History and the Power of Personal Stories

In this family history project, students conduct oral histories with family members with the objective of creating a final project about their family history and understanding how an individual's family story is part of the larger story of Jewish history. The project begins in November, starting with the National Day of Listening Project (http://nationaldayoflistening.org). This project, part of StoryCorps, aims to have people listen to and record the stories of their loved ones on the Friday after Thanksgiving each year as a non-commercial alternative to “Black Friday.”  Because so many young American Jews spend Thanksgiving weekend with family, it is a wonderful time to kick off a project that involves interviewing a family member about his or her background and family story. The final product will be a video, PowerPoint or some other audio-visual presentation. This lesson includes worksheets, storyboard and other assignments used throughout the project.