Serial Podcast Season One Unit Plan, Activities, and Literary Nonfiction Study

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Resource Type
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Serial Podcast Season One by Sarah Koenig is a fantastic way to teach literary nonfiction, rhetoric, and bias using real-world examples. This podcast is so engaging that even your most reluctant students will be enthralled with the true crime content! This Serial unit plan will provide you with literary nonfiction activities that help students analyze the production of the podcast, discuss bias from multiple angles, examine rhetoric from a real-world perspective, and so much more. All of these Serial podcast activities are standards-based and designed to teach listening as literacy.

You will get:

⭐6 Introduction Stations (2 of these stations also tie into episode 1)

⭐5-page lesson on how to compare Fiction, Nonfiction and Literary Nonfiction (episode 2)

⭐Irony and mood activity (episode 3)

⭐Socratic seminar preparedness Guide with examples (episodes 4, 7, 12)

⭐Google mapping activity to reinforce close listening skills (episode 5)

⭐Building a crime board with evidence (episode 6)

⭐Case comparison, informational text, and quiz option (episode 7)

⭐Rhetorical appeals (episode 8)
⭐Author choice and bias (episode 8)

⭐Direct and indirect characterization (episodes 8 and 9)

⭐Injustice, word Choice, and persuasion (episode 10)

⭐Real-world evaluation skills foldable (episode 11)

⭐Serial group project

⭐Coloring templates for coloring and listening
⭐ Editable serial podcast rational
⭐Sample standards alignment
⭐Extremely detailed teacher notes and pacing guide

⭐50 question editable test that is arranged by episodes so that you can you can break them into quizzes if desired (You can also use the Google Form test included that is self-grading.)

⭐Answer Keys or examples for all (except for a select few assignments that are opinion-based)

✍Download the preview for an overview!

✅All of these lessons are designed to be regular, printed resources, but they can also be used as digital resources if you are in a 1:1 classroom! Whether you are 1:1 now or in the future, this has you covered!

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⚠️******Please note***** I highly recommend listening to this podcast before deciding to use it in your classroom setting. You can find a clean version of episode 1 (I've included the link), but you will need to use your own judgment on the rest. I have included a page that tells you the passages that you might want to mute while listening in class. Personally, I feel that the quality of content and ability to engage students outweighs any of the concerns I had about using this with my high school students.


Serial Podcast Test

Serial Podcast Activities

Serial Podcast Unit plan

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


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