, and I’ve already seen it featured on two of my favorite blogs: “It’s Okay to Be Smart” and “Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day.” You can view more StoryCorps animations here. As always, I recommend that you view the videos before showing them to your students and/or children.