Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Good morning friend, today, I am going to talk about such a wonderful asset you can incorporate into your classroom that your students are going to LOVE. Just a warning, they will beg you for more. They will want to do it all day, and want to talk about it all day. Some might even come speeding on down to your classroom each morning, asking you when you can get started. What I am going to talk about today is using podcasts in your classroom. Some of you might be thinking a pod what? or even what standard would that address? Well, that is exactly what I am here to tell you.
WHAT IS A PODCAST?
First, let me tell ya how to find them. In fact, if you have an apple device you probably didn't even know what that weird purple icon was even for. Well, that my friends is the key to something so amazing. For myself, as many of you know, I use this to make my morning commute all that much easier. It is a space where people create talk shows, radio shows and more to basically every genre in the world. True crime fanatic? It's there. Teacher professional development (that is actually interesting) Yepp, there too. One thing that I recently decided to look up was if there were any children's themed podcasts, and that was what sparked this whole idea.
HOW TO USE IT IN YOUR CLASSROOM
First of all, I wanted to show my students what life was like before television (I know, can one even imagine a world like that?). Which for children of all ages is a unthinkable phenomenon. "But what did they do?" and to that I answer, there was a magical device called a radio. I like to talk about how it wasn't really like what we think of today when we think radio but instead a place that told stories and where you would have to use your imagination.
1. I spent about a week with my students basically doing a novel study, but for a podcast. We did pretty much everything that you would do for a novel study: summarize, character development, plot, conflict, author's mood, point of view, theme and even did a response at the very end of it. What doing this did however, was gave them an idea of how to make their characters come to life in a narrative and was good for listening comprehension. It was also easily differentiated because all that changed was the depth of questions. It didn't matter the students reading levels, yet we were able to hit all the standards one would when reading a story. I was able to transport my class into the story, and I am telling you, they were eating it up. I had students making predictions and inferences without me even having to ask. I had them thinking so deeply about the different themes in our story, that all you could hear in our room was pencils moving. And did I mention that these podcasts are all free?
2. Another way that I will be using it this year is as a listening center. I am starting our reading rotations this month and you bet this will be a center in that rotation. Students will be able to listen to a 10 minute episode and ask and discuss questions with their group. Included will be both fiction and non-fiction podcasts.
3. Students can use these podcasts to give evidence for research. For a few of our research podcasts coming up, I am going to include them as a resource. Now these are just the three ways I will be using them this year, but the possibilities are honestly endless. I strongly suggest that you do a bit of research and find a few that are appropriate for your grade level. Below are just a few i've found that are kid friendly. What I like about this company is they don't insert commercials (or if they do it's like a fake one that has to do with the podcast) So here are a few for ELA, History and Science.