I have a lot of favorite things, but Podcasts are definitely at the top of my list.
This American Life, Stuff You Should Know, and Serial are some of my all time favorites. It’s not just learning, it’s entertaining. The conversations, the topics, and the hosts of my favorite Podcasts make me keep coming back for more.
In the past, I have allowed my kids to listen to some of my favorite (and appropriate) Podcasts on various topics that were directly linked to our curriculum, but this year, I thought I would go one step further and make our own Podcasts!
Here is our Podcast on “The Real Columbus.”
I started the year by allowing the kids to listen to a few examples, not yet telling them that they would be making these audio interview/conversations very soon. They enjoyed them, as they were usually witty and humorous.
After a couple of weeks, after we had listened to 3 podcasts on various topics, I told the kids that once per week (technically during our AIS time), one group of 5 students would be researching and gathering information to create our own podcast, which we would record each Friday afternoon.
The kids were excited, to say the least.
At the beginning of each week, I give students a Podcast preparation packet, which explains step-by-step what I want them to complete, as well as asking questions to nudge them in the right direction while researching. This packet is available for FREE here.
I gave the kids a list of 6 questions that I told them we would absolutely be covering in the Podcast conversation, so they could be a bit more focused as they researched. They were a combination of both lower level questions they could simply find the answers to, as well as questions that where they would need to form their own opinions and make a claim during the Podcast.
I have to say, this is probably one of the best forms of authentic assessment I have ever used within my room. Not only did they jump right into researching and gathering their information, but the conversations that they had during the Podcast was amazing. Some of this was just a regurgitation of information they had found, but then there were those times where the kids showed a true understanding of the topic. There were disagreements, which we talked through, but the students making a claim and backing up their thoughts with specific evidence from the information they found gave me an amazing feeling that we were on to something good!
Here is another Podcast we made about Pumpkins!
So…even if you’re just a little techy, I would highly suggest Podcasting with your students. The final outcome is one that you and your students will be proud of, and the skills they are learning are incredible!
Just a couple notes:
*We recorded with an iPad app called “BossJock.”
*I uploaded to my SoundCloud account.
*You can then easily embed or link this sound clip to your Web site.
*A rubric for this project is available here.