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Student Projects

The Past 100 Years: A Storycorps Interview Project

Authors: Tracy French, Jen Morrison

Grade: 6th

Subject: Humanities

Interviewing booths for
Interviews for
Two students at table

Sharing a story can help us understand where we have come from and where we are going. In collaboration with their Math/Science project, The Next 100 Years, students will conduct interviews that reveal changes in our human experience over the past 100 years. Our understanding of the past will connect us with our responsibility for the future. Our interviews will be uploaded to the Library of Congress to become part of the StoryCorps collection.

  • How has the human experience changed in the past 100 years?
  • How can interviews connect us to our guests and to our shared history?
  • What is empathy and why does it matter?
  • How do open-ended questions provide the space for people to share more of their story?
  • How can we improve our work through critique?
  • What is our vision for the future?


How will we collaborate?

●  We will offer, receive, and apply critique.

●  We will discuss interview structures and develop project guidelines.

●  We will participate in editing and revision workshops.

●  We will support each other to take risks, accept challenges, and complete our best work.

●  We will pair up to support each other during the interviews.

●  We will participate in the setup and breakdown of our interview space at Winter Exhibition.

How will we challenge ourselves?

●   We will always look for a better way to ask a question.

●   We will expand our network of interviews beyond winter exhibition.

●   We will research and develop possible possible podcast options for our final interviews.

●   We will use photography to capture the connection between interviewer and interviewee.


  • Develop a rich, well critiqued database of interview questions that will reveal depth in our interviews.
  • Create a Winter Exhibition space, based on StoryCorps recording booths, where guests are comfortable and willing to share their stories.
  • Conduct thoughtful interviews and upload our recordings to the Library of Congress.
Week Description of Activities
Nov 2-6 What makes a strong question? Who do we want to interview?

Interview questions for author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson.

Develop a list of key attributes for strong interview questions.

Nov 9-13 Sample interviews and the StoryCorps Project

Why do stories matter?What is StoryCorps?There’s an app for that.

Which interviews did you feel drawn to? What makes an interview great?

How can we develop strong and appropriate questions?

Nov 16-20 Question Database & Interview at Brookside

Why types of questions do we need to ask?

Let’s talk with real people and hear their stories!

How has the world changed since you were young?

Nov 23-27 Thanksgiving Challenge! Record interview with family member

Choose a family member to interview for the Great Thanksgiving Listen.

What did you find out about them that surprised you?

What challenges did you experience during the interview?

Why were some interview questions successful and some not?

Nov 30-Dec 4 Formulate exhibition questions and explore the soft skill of flexibility

What questions are appropriate to ask during exhibition?

How can I adjust my questions if needed?

What do I do when the unexpected happens?

How do I handle emotions that come up for the interviewee and myself?

Dec 9-13 Interview rehearsals and practice with technology

Practice, practice, practice!

What will the setup look like?

How can we create buzz and invite guests to attend?

Dec 16-20 Exhibition and Reflection

Show time!

How can we ensure the exhibition is a great success?

What are my goals?   How will I know if I achieved them?

How has this project affected me? How have I affected others?