On May 14, 2020, 56 Illinois educators joined The Pulitzer Center in a conversation introducing the HomeStories Project, an interactive map where people all over Chicago are welcome to share stories of the place where they feel most at home. The project is an initiative created by Out of Eden Walk, a nonprofit organization inspired by the historic storytelling journey of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek, who has embarked on a multiyear walk across the planet along the pathways of our first ancestral journey out of Africa – the first human "Eden."
The webinar was facilitated by The Pulitzer Center and Out of Eden Walk Chicago.
You can access the full presentation powerpoint here.
The discussion introduced slow journalism, a technique that encourages students to slow down to explore local spaces and is central to the spirit of Paul's journey and the mission of the Out of Eden Walk organization. Panelists Anne-Michele Boyle (Whitney Young High School), Cara Bucciarelli (LaSalle Language Academy), and Tracy Crowley (Jack London Middle School and Out of Eden Walk Manager) described their experiences teaching HomeStories at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and made recommendations for educators interested in bringing HomeStories into their classrooms. Finally, Tracy Crowley led an exploration and demonstration of the HomeStories interactive map.
Here are some of the remarks that Chicago teachers who attended the webinar shared with us:
"I like that I can create a 'product' to share that includes student photos and student responses."
"I like the concept of slow journalism. I am also looking at the mapping technology."
"There are a variety of student samples and ways to get students engaged witht he content."
If you are interested in bringing Out of Eden Walk to your classroom, you can find Pulitzer Center's curricular resources here.
Explore the Chicago HomeStories map for yourself or encourage your students or community to share their own stories on the map.
If you are curious about Paul Salopek's incredible journey, you can follow him on the Out of Eden Walk website.