I adore the radio show This American Life. The quality of writing on the show is exemplary, and the stories are engaging and relevant.
One such story is Squirrel Cop, the humorous tale of a policeman on one of his first days on the job. My PowerPoint includes questions through which I teach my students about author's purpose, text structure, point-of-view and allusion. In addition, this story can be used to review theme as well as simple cause and effect relationships while students learn about the value of mistakes.
The audio on the website lasts a bit over 14 minutes. I use the transcript provided on the This American Life website by printing it in Word so that the students can follow along as they listen. A link to the audio and the website are included in the powerpoint. This lesson will probably last 30 minutes. An answer key is provided in the notes box on each slide.
This is a great way to get your class laughing and enjoying a hilarious story. Caution- the policeman does use the word "ass" once in his story.