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 15-minute podcast focused on 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 Hasan Minhaj’s charming podcast 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 these lesson materials 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
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. A downloadable version of the program is NOT available, so you’ll need internet access in your classroom or computer lab to access the podcast.
• 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 9-12, will take about 35 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 #4
, a story of an 11-year-old boy who was the sole survivor of an airplane crash
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 text-based lessons.
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Cover images used with permission:
Marcus Quigmire, Flickr, CCBY-SA2.0
Roman Boed, Flickr, CCBY20