Students 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 online learning, 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 23 and 30 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 online. (PDF)
• A two-page handout with questions for students to answer both while they listen and after the program is finished. (PDF & Google Drive versions)
• A two-page answer key to make grading easy and to provide talking points as you review answers with your students. (PDF)
These lessons, designed for students in grades 9-12, will take between 40 and 50 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, and one bonus free lesson, also available in my shop as a separate free download. 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 $2.50 (or $12.50 for all five); in this bundle, you’ll save 20% by purchasing them altogether for just $9.99.
Want to take a closer look at individual lesson materials?
Click here for Listen & Learn #6, the case of Helen Duncan, a Scottish woman who claimed to be able to communicate with the dead during WWII and was one of the last people convicted of being a witch
Click here for Listen & Learn #7, a story of Avery Olearczyk, a 9-year-old girl who survived a shark attack, and information on research and prevention efforts
Click here for Listen & Learn #8, the memoir of a reluctant high school football player who hated being hit as told by comedian Gary Gulman
Click here for Listen & Learn #9, a quirky history lesson about the demise of Atari, a video game company that created what’s become known as quite possibly the world’s worst video game
Click here for Listen & Learn #10 (free bonus download), a retelling of the heroic actions of Robert Smalls, a man enslaved in South Carolina who took command of a Confederate ship during the Civil War to liberate himself and his family from their captors
Click here for Listen & Learn #11, the story of how Ryanne Jones’ teeth became a marker of poverty and the years she spent trying to overcome the prejudice her broken smile created
Note: The language of the podcasts is mostly clean, but the interviewee in Lesson #8 does say, “Fuck, yeah!” twice early in the episode as a tool of characterization to describe his enthusiastic assistant football coaches. 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 on this link to listen to the story, where you can access both an uncensored copy and a clean/bleeped version: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/676/heres-looking-at-you-kid. Also, the second half of the episode deals with issues surrounding childhood sexual abuse and repressed memories. I don’t use this “part 2” segment of the podcast at all; instead, I instruct my kids to stop listening at the 26-minute mark.
Also, the language of Ryanne Jones’ battle with her teeth in Lesson #11 is clean, but one job interviewer does incorrectly assume she uses methamphetamine. It is a minor element in her story, but I want to give teachers a heads-up about the mention of suspected drug use. The podcast is appropriate for high school students, but you may want to listen to the episode before purchasing. Click here to listen to Jones’ story: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/this-is-uncomfortable-reema-khrais/why-dont-you-fix-your-teeth/
Thanks for stopping by!
Cover image credit: Pixabay, Public domain