In today’s episode of The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast, you’re going to hear from the always creative Amanda from Engaging and Effective. She’s my first ever repeat guest, and if you missed our first conversation, you might want to go back and listen because it’s definitely one of the most popular episodes ever.
Episode 031: 3 Engaging Lessons (Murder Mysteries, SNL Clips and Ted Talks)
In this episode, we’re going to dive into all things podcast for the classroom: which podcasts she likes to use, how she helps students stay focused during listening periods, using QR codes to give students access to episodes, and a great creative activity you can use with the NPR show, How I Built This (so good!).
When you play a podcast for your students, what do you all DO so you’re not awkwardly staring at one another?
It’s nice to have a graphic organizer or guiding questions in front of your students as they listen.
Another option is to let them listen solo, giving them the QR code to begin playing when they are ready.
Finally, transcripts are another excellent option – NPR podcasts generally always have transcripts (and many other podcasts do too). This REALLY helps, especially if students miss something and want to be able to go back and figure out what was just said. Students can also annotate on the transcript if you print them out, which is a nice way to practice that skill.
I love your idea to let students listen through QR codes. Can you explain how you use podcasts to launch activities that do NOT involve the whole class listening together?
When students are absent and miss something involving media, it’s super helpful to just have the QR codes on the worksheets so they can easily find the media.
Using QR codes also gives you the option to let students listen individually to different episodes or listen with partners (one earbud per student!).
Sometimes Amanda uses time stamps with these individualized episodes. For example, there might be a question with the info that the answer appears between minutes two and five.
By using QR codes, you can also use brief audio clips to differentiate or as extension activities, since the students have everything they need to dive in independently, accessing the media and then knowing where to find things through the timestamp info you provide.
There’s a great podcast called 5 Minute History
that she once used for a digital breakout – using the QR code can also allow students to access media in the middle of an escape room if you’re looking for more options when designing a digital breakout or physical escape room (check out episode 17
if you want to learn more about escape rooms).
HOW TO PUT A QR CODE ON A WORKSHEET:
Use “QR Code Generator
” and plug in the link, then hit the button, download the QR code, find the download in your download files, and then drag it onto your handout either in Google Docs, Powerpoint, or whatever you use to create your handouts.
Most phones don’t even require a special QR code reader, students can just focus a phone or iPad camera over the QR code and it picks up the QR code link.
What are three of your favorite podcasts to share with students?
It’s impossible to limit the list to just three!
David Sedaris (hilarious AND clean) is great for the holidays.
: a whole town has disappeared, and they’re trying to figure out what happened
: three teenagers were bored and wanted to investigate a local urban legend
How/when do you incorporate these podcasts?
As a spinoff of First Chapter Fridays, Amanda has been experimenting with podcast Fridays.
She can either teach a short mini-lesson related to the content of the show (irony, characterization, etc.), or use the listening to inspire students to listen further on their own.
Next she’s thinking about having students listen to short pieces of podcasts during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo – November) and using the podcast clips to help them brainstorm writing ideas of their own.
I really like what you write about the NPR podcast How I Built this, with Guy Raz, on your blog. This is also one of my favorite podcasts, and I think it has the potential to be so meaningful to students who are trying to figure out what their role in the world will be. Can you share the way you teach it and guide students toward a personal appreciation of it?
Amanda’s favorite episode features Troy Carter
, Lady Gaga’s former manager. It shows soooooo many setbacks. So many of the episodes do! Carter just keeps getting back up onto his feet and finding another artist to manage after getting fired.
Not a bad example to set for students about growth mindset.
This episode is both inspiring for the students and connected to their interests.
There is such a consistent theme amongst How I Built This episodes of guests who just LOVED what they were doing and then managed to build a vast business empire around what they loved after many many setbacks. Students can choose from a huge variety of types of businesses, based on their interests.
Amanda generally has students choose an episode, then do a one-pager or guided sketch notes about the episode they choose.
They talk together about ways of putting the arc of the episode onto the paper visually and brainstorm ideas. Eventually what they create is almost like an infographic of the guest’s life, including certain basics that almost every episode contains.
Once everyone has finished, they put all the work up on the walls and gallery walk to learn more about all the other guests/businesses/episodes.
Do you think students are more likely to seek out podcasts of their own after going through your class? Do they ever talk to you about their own discoveries?
Go check out Amanda’s fabulous blog! You might want to start with three of her posts that relate to this interview, and then explore from there.