NATIONAL DAY OF LISTENING
On the day after Thanksgiving, National Day of Listening encourages you to gather your family and friends and record family history and stories for preservation. The program, created by StoryCorps, reminds us of the value our stories hold.
” …every life matters equally, every voice matters equally, every story matters equally…” David Isay, founder of StoryCorps
Have you ever wondered what Grandma’s favorite memory is or how your father got that scar on his brow? What’s the story behind a friend’s nickname? Recording stories and sharing them gives breath to them. When we gather with family and friends, we often reminisce. And while not all memories are pleasant, they hold a power over us that needs to be released. Telling them and sharing them lets our friends and families learn some of the lessons, some of our culture and heritage. Our stories connect us, and hearing others’ stories opens our eyes to the broader world.
We’re made of many experiences and the experiences of those who’ve gone before us. Spend the day listening to their stories. Record them. Share them. Interview someone close to you or someone new to you. Let them become an indelible part of your life.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL DAY OF LISTENING
Interview a friend or family member and record the interview.
StoryCorps provides a DIY guide as well as lists of Great Questions based on who you interview.
There is no format requirement for recording the interviews on National Day of Listening. Whether you record them onto digital devices, a tape recorder, or pen and paper, the essential part is to record the story for future generations. If you record in a digital format, you can also upload the recording to StoryCorps’ using an app or use #NationalDayofListening to post on social media.
National Day Calendar® Classroom followers, join the project! Visit the classroom for ideas to engage your students on #NationalDayofListening.
NATIONAL DAY OF LISTENING HISTORY
In 2008, the non-profit organization, StoryCorps, launched the National Day of Listening to encourage families to set aside the day after Thanksgiving as a time to share and record the history of their family, friends, and community.
Q. Why is listening important?
A. We listen for a variety of reasons and the way we listen changes based on those reasons.
Reasons We Listen
- Informational – We listen to gain information, knowledge, or understanding about a topic or someone’s background.
- Critical – We listen to evaluate, compare, or judge. We use this type of listening when someone is trying to convince us of something like a sales pitch, job interview, political debate.
- Empathetic – We listen to provide comfort to the speaker, usually someone who has experienced a loss or trauma.
- Enjoyment – We listen to the stories our family tells, television shows, radio programs, and music because it entertains or brings us joy.
Q. How do I make sure I’m listening?
A. There are several ways to engage in active listening.
- Eliminate distractions. Shut the door, turn off the tv or radio, and put down their phone.
- Make eye contact. Don’t stare into their eyes; that’s creepy. Look toward their face and let your eyes meet as you hear their words. Eye contact conveys to the speaker that they have your attention.
- Nod, tilt your head, make facial expressions when appropriate. If you’re paying attention, these actions will happen naturally.
- nod when you understand or agree
- smile when the speaker tells a funny experience
- tilting your head to show interest
- Ask questions. Not only does this show you’re listening but encourages the speaker to keep talking.
- Repeat what the speaker said in your own words.
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