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 Listen & Learn activity, students will listen to a 28-minute podcast focused on the case of an 11-year-old boy who was the sole survivor of an airplane crash near Los Angeles. The story focuses on his grit and determination to survive, as well as the complex relationship he had with his adventure-seeking father. (Note: The language of the podcast is clean, but the interviewee 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 and is appropriate for advanced middle school and high school students. To listen to the podcast before purchasing these lesson materials, click here
The easy prep lesson materials 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 online. Several of these sites also 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.
• 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
This lesson, designed for students in grades 8-12, will take about 45 minutes to complete or a bit longer if you review answers/allow students to debate some of the questions.
Want another podcast-based listening skills lesson? Click the links below to find more high-interest topics, including:
Listen & Learn #1
, the case of a tiger who lives at a Louisiana truck stop
Listen & Learn #2
, an adventure that follows a police officer diving deep into a tar pit
Listen & Learn #3
, a mystery involving fraud and a teenager’s identity theft
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
Want all five of these Listen & Learn lessons at a steep discount? Click here to grab the Listen & Learn 5-Pack and save nearly 20% off the cost of purchasing each item individually.
Need more print-and-teach materials on modern, high-interest topics? Be sure to check out this bundle of non-fiction lessons.
NOTE: This item is included in my English 9-10 full-year curriculum
. If you already own the full-year download, please do not purchase this item here individually. If you’d like to receive this item plus everything else needed to teach 180 days of English 9 or English 10 at a deeply discounted price, click here to learn more about the full-year curriculum download.
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Cover image used with permission: Marcus Quigmire, Flickr, CCBY-SA2.0.