Incorporating Podcasts in the Classroom
By Mary Montero
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Have you ever wondered how you could bring podcasts into your classroom? Using podcasts in the classroom has gained popularity over the past few years and with good reason! They are a great way to challenge students’ listening skills, and you can pair them with several podcast activities that help students flex their content related skills.
In this post, I’ll share several podcasts that are great for elementary students and podcast activities for students to practice their writing, reading, and listening skills. Always be sure to preview the content to make sure they are a good fit for your students.
Classroom Podcasts for Elementary Students
Six Minutes – One really popular podcast for elementary students is Six Minutes. These episodes are short and sweet stories about a mystery adventure that your students will love.
Who Smarted? – This podcast is designed for elementary students with fun science and history based episodes. The episodes are short enough to not lose students’ interest, and they will likely be begging to know more when the episode finishes.
Tumble – This is another podcast that will get your students hyped about science. Each episode answers an intriguing science related question with the help of scientists and researchers.
But Why? – But Why takes questions directly from kids and answers them in their episodes. The questions can be about anything, from nature to language formation.
Storynory – This podcast tells engaging stories such as fairy tales, greek myths, and fiction. There are tons of stories for students to choose from, so they will likely find something that interests them.
Smash Boom Best – Think of this like the ultimate debate podcast. Each episode takes on two topics and debates them, so the listener can decide which is best. This could lead to some fun classroom discussions!
The Past and The Curious – This history podcast for kids explores strange historical facts and interesting historical people. If your kids struggle to love social studies, this might change their mind.
Benefits of Podcasts in the Classroom
Now that you have new podcast ideas for your classroom, how exactly can you use them in your classroom?
Podcasts have several benefits. For one, podcasts challenge students’ listening and retelling skills. This can be a challenge for many students, especially those who may be learning another language. Podcasts provide great practice.
When listening to podcasts, you can also pair them with the transcript. As students listen, they also read along. For many students, those with dyslexia or attention needs for example, having an auditory component aides greatly with comprehension.
Lastly, podcasts are a new way to absorb information. With so much information taken in these days through audio and visual components, it never hurts for students to practice those skills.
Classroom Podcast Activities for Students
If you are interested in bringing podcasts into your classroom, here are some activities that will help you tie podcasting together with other ELA skills. You could use these activities during literacy centers or during your instructional time.
There are many ways you can bring writing and podcasting together. Here are a few examples:
- Have students write a summary of a podcast episode.
- Find a podcast episode and text about a similar topic. Read the text with students, and then have them listen to the episode. Students will then write a compare and contrast text about what is shared about the topic between the podcast and the text.
- Have students listen to a story based podcast. Then, ask them to write a sequence of events passage detailing what happened.
- Have students write a letter to a podcast asking for them to create a particular episode. They should give several reasons supporting why this episode would be interesting to kids.
This one is perfect after finishing a season of a podcast. Have your students do research on a topic of their choice. Then, have them write their own podcast episode and record it! Students can even share the recording for the class and have other students listen.
Listen and Respond
If you want to challenge students’ listening skills, try having students respond to questions as they read. This can be done through simply drafting questions on a worksheet, but I like to go digital with this. You can upload the audio from a podcast to websites like Edpuzzle. Then, insert questions along the way for students to answer about the podcast.
Hopefully, these podcast ideas will help you get started in your own classroom! I think podcasting is the future in many ways, and incorporating them in the classroom is a great way to prepare students for taking in information in the modern world.
I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.