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Life Event Storyboard Cards For Memoir Team Writing

Young people collaborate with older adults to mutually capture memories of major life events and write a memoir of each of their lives using life event storyboard cards

Photo of Avi Solomon
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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

Young people collaborate with older adults to mutually capture memories of major life events and write a memoir of each of their lives using life event storyboard cards. This is a mutually beneficial relationship that leverages the unique talents of each team member.
"Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."
-Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (23a)

A storyboard is a sequence of images and words drawn together on a page to form a narrative. A storyboard is an apt metaphor for how we make sense of our own life history. Storyboarding can be used to sense emergent patterns in our own life story and to envision the life experiences that we wish to welcome into our future.

A Life event storyboard card is a paper storyboard template with life event prompts (e.g. what is your first memory, who influenced you the most, what is the recipe for your favorite dish etc.) printed on the back of the card to help quickly capture major life events.

The life event prompts can be adapted from the list of questions in Barbara Haight's Life Review Form.

Young people will collaborate with older adults to mutually capture memories of major life events and write a memoir of each of their lives using life event storyboard cards. This is a mutually beneficial relationship that leverages the unique talents of each team member (even people in their teens can benefit from writing a memoir). Two young people (combining drawing and writing skills)  could work together with one older adult. Interviews would be conducted in person and the writing could be done over the course of a semester.

A memoir storyboard would be made using the life event storyboard cards to capture and guide writing and structuring the content of the memoir, which can also be accompanied by relevant multimedia. The final edited memoir document could be published as an ebook and a print book with the older adult's permission and all revenues would accrue to the older adult.

References:
The Handbook of Structured Life Review by Barbara K. Haight and Barrett S. Haight. Health Professions Press, 2007.
Telling the Stories of Life Through Guided Autobiography Groups
by James E. Birren and  Kathryn N. Cochran. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001
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Who are the target users of your idea and how does your idea speak directly to their needs, life stages and goals?

High School and College Students.

How might your idea scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

The life event storyboard card template could be made freely available in multiple languages as a PDF download for global distribution and use by anyone interested.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to test any assumptions you might have about your idea?

Interview an older adult to storyboard the main events in their life.

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input, skills or know-how of our OpenIDEO community?

Prototype this: http://www.scribd.com/doc/235263627/Life-Event-Storyboard-Prompt

17 comments

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Photo of Kaixuan Liu
Team

A storyboard card, contains elders' memory and experience would greatly benefit youth in their future life. The design of engagement of a variety of age ranges is fascinating! Congrats!

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Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great to see your question prompts, Avi. Have you had the chance to try the process out with any friends or family creating stories using your prompts? We're excited to hear how things went and what was learnt along the way!

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Photo of Avi Solomon
Team

Sorry Meena, have been toiling under a crushing workload this month! Would love it if members of the OI community could help test out the prototype of the life event storyboard prompt card http://www.scribd.com/doc/235263627/Life-Event-Storyboard-Prompt

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Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Perhaps you could make a clear call-to-action around this prominently on your post & get the word out on Twitter, etc to encourage folks to prototype? (and good luck with all your other work! :^)

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Photo of Andi Doane
Team

I love this idea as it can be used in so many different contexts!

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Photo of Suzie Prince
Team

This reminds me of an assignment I had in school to write a biography. I choose to write about my neighbour who was 90. I spent a long time talking to her and learning about her experiences. I then wrote a "book" on her life. It has lasting memories for me and I often think of her experiences today.

I think she also valued the opportunity to tell her stories, to get the "book" and also learn about my life at school . Likewise the technology I used to record her and write down my notes.

If there had been a community that helped me publish the memoir or share it more widely I think she would have been very proud.

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Photo of Avi Solomon
Team

Very nice Suzie!

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Photo of Cristhian Parra
Team

The book idea is wonderful and it gives both the storyteller and the listener of the story a comeback, an artifact that represents their shared experience... This is one of the most interesting things we saw in our experience with using a tablet for capturing stories and bringing together older adults with younger listeners of the stories. At the end, we gave each of them a book and a month after they received it they keep talking and sharing their books with everyone, showing great pride about what they have built together... Definitely, the are wonderful opportunities of intergenerational mentorship and collaboration in: sharing the stories face-to-face, preserving them in digital format and finally converting everything into a wonderful book. A book that can have both the narrator and the listeners as coauthors :-)

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Photo of Cristhian Parra
Team

BTW, take a look to the posting i did to read a bit more of the tool I was working on and the program we organized with it: https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-mentor/ideas/reminiscing-together-an-it-supported-mentorship-program-that-bridge-generations-through-memories-sharing-stimulation-and-collaboration-in-its-preservation

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Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Nice one, Avi – and we're especially excited that you're planning to try this out with your grandmother. Looking forward to seeing what you learn towards evolving this idea further – and to seeing her story!

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Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Any news on interviewing your grandmother for this, Avi?

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Photo of Avi Solomon
Team

Yes Meena, I did conduct an initial interview with my grandmother (in Marathi). I hope to make time later this month to prototype the memoir storyboard card and sketch a storyboard sequence of the main events of her life.

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Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Awesome, Avi. Can't wait to see it and hear your learnings from trying this out. Feel free to let me know via replying to this comment once it's up on your post.

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Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

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Photo of Alaine Newland
Team

I love this idea! When my great-grandma was 99 we tape-recorded her life story for her. It was so incredible to capture snippets of her adventures – and for us to have record of that for generations to come! I wonder if this idea could be a two-way capture, where both generations create memoirs. Afterall, if the younger generation begins to capture their life stories starting now, imagine the details and memories they'd keep.

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Photo of Annie Valdes
Team

What a fun and inspiring idea—I love the builds and variations on how to make this a more interactive tool!

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Photo of Ashley Jablow
Team

Love it, Avi! Hope you'll share your interview process with the community as you continue teasing out your idea.