Podcasting Ideas for Language Arts

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With only six weeks to go, I know many of us are currently in the home stretch for STAR testing. What do you have planned for the 4-5 weeks after testing?

In science many of us put off some of the really fun and exciting projects (roller coasters, frog dissections, etc.) until the last few weeks of school. We don’t really have any time for them before testing and the projects captivate students as temperatures rise and thoughts of summer vacation dance through all of our minds.

If you teach Language Arts I have a few podcasting ideas for you might want to try during these last few weeks should you be looking for something different and a little techie. Each of the podcasts listed below are available on iTunes and serve as great models for activities you could do in your class. Why reinvent the wheel when you can start with already highly successful ideas and teach a few standards at the same time? :-)

  1. StoryCorps – Every so often on my long drive down from Sacramento I hear a great StoryCorps narrative on NPR. Participants interview a friend for family member to tell a story that personally touches their life. These stories are then recorded and shared with the Library of Congress as part of a giant oral history project. No matter the topic I always find the stories very motivating and get a little teary-eyed towards the end. The StoryCorps model would be a great way to engage students in working on their own oral history project.
  2. This I Believe – While StoryCorps focuses on history, This I Believe is a program where speakers write and record the core values that guide their lives. The episodes are very inspiring and definitely worth downloading. This I Believe even has a curriculum for teachers to use in class.
  3. Grammar Girl – A little less heavy than StoryCorps or This I Believe, but still extremely useful, Grammar Girl is a podcast all about grammar. Take a moment to listen to a few podcasts (look for “A vs. An” or “May vs. Might” for examples). Imagine your students making these! What a fun way to have students review those grammar rules that are tough to remember.

Since you are “borrowing” a few ideas for these projects you really can’t post them online or else you’d be violating a few copyright laws.  However, you could certainly record them in class and allow your students to listen to each other’s final products during a listening party…I mean listening session. At both Ustach and Somerset we have all of the equipment you would need and even a few on-site podcasting “experts” from the EETT grant. If you are interested in creating podcasts with your students let me know and I will happily help you plan things out.

Joe

Photo: Student with Script (DSC 0036) by torres21

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