Studs Terkel’s “Working”: A Teaching Guide

Teaching Guide. By Rick Ayers. 2001. 208 pages. Discussion questions and teaching ideas for Terkel’s classic 1974 text.

  • Themes: Economics, Labor | Reading Levels: High School | Resource Types: Teaching Guides

workingAn invaluable educational resource for introducing Studs Terkel’s classic work of oral history to today’s students. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/journalist Studs Terkel is world famous for his oral histories, considered an innovator in modern ethnographic research. Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, Terkel’s most popular book, provides a powerful and original perspective on one of the most basic components of human experience: work. The farmer, receptionist, college professor, mail carrier, stockbroker, athlete, and many others share their daily routines and dreams in their own words. Working has long been recognized as an ideal teaching tool, presenting provocative material certain to engage students, ignite classroom discussion, and inspire thoughtful writing.

Now, helping educators discover a variety of approaches for using Working in the classroom, high school teacher Rick Ayers presents a comprehensive teaching guide to this celebrated classic. With its 200 pages of classroom materials — including questions, topics for discussion, tips for taking oral histories, and a bibliography of related resources — Ayers’ teaching guide is certain to be welcomed by educators everywhere. As an added bonus, it includes a new interview with Terkel himself, offering insight into the making of Working. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9781565846265 | Published by The New Press.

 

Related Resources
  • Studs Terkel: Conversations with America: Website about the life and work of Studs Terkel, prize-winning author, radio broadcast personality, and people’s oral historian.
  • Studs Terkel, 1912-2008: A Democracy Now! Special Tribute to the Beloved Oral Historian and Broadcaster Series: Studs Terkel can be seen and heard as he interviewed various people on radio, including a rare recording with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. He also speaks about the medium of radio and what inspired him. Two part special: Nov. 27, 2008 and Nov. 27, 2008 [Submitted by Simin Farkhondeh, Teach Democracy Now! teach@democracynow.org]

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