Listening to Neighbors' Stories

Adapted from Out of Eden Learn’s Curriculum, Core Learning Journey 1: The Present and the Local

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You will begin this activity by thinking about the special effort journalist Paul Salopek makes to listen to the people he meets along his journey, the Out of Eden Walk.

Listen to this audio message from Paul. In it, he shares advice for talking to and—most importantly—listening to other people. 

Read about how to record and use sound to tell stories.


Interview an adult who lives or works in your local area. This person could be someone you have never spoken to before or someone you already know. It does not need to be someone who has lived in the area for a long time. At home, this could be a parent, caregiver, elder, or other person in your immediate life. 

  • Ask the person for a story or memory about your local area. For example, how did they come to be in this place? How have they seen the area change over the years? What are some of their memories about the area? Do any particular events in the area stand out in their mind? 

  • Write up the highlights of your conversation or recreate a story that they told you. You can share the story using any format you like—writing, audio recording, drawing/storyboarding. Include a short description of the person you talked with—for example, how you know them, the setting where you talked, what they like to spend their time doing, etc.

SHARE ONLINE (optional)

  • Follow OOEL on Twitter and Instagram: @OutofEdenLearn.
  • Share on social media photos, text, or audio of the story you created. If the text is too long to share on Twitter, write or type the story and take a picture of it in order to post. Use #EdenLearn to share highlights from your conversation and what you learned Listening to Neighbors’ Stories!