(Re)Connecting & Staying Connected: Sharing Our Lives Through Family Stories & Oral Storytelling
BY SELENA E. VAN HORN
Some of the most beautiful stories will not come from books but from the voices of our families and communities. Oral storytelling and oral histories are passed from generation to generation, told during times of struggle and celebration. Many of our cultural, linguistic, religious, and community identities are shared through these stories. Below are a few picturebooks where authors have shared the crafts and values of oral storytelling.
Connecting with Picturebooks
Recording and Transcribing Oral Stories
After sharing the above mentor texts on oral storytelling/histories, teachers can invite young storytellers to engage in their own oral history/storytelling projects. Some examples might include:
Oral histories/stories can be recorded and transcribed for multiple listening/reading opportunities. They can be shared with their teacher/class and shared with family/community as a treasure. Students might also consider starting their own podcast and/or oral journaling. Below are a few tools that offer free recording and transcription.
Zoom for Education
Zoom is removing the 40 minute time limit on their Basic Free Account for K-12 schools affected by the COVID-19. This includes the ability to record and transcribe zoom sessions with lessons to allow students to learn how at their own pace.
The Basic, free account syncs with Zoom cloud recordings and allows up to 600 minutes (recording and transcription) for free (max. 40 min. sessions) each month.
Voice Memo App by Apple
This free app for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac allows you to record, edit, and share recordings; however, it does not offer transcription capabilities.
Recording oral stories can be a documentation of a moment in time and/or an on-going form of reflection and connection. For teachers and parents interested in oral stories, check out the StoryCorps Podcast.
Selena E. Van Horn is a CLA/IDE Committee Member.
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