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 my 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 30-minute podcast on the case of Helen Duncan, a Scotish woman who claimed to be able to communicate with the dead during WWII. This high-quality podcast presents the interesting life and legal case of Duncan, one of the last people convinced under the Witchcraft Act of 1735, and allows the listeners (our students) to draw their own conclusions about the value of “psychic” abilities.
This lesson was designed to work as a stand-alone lesson, but it will also make a great non-fiction supplement to a study of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible.
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 the answer 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.
If you want more podcast-based Listen & Learn lessons, be sure to check out this bundle of five print-and-teach lessons
. Note: This lesson, Listen & Learn #6, is NOT included in the five lesson bundle.
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Cover image used with permission: Marcus Quigmire, Flickr, CCBY-SA2.0.