Dana's TL Podcast Party .pdf
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https://youthradio.org/news/article/shouldnt-presidential-candidates-act-less-like-highschoolers-2/ - Youth Radio commentary written by a high school student. This example is
only a couple minutes long. It takes a topic that might not be immediately interesting or
accessible to everyone (politics) and tackles it through the lens of a personal story.
https://youthradio.org/news/article/no-room-to-be-a-kid-in-oakland/ - Another Youth
Radio example. This is a good example of writing about what you know (your
neighborhood and your experiences) and making a broader connection to the
https://youthradio.org/news/article/what-its-like-to-be-the-muslim-black-girl/ - YR again.
Similar to the previous example, it models writing about one’s own experiences and
opening with an engaging hook.
http://www.npr.org/2015/07/03/419490927/burning-water (6:00-12:13 min.) - I’m not
sure about this example for middle school students because it may be a little bit
complicated/long (it also uses the word ass at one point). However, it is an excellent
example of weaving together a personal story (with suspense, character development,
sensory details) as well as an important moment of discovery, and a commentary of
social justice issues. Big questions for students to answer could be: What happens in the
story? How is this way of the telling the story different from saying “One hot summer
day I took my nephew to a waterpark in the California desert and we went down this
huge scary slide?” Do you think there is a moment where the speaker realizes something
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/01/29/alex-blumberg/ (3:07-7:30 min.) - This is a
snippet of a master class taught by Alex Blumberg about how to build suspense and keep
your listener engaged. There is nothing particularly dramatic or high stakes about the
story but because it builds suspense, you want to know what happens next.
https://gimletmedia.com/episode/1-mold/ (first 8 mins or so) One host tries to convince
his co-host that the story of mold is surprisingly awesome. He turns a seemingly boring
subject into a compelling narrative. It’s a long clip, so we would probably need to
contextualize a smaller snippet instead.
For each statement, students can circle 4 (strongly agree), 3 (agree), 2 (disagree), 1
(strongly disagree.) Can leave space at the bottom of the rubric, or after each statement
for students to add comments/suggestions.
- The story was organized and easy for me to follow.
- I wanted to know what would happen next.
- I can identify a turning point in the story, where something shifts for a character, or
where the speaker realizes something new.
- This story had vivid details that I could picture in my head.
- I could relate to some part of this story.
- The speaker talked slowly so I could follow along.
- The speaker paused to emphasize certain parts of the story and to give the listener time
- The speaker enunciated, or spoke each word very clearly, so I could understand every
- The speaker’s tone of voice changed as the story changed (for example, the voice was
sadder or slower during some parts of the story, or more excited during others.)
30-minute Lesson Plan:
Opening questions (5 mins): What do you think a podcast is/What do you know about
podcasts? How is it different from reading a story in a book? What are some kinds of
stories that might be told out loud? How do you think stories told out loud have to be
different to hold your attention? (Jot down student ideas on board.)
Key ideas: A podcast is a story told out loud. You don’t have the text in front of you, so
the story has to really hold your attention. More intimate than reading, because it is a
person’s voice speaking directly to you. Aloud stories examples: news stories on TV, a
friend telling you a story, a presentation in school, etc.
Listen to example as a class (10 mins). It can be hard to focus and follow along, so we are
a going to jot some notes down to help us. While you listen, write down what you like,
what is interesting to you/holds your attention. What can you relate to? If you feel your
mind wandering at any point, try to notice that and write down when it happens and why.
https://youthradio.org/news/article/shouldnt-presidential-candidates-act-less-like-highschoolers-2/ - written and read by a high school student in Atlanta, Georgia. After
students listen and take notes, ask them to discuss with a partner what they thought of the
story, what stood out to them, what they liked, etc. Then call on volunteers to share with
the class. Go over what students found exciting/engaging, what actually happened in the
story, what was the theme. If you were bored, what could have made the story more
exciting to you?
7 mins -> From there, zero in on more specific elements of the story. Hand out printed
transcript of the story, read it out loud.
In the story, was there: A moment of discovery? Character development? A hook that
draws you in immediately? Theme? Suspense? Imagery? As students identify elements of
the podcast, write them on the board.
8 mins -> To do as a class or individually: try to identify specific sentences where these
elements of the podcast are made very clear. Hand out colored pencils or use colored
markers on the board. Use a different color for each different element that students feel is
strongly demonstrated in the story. In which sentence is the theme clear to you? Which
sentence represents a moment of discovery? Which sentence tells us a lot about one of
the characters (Chase or the student he was running against)?