How to Listen to Podcasts in the Classroom

Podcasts can be used in the classroom for a variety of purposes. They are great for practicing listening skills, listening to stories, building a classroom community, and reinforcing academic content, among many others.

What is a Podcast?

Have you ever heard older family members tell you about listening to shows or stories on the radio? Think of a podcast like that, but better! A podcast is a digital audio recording, usually involving talk and/or music, that can be streamed over the internet or downloaded for later use. They are accessible nearly anywhere and cover a wide range of topics for all ages.

This article will help you find where and how to access podcasts for your classroom. As always, please be reminded that any content you share in your classroom should be previewed in its entirety before it is shared with students. 

What Technology Do I Need?

Before we take a look at some of the most popular podcast websites and apps, let’s take a moment to consider the technology you will need in order to share a podcast with your students. 

Required Technology:

  1. Either a computer, tablet or cellphone from which to stream the podcast (either via an app or the web). 
  2. An internet connection (wired, or Wi-Fi) or, you will need to have the podcast downloaded prior to class (I recommend downloading before class). 
  3. Speakers. These can be either directly wired to your device, or using Bluetooth. 
  4. Headphones. Consider a set, or sets, of headphones in the event that you want students to have the opportunity to listen to the podcast as an independent activity. 

How To Access Podcasts

Teachers can access podcasts via websites, Apple apps, and Android apps. 

Websites As mentioned above, if a podcast is available on a website, it is most likely also available on either an Apple or Android app or both. Many of these have free options, but others may require memberships for additional content or perks (such as no ads). This is not an exhaustive list. Additional options can be found via an internet search. Especially helpful is searching for key terms such as, “podcasts for kids” or “podcasts for the [elementary, secondary] classroom”.

  1. TuneIn
  2. Stitcher
  3. Spotify
  4. Google Podcasts
  5. Amazon Music
  6. Audible
  7. Brains On 
  8. Tumble Science Podcast for Kids
  9. Short and Curly
  10. Wow in the World

Apple Apps If you need assistance with finding or using the Apple App Store on your Apple device, please visit the following website.

  1. Castro Podcast Player
  2. Overcast
  3. The Podcast App
  4. PodCruncher Podcast Player
  5. Apple Podcasts

Android AppsIf you need assistance with finding or using the Google Play Store on your Android device, please visit this website.

  1. Google Podcasts
  2. Podcast Addict
  3. Podcast Guru
  4. Podcast Republic
  5. AntennaPod

Fiction Podcast Suggestions

  1. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
  2. Six Minutes
  3. Remy’s Life…Interrupted
  4. Becoming Mother Earth

Non-Fiction Podcast Suggestions

  1.  Tectonic Plates/Continent Formation
  2.  What Would Earth Be Life if Volcanoes Didn’t Exist
  3. Smash Boom Best
  4. Brains On 
  5. Tumble Science Podcast for Kids
  6. Short and Curly
  7. Wow in the World

Using Podcasts in the Classroom

Mars Patel Unit

Use podcasts in your classroom with this complete Mars Patel Unit.

Mars Patel Podcast Listening Comprehension Unit comes in both a PDF and digital format to be used in the classroom or through online learning.

Use this engaging podcast to keep students engaged while learning about literary elements, literary devices and practising their reading comprehension skills.

Unit Outline:

  1. Podcast Non-Fiction Article & Comprehension Questions (contains regular & modified text, audio file)
  2. Making Predictions Graphic Organizers
  3. Mars Patel Sketching Sheets Graphic Organizers
  4. Mars Patel Podcast Episodes #1 – 10 Comprehension Questions (PDF, Editable and Self-Marking Google Forms versions)
  5. Podcast Reading Strategies Graphic Organizers
  6. Literary Elements Lessons and Graphic Organizers
  7. Mars Patel Unit Test (PDF, Editable and Self-Marking Google Forms versions)
  8. Create Your Own Podcast Project

Buy this unit here to use podcasts in middle school today!

Six Minutes Podcast Bundle

This Six Minutes Podcast Bundle comes in both a PDF and digital format to be used in the classroom or through online learning.

Six Minutes Podcast Bundle: This 205 episode podcast will keep your students engaged in your class. This bundle is perfect for any middle school ELA classroom to be used as bell work, listening comprehension practise or as nightly homework. Teachers will get access to a non-fiction article about podcasts, 205 quizzes, 205 journal entry prompts and a podcast choice board summative task.

Resource Includes:

  1. Podcast Non-Fiction (modified and regular levels, mp3 recordings, comprehension questions and writing response prompts)
  2. 205 Quizzes (PDF or Google Forms™) and 205 Journal Prompts (PDF or Google Slides™)
  3. Summative Task: Podcast Choice Board (8 choices – 2 per Reading, Writing, Speaking and Media columns + a modified option)

Other Media Lessons

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