As I was scrolling through Twitter, looking for inspiration and connecting new information to my own classroom I came across this article from Mind/Shift about students Podcasting as their final assessment. Podcasting has been something I have been interested in but because of time mostly, I have not had the opportunity to fully explore this. That being said, after reading this article, I started to think about my final Unit of the year for my 8th grade New Testament class and how I could integrate this into my classroom.
This post is going to be about the process I took to scaffold the assignment so my students are ready and able to understand podcasting, how to approach it, and the narrative that inspires the final product.
Understanding what a Podcast is...
The first big challenge that I had in starting this project was trying to figure out how to communicate what a podcast is to my students. Of my 92 current 8th graders only about 10% knew what a podcast was. My first step was for the students who were familiar with podcasts to share what they listened to and why. Because my classroom is completely project based, I explained that students would be telling a story without using video... this opened some student's eyes, but then others just got more confused.
To give the students some experience I shared a part of a TED podcast about courage. The purpose was for students to hear the content (which was great) but also to hear the structure of the podcast.
Starting Out--Establishing the Narrative
The projected ended up being planned as a unit long project. In order to do this I had to set a narrative that the students would come into at each class. This was easy since we were covering the final week of Jesus life.
The narrative was this:
You all are investigative reporters, coming to Jerusalem because there has been rumours of a man that has been challenging the governmental authority through his own teaching. You and your news team will be given a report each day from the secretary of the press (teacher). This will be your primary source of information for you to create your podcast from. It is your responsibility to Retell, Investigate and Analyze each day's events.
Students were the given the option to self create groups or have teacher created groups. They established their newsteam name, and we began our reporting (which I will share about in the next blog).
I provided the students with both a Notes Template and a Script Template (feel free to click on the links to make a copy of the google doc). The reason for this was to give the students an organized space to take notes and to create their scripts. Have a look below. I will go over the project details in my next post.
Taylor currently serves as a Coordinator of Innovative Learning for a mid-sized school district in Texas. He is a speaker, writer, and coach for all who are in conflict with the status quo.