Bring Our Stories to your classroom.
You start an Our Stories Project at your school with the help of our classroom resources, including planning templates and all the forms you'll need to get started.
You'll introduce the project to your class and share some the existing audio from the Our Stories App. We'll help you start a discussion about why storytelling is important and what we can learn from listening to the stories of other people's lives.
The children can help brainstorm ideas for finding interview subjects and even help build the list of questions they'd like to ask participants.
Then you use your school newsletter and other local resources to find people who grew up in your area and invite them to the school for an interview. Often, the first interviewees are parents, grandparents or other family members - even school staff. Make fixed times in the week to conduct interviews. Aim for 5-10 interviews to start with and try to complete them in one term. Each interview should take about 20-40 minutes. Allow for time to discuss with the children afterwards. One adult should always be present in the interview.
Interview subjects will need to sign the Our Stories Consent Form.
It's best to send this in advance, along with the questions you have brainstormed.
Record the interviews
You don't need special recording equipment, just a quiet space and a modern smart phone or iPad. Do a test first and make sure the interviewee's voice is clear.
Make sure the device is turned to "airplane mode"
Place the device on a soft surface (folder tea towel or t-shirt to avoid hard vibrations or noise from the table)
Send files to Our Stories
Send the audio files and the consent forms to Our Stories via the online drive we'll provide. Our team will transcribe and edit the audio for uploading to the Our Stories app. The full audio will be held in a collection with a partner library or other archive.
Discuss what you learned
Ask the children after each interview what they though the most interesting stories were? How have they been able to understand their local place in a new way, through they eyes of another person? What stories do they think are most important? Why? What can we learn from listening to others? What do we think the interview was like for the subject? What other questions should we ask next time?
Brainstorming worksheet (Google slides)
Sample questions (PDF)
Call for interviews template (Google doc)
Need more support?
Get in touch if you'd like to talk about having and Our Stories support person to co-ordinate an oral history project at your school.
We're working to develop these resources so that any school can enjoy the benefits of Our Stories Project. We'd love your help to make them better. Please get in touch to share your ideas.