As mentioned by The Wall Street Journal
and featured by Slate.com
, our lesson plans for Serial continue to be very popular. This particular unit is 35 pages (4 full lessons, plus a quiz) of teacher guides and printable student worksheets covering the sixth episode of Season 2 (“5 O'Clock Shadow”). The entire unit can take about 3 days to complete; however, each exercise stands alone, and can be used independently.
What's terrific about studying Serial is that it engages students in a contemporary story that is actually more conducive to teaching the standards than a classic novel. Students get to practice their reading, listening and critical thinking skills. This unit is easy to use in a straightforward way right now, or it can be used as a jumping-off point for bigger projects, like creating a class podcast or doing a larger research project on a contemporary news story.
Each exercise begins with a description of how the exercise aligns to common core ELA standards in reading, writing, language, and listening and speaking, making for easy justification of a Serial unit to administration. The packet includes an extensive list of vocabulary words (including military terms relevant to the story), engaging writing prompts, an extensive lesson on connotation, and more. It also features a thorough breakdown of the entire episode that includes specific timestamps for each section, a feature that isn’t (at this point) available anywhere else.
In short, just the timestamps and vocabulary words alone will save you hours in preparation. The kids will love the story, and you’ll love the standards-based lessons.
Serial is appropriate for high school aged (9th - 12th grade) students and up. There is some sensitive language in this episode however, so I've included a guide to navigating it (with exact times) in case you want to avoid those sections altogether.
We (Mike and Melissa) are happy to share these lessons with you, and ask that if you enjoy them to please rate them here, and tell others what you think. We appreciate your support, and would love to hear your feedback. You can find us on Twitter at @TheMrGodsey
, and on the web at www.mrgodsey.com
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by Michael Godsey
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License