Podcasts as a Curriculum
Listening to, analyzing, and predicting with podcasts are a great way to engage students. So, I wanted to share a few of my favorite podcasts, as well as some resources to utilize with them.
Also, if you're wanting to dive deeper and learn more about utilizing podcasts in any subject, I highly recommend this article from John Spencer.
From their site: "The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a scripted podcast for middle grade kids, performed by middle grade kids. It is a fun, high-quality, serial mystery that can be described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for 8-12 year olds." And there are some wonderful resources to do entire creative writing units, as well as engineering activities with this podcast on Teachers Pay Teachers. You could honestly make a whole unit of study from just this podcast!
From their site: "Can you spot a liar, liar, pants on fire? In the era of fake news, kids must be able to tell what’s true from what’s false. And what better way than with a game show? Each week, a kid faces down two grown-ups, one an honest-to-goodness true expert, the other, well, a dirty, rotten liar! Featuring real kid contestants and a hilarious sound-effects-generating robot, Pants on Fire teaches kids to ask insightful questions, weigh the evidence in front of them, and trust their gut." Check out this great reflection sheet for students to organize their thoughts while listening.
From their site: "Eleven-year-old Holiday is pulled from the icy waters of Alaska with no memory of who she is or where she came from. Are her mom and dad really who they say they are? And when she begins to develop incredible abilities, she’ll soon discover she’s not alone in the world." What's great is this can easily be done as a warm up since all the episodes are so short. Check out this site for some great questions to ask each episode to really get kids thinking.
From their site: "Every episode takes two cool things, smashes them together and lets you decide which is best. Our debaters use facts and passion to make their case -- teaching listeners how to defend their own opinions along the way." An amazing debate podcast (averaging about 35 minutes) with polls for voting for which is best after students have heard the debate. Also has a free debate curriculum for grades 3-5.
Creating Student Podcasts
NPR Student Podcast Challenge - Yearly competition where NPR asks students to create podcasts, and the winner gets played on NPR. They've created lessons to go with that introduce students to choosing a topic, planning a story, brainstorming sounds, recording, and more. I created the slideshow to go along with the lessons and make them easier to present.