Storytelling and active listening

Children find out their family history and share their backgrounds and stories with their peers.

Photo of Jon Gunning
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Children either know or find out their family history and backgrounds in order to share with their peers. They should aim to share at least one thing no-one would know about them.  Their peers should be encouraged to listen carefully in order to understand what the story-teller is saying. 

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Photo of Megan McMahon

Hi Jon, great idea involving family history and learning to deeply listen! How do you prepare the student audience to be active listeners, non-judgmental, and dig into the empathy piece? Do students have something they are listening for--maybe they thinking about commonalities/differences or preparing one question for the presenter? Would love to see how you structure this for your students, its a great idea!

Photo of Michael Schurr

Hi Jon, I love this idea. I wish I had taken the time as a child to learn more from my grandparents about our families stories. I wonder, could we flip the script on your idea. Could we have a student do the report on a peers family? It would be Ana amazing exercise in deep listening and empathy.

Have you checked out Oral History and Lost for Words ? Might be worth teaming up or touching base to see how your ideas could compliment each other. Excited to see how you evolve this idea!

Photo of Myron Williams

not only can the discover their family stories, they can also complete a genogram where they draw their family and extended family. this visual helps them see how many "different" places and voices influence them. Using pictures is really good when working with younger children, but also helps older ones as well. They can talk about hair styles, clothes, etc. in the pictures and gain an understanding of a "different time and place."