The Last Lecture is a great book for high school students. For the past few years, I have been using the book high school seniors. The content of the book lends itself to many personal reflection activities that most of the students seem to enjoy.

The “family stories” activity encourages students to interact with family members. It is a great assignment to complete during a holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The lesson was inspired by the following selection.

“All parents want to teach their children right from wrong, what we think is important, and how to deal with the challenges life will bring. We also want them to know some stories from our lives.” (page ix)

Students will collect one personal story from three different family members. (The number of stories is random. It might be best to start with just one story). Students are encouraged to interact with as many generations as possible. If possible, the students should try to get connect with the oldest generation of their family.

Students can select the method of recording the stories. Some options include interviewing a person over the phone, using a pen and paper to record the responses. Other methods of communication could be to email or skype with the person. Other students might choose to videotape the interview.

The video recorded interview incorporates 21st century technology. The greatest  benefit of videotaping might be the fact that the family will always have the video images to share with future generations.
Obviously a face-to-face meeting would be the ideal situation to complete this activity.