Using podcasts in the classroom has many benefits. I have outlined 9 different ways teachers can use podcasts in their classrooms.
Bell Work/Warm-Up Activity
Some podcasts like the Six Minute podcast are short and are perfect for a bell work activity that can be completed both in person and in virtual school settings. Use short podcasts to focus on listening comprehension skills. This Six Minute podcast bundle contains 205 different self-marking listening comprehension quizzes to make planning bell work easier.
Teachers often use the choice board format to give students more ownership of their learning. Why not provide students with the option to create their own podcasts? Students can make a podcast as a character from a novel or explain a content-area subject lesson in this engaging format. This Podcast Creation Assignment outlines all the steps students can take to create their own podcast.
Students love station activities because it allows them to move during the class period and regularly change activities. When creating station activities look for any podcasts that reinforce the concepts you are teaching through your station. There are great non-fiction and literary-based podcasts that be used to supplement your teaching content.
Podcasts can be used to supplement current lesson material. Each student processes information in different ways – some students prefer visual content while others enjoy audio content. By switching up the media source of your content all students benefit. This non-fiction article all about podcasts will help introduce your students to this media type if you want to use it in your classroom.
When working on argumentative/persuasive writing I want students to experience a variety of mentor texts. I found a podcast where the hosts debate on who is the GOAT (greatest of all time) in basketball – Lebron James or Michael Jordan. This is a real-world example of argumentative/persuasive writing. Students see a purpose for the skill they are learning.
In Lieu of Novels
With school budgets declining, teachers are left scrambling to supplement the resource gaps that exist in their schools. I have always had to buy the novels I want to use with my classes. Sometimes schools have novel sets, but often they are old and outdated novels that would not hold the interest of 21-century readers. Season 1 of the Mars Patel narrative podcast is a perfect resource to teach the elements of a novel. Each episode is about 20-30 minutes and is packed with action and adventure. Teachers can review the elements of plot, character, setting, theme and conflict without having to go out and purchase a set of novels. Note: Season 1 is free, but Seasons 2 and 3 are for purchase. I personally bought the CD set of this 3 season podcast series to support the production, but it was way cheaper than buying a novel set. I have created a complete Mars Patel bundle for all 3 seasons and a digital escape room for students to complete once they have finished the series.
Fast Finisher Work
Non-fiction podcasts are a great fast finisher activity for students to complete. Check out the suggestions below for middle school non-fiction podcasts.
- Tectonic Plates/Continent Formation
- What Would Earth Be Life if Volcanoes Didn’t Exist
- Smash Boom Best
- Brains On
- Tumble Science Podcast for Kids
- Short and Curly
- Wow in the World
Indoor Recess Idea
Listening to podcasts is a great quiet indoor recess (due to inclement weather) activity. Every school has their own indoor recess policies – some schools allow students to play games and socialize whereas other schools might want students seating taking part in an activity. Looking for more indoor recess ideas? Click here.
Podcasts are also a great activity to leave for substitute teachers. They require very little teacher prep. Check out these free sample podcast sub-plans.
Now that you have learned some of the different ways to use podcasts in the classroom, read this article if you are not familiar with how to listen to podcasts in the classroom.
Podcast Lessons Your Students Will Love