Listen and Tell: Oral History Projects
This program provides opportunities to learn about tools and techniques that will make oral history projects more engaging for both you and your students. JWA’s Education Program Manager, Etta King, showcases various online resources that will help you collect and share stories in your classroom or community. We also explore how oral histories can be used as “Jewish texts” that teach students about Jewish history, identity, and community.
Watch the recording of this online learning program.
Session Materials and Handouts
- PowerPoint Presentation
- Chat Log
- Oral History Resource Packet including an interview activity for Jewish educators, perfect for in-service or professional development sessions
- Questions and Ideas Lino Board—generated by session participants
Oral History and Story Collecting Resources from JWA
- In Our Own Voices
- Resource for conducting life history interviews with Jewish women
- For adults or sophisticated teens
- Follows the oral history guidelines (more labor intensive and in-depth)
- Family History Tool Kit
- Guide adapted for tweens/teens (written with gendered language for girls but anyone can use it)
- Better for classroom use with younger students (older elementary and middle school)
- Additional resource: Museum of Family History Lesson Plan
Oral History and Story Collecting Resources Elsewhere on the Web
- DIY Guide for National Day of Listening (Unofficially observed on the day after Thanksgiving.)
- Contemporary Jewish Museum
- “Stories of Survival”: Creating and Exploring Oral Histories in the Classroom
- Includes question sets, resources, and three case studies showcasing examples of using technology to do story collecting projects
Online Oral History or Story Collections
These collections have video and audio of oral histories and stories that may be useful teaching resources in your classroom. Like other sources or "texts," oral histories can be a starting point for discussion about Jewish themes, ideas, and values. Please include links and suggestions for other online oral history collections in the comments below!
- Jewish Stories
- JWA’s YouTube Channel features Jewish women’s stories: activists, community leaders, etc.
- iWitness from the Shoah Foundation offers searchable video testimony from Holocaust survivors.
- Stories from the General Public (not necessarily Jewish)
- StoryCorps features stories collected and curated under a variety of topics.
- Though This I Believe is not an oral history collection, it's series of personal essays read aloud offers a great entry point for discussions about values, family, overcoming challenges, etc. Some Jewish stories are included.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Listen and Tell: Oral History Projects." (Viewed on March 28, 2023) <https://jwa.org/teach/profdev/webinars/oralhistory2013>.