As standardized testing becomes computer-based, students will need to be able to sit and listen to a passage or short audio program, take notes, recall information, and then answer critical thinking questions about the material. To help prepare students for this challenge, I’ve scoured the internet to find high-interest, school-appropriate podcasts that fit within one class period.
In this bundle of five Listen & Learn activities, students will listen to a podcast (runtime for each episode is between 15 and 28 minutes) focused on a variety of high-interest topics designed to hold teens’ attention and facilitate critical thinking.
Each of the five easy-prep lessons in this download include:
• A list of suggested lesson procedures for the teacher (or just print and leave for a sub) with several links to use to access the podcast onlines. Lessons #1-4 allow users to download the program and keep it on their personal mp3 players, a great option if the internet isn’t always reliable in your classroom. Lesson #5 does NOT have a downloadable option, meaning the program must be accessed through the internet in a classroom or computer lab.
• A two-page handout with questions for students to answer both while they listen and after the program is finished.
• A two-page answer key to make grading easy and to provide talking points as you review answers with your students.
These lessons, designed for students in grades 9-12, will take between 30 and 45 minutes to complete or a bit longer if you review answers/allow students to debate some of the questions.
These full-class, stand-alone materials also work great as emergency plans for substitute teachers.
This bundle includes five products, all sold separately at my store. If you’d like to take a closer look at any of the specific lesson materials, just click on the links below. Regularly, each lesson is $1.99 (or $9.95 for all five); in this bundle, you’ll save nearly 20% by purchasing them altogether for just $7.99.
Want to take a closer look at individual lesson materials?
Click here for Listen & Learn #1
, the case of a tiger who lives at a Louisiana truck stop
Click here for Listen & Learn #2
, an adventure that follows a police officer diving deep into a tar pit
Click here for Listen & Learn #3
, a mystery involving fraud and a teenager’s identity theft
Click here for Listen & Learn #4
, the case of an 11-year-old boy who was the sole survivor of an airplane crash
Click here for Listen & Learn #5
, the story of a Muslim teen’s heartbreak when the parents of his white friend wouldn’t allow her to attend prom with him
Note: The language of the podcasts is clean, but the interviewee in Lesson #4 does use the word “screwed” once. As the plane is about to crash, he says, “When I saw the tree...I knew we were screwed. I mean, I knew we were going to crash into the trees.” The description of the crash site is not overly gruesome. To listen to the Lesson #4 podcast before purchasing, click here: https://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/unfictional/falling
Also, the language of Hasan Minhaj’s charming podcast in Lesson #5 is clean, but one curse word is bleeped out and he does say “Jesus” once in an exasperated voice. The story is appropriate for high school students, but you should listen to the podcast before purchasing to make sure the content is a good match for your classroom. Click here to listen to Minhaj’s story: https://themoth.org/stories/prom
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