Radiolab Podcast Lesson: Discussion, Persuasive Writing, and Active Listening

Grade Levels
10th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
20 pages
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Allow your students to develop active listening skills while analyzing the effects of a controversial law. Students will listen, analyze, question, and discuss the ideas presented in this compelling 1-hour podcast (which you can break up into more than one class period). If you are looking for a meaningful way for your students to develop and deepen multiple skills, RadioLab podcasts are perfect.

What The Podcast Is About:

This riveting podcast depicts the story of a specific incident where EMS workers were called to help in the case of a drug overdose. The podcast details the stories of the EMS workers who responded and the people who made the call. "The Good Samaritan" Law is explained and examined using a real-life story.

Lesson Overview:

This lesson plan can be completed in a 2-4 day time period.

While your students listen, they will summarize and paraphrase key aspects of the episode. Then, they'll make text-to-text, text-to-world, and text-to-self connections based on the episode which will allow them to participate in a class discussion about the issues raised in the episode.

Last, students will write a short persuasive piece about whether or not the law should exist.

What You Get:

  • Two options of how to do this lesson. One is more student-led and one is more teacher-guided. Detailed step-by-step lesson plans for both!
  • Eye-catching, clear, listening guide for the podcast episode (2 different handouts to choose from depending on which lesson you choose to use)
  • A meaningful writing prompt to follow-up class discussion
  • An option to make your own customizable handout with the template provided
  • All handouts have digital and printable options
  • A complete no-prep lesson that will engage your learners!

How This Lesson Engages Your Learners:

  • Radiolab is expertly produced; it uses storytelling techniques to engage your listeners the entire time
  • The subject matter is timely and important which resonates with students
  • The real-world application allows students to "get" the point of the lesson
  • The listening handout helps focus students without making them overwhelmed with too many questions

For Whom This Lesson Is Suited:

This lesson is intended for mature 9th graders through 12th graders. It would also work great with homeschoolers.

Mature Content

  • This episode discusses a car accident with fatalities and it discusses drug use and its effects. It does not in any way condone drug use.
  • You may want to listen to the episode before purchasing this lesson to be sure that it is appropriate for your school.

This 3 day lesson engages your learners the entire time by delving into a real-world topic!

Other Podcast Lessons You Might Like:

Imagined Life Podcast

Scattered Podcast

Total Pages
20 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.


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