As a foundational skill of ELA, listening is something that students find themselves doing daily, but are they truly honing the skill or just going through the motions? When students tune into podcasts of any subject area, they are given an opportunity to fine-tune their listening skills. Students can engage with podcasts by extrapolating information, following and analyzing a storyline, discovering multiple perspectives, and delving into the nuances of audible sharing of stories and information.
The wide variety of podcasts out there allows students to pinpoint some topical favorites for a personalized list, and teachers can add some titles to the list of resources for working on a variety of skills. When it comes to finding great fits for the ELA classroom, there are lots of options that offer single stories, running series, writing tips, language study, and more. This collection offers a smattering of each of these and will have students ready to tune in for their listening enjoyment with a healthy dose of learning tossed into the mix.
Storynory– Fairy tales, poems, myths, adventures, and more can all be found in this long-running podcast. This is a great find for a recurring listen, and the subject matter of the episodes really runs the gamut. A quick search on the Storynory website can pull up lots of possibilities for finding a fit for nearly any unit or curriculum. The transcript of each episode is also available if any closer reading is needed.
Story Pirates– Spur an interest in writing by having students tune into this podcast that takes kids’ stories and transforms them into audible episodes with actors, comedians, improvisers, and musicians at the helm. Each episode is a quirky combination of a variety of audio delights. From catchy tunes, dramatic depictions, author interviews, and more, this is a very entertaining find where student work takes center stage. Students can even submit their own original tales to possibly be selected for the show!
Imaginary Worlds– Hello, Science Fiction and Fantasy Lovers, this podcast is for you or anyone else interested in or studying these genres. Imaginary Worlds is a bi-weekly podcast where host Eric Molinsky delves into how sci-fi and fantasy worlds are created and why we suspend our beliefs to enter them. Zombies, vampires, hobbits, and superheroes are just a few of the topics covered. The archived episodes are sure to offer more than a few options that will shed some new ideas on sci-fi/fantasy study.
Saturday Morning Theater– The Tales of Deputy Guppy unfold in these entertaining podcasts. Students are able to enjoy an ongoing story of an episodic nature. The use of a variety of sound effects brings an added element to these well-scripted pieces. Character development can be studied with the continual storyline aspect. With the short episodes, this would be a wonderful audio tool for teaching plot development at any grade level. A fun kid-friendly find that would be perfect to share with families. Another great find from Saturday Morning Media is Galactic Word Patrol, which offers short YouTube episodes introducing kindergarten High Frequency Words with journal links for additional study included.
Classic Poetry Aloud– While new episodes are not currently being added, the archived selection is expansive. Over 600 episodes can be perused for finding the perfect recitation of poetry. The archives can be searched by poet or theme. Listening to poetry offers students another window to discovering the beauty and meaning behind the verses. A great way to start each class or add a deeper layer to poetry study.
NWP Radio– This teacher-centered podcast is a bi-weekly resource created by the National Writing Project. There are over 200 episodes that cover a wide range of topics related to NWP and simply writing in general. There are episodes about digital citizenship, poetry, partnerships with a variety of organizations, and just an overall great way to get some tips and engaging ideas for working with writers of any age.
The Allusionist– This ELA Lover’s dream is all about language. The bi-weekly podcasts are a perfect way to get students thinking about words and language in unique ways. Each episode is roughly 20 minutes and gives new life to language study. Transcripts and links to additional information and materials can be found by visiting The Allusionist website when an interest is sparked that needs some additional discovery.
As with any resources, it’s how teachers utilize them that makes the difference. Podcasts and ELA go hand-in-hand with the ability to sharpen listening skills while engaging students with high-interest content. In our ELA Edition of Engaging Podcasts for Tuning Students into Learning, many facets of the curriculum come to audible life. In the classroom, at home, or on the go, podcasts offer an easily accessible and entertaining way to enhance learning.