People are hungry for stories. It’s part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from one generation to another –Studs Terkel

Celebrate Studs Terkel’s contribution to American storytelling by bringing oral history into your classroom, your work, your home. The following resources will help get you started:
Oral History in the Classroom (created by Beth Collins, Distance Learning Center Coordinator, Chicago Historical Society) is a lesson plan for high school students. The plan supplies teachers and students with a set of questions that use Studs Terkel’s interviews as a starting point for having students do their own oral history interviews

Collecting Stories: The Oral Interview in Research (created by Marsha MacDowell, Curator at MSU Museum) is an extensive overview of how to do oral history interviews framed as a series of questions and answers

Center for Digital Storytelling works to promote public oral history and storytelling through partnerships with a range of organizations. Based in Berkeley, CA, with branches in Pheonix, Denver, Washington D.C. and Toronto, the Center helps implement new oral history programming for institutions, and offers workshops throughout the year.

Using Primary Sources to Learn of the Life of Studs Terkel, His Interviews, and Individual Stories of WWII Veterans (created by Joyce Grant, Associate Professor of Teacher Education, MSU) is a lesson plan for students in grades 6-12. The plan helps students understand both Stud Terkel’s interviewing style and the everyday experiences of soldiers during WW II

Media Burn Video Archives in the Classroom offers lesson plans and other classroom resources to complement the site’s collection of historical documentary footage. Media Burn is also collecting syllabi from teachers using documentary footage from the site, which may be sent to

MATRIX oral history tutorial is intended to help students, oral historians, and researchers implement several important aspects of audio technology in the field, studio, and research lab. It presents a set of best practices in the recording, processing, and analysis of acoustic speech signals.

StoryCorps Educational Resources for classroom and personal use, developed by StoryCorps–a WPA-inspired oral history non-profit founded in 2003 by David Isay. To date, StoryCorps has collected over 30,000 interviews among more than 60,000 Americans.

H-Net List of American Oral History Projects provides an in-depth listing of American oral history projects, categorized by focus. H-Net is maintained by Humanities and Social Sciences Online and MATRIX, in conjunction with the University of Michigan.

Oral History Association Guide to Digital Audio and Portable Recorders (from the Oral History Association) is a technical overview of audio-recording equipment commonly used for oral history work.

Field Research Guides from the Vermont Folklife Center include several helpful essays and manuals for those interested in collecting, editing, and archiving oral history.

Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History (created by Judith Moyer) is an introductory guidebook to personal oral history projects.


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