Podcasts are an engaging way to expose students to topics, non-fiction, and current events. State standards often focus on improving student listening skills and podcasts are an effective way to meet these standards. If you are looking for podcasts to use in your classroom you should check out the education focused podcast website Listenwise, NPR’s Hidden Brain Podcast, and Radiolab for Kids. Once students become familiar with different types of podcasts they can begin to create their own. Here are some podcasting project ideas you can use in the classroom.

Most Interesting Ideas from Your Research

Betsy Potash at Spark Creativity provides an example of how students can utilize the most interesting facts about a topic into a podcast:

3 Try a Research Podcast

Doing a research paper? Dreading it a little bit? It can be hard to spark student enthusiasm for research papers, but research really is so fascinating. They can learn about ANYTHING they’re interested in! Try changing up the format to help hook them on the positives of research. Instead of writing a long paper, challenge them to find the most interesting stories and facts from their sources and boil it all down into one action-packed podcast episode (or miniseries).

Quiz Show About a Topic

Recently, I completed Level 1 of the Soundtrap Certified Educator course. One of the suggested projects in the course is for students to create quiz show podcast about a topic. Students can research a topic and create quiz questions then quiz a partner or a group of students and record it as a podcast. It reminded me of an audio version News 12 On the Spot.

Use Sound Effects to Engage Listeners

Taylor Haun discusses how to bring a story to life for listeners using samples and sound effects.

Audio recording and podcasting allow any creative writing project to come to life. Students can add another dimension to their stories when they use creative audio. Classes can then share the new-and-improved stories in a podcast! Here’s what to do:

  1. Write a short story.
  2. Record your voice as you narrate the story (this is your “voiceover”).
  3. Find samples and loops that fit your story.
  4. Place the samples and loops in order underneath your voiceover.
  5. Put the finishing touches on your story/song.
  6. Export from your audio editing program (Soundtrap works great!).
  7. Share your story via podcast or social media!

This project can be as simple as just adding one musical loop for the whole story. For older students, stories can include music that changes with the arc of the story, sound effects that accentuate story elements, like a creaky door sound for a haunted house story. The sky’s the limit, this is the perfect opportunity to let the students’ creativity develop.