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Lesson Plan

Audio Listening Practices: Exploring Personal Experiences with Audio Texts

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Audio Listening Practices: Exploring Personal Experiences with Audio Texts

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






Radios, CD players, and other audio players

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ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Useful for a wide variety of reading and writing activities, this outlining tool allows students to organize up to five levels of information.


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  • Schedule the first session of this lesson plan so that students have a week to record their diaries before you move to Session Two. This week of research time will allow them to compile the data that they will analyze in the later sessions. Either continue with another unit in the intervening week, or see the suggestions below to choose texts that will connect to students’ audio research project.

  • If possible, arrange to play a radio broadcast at the beginning of the first session. If live radio is not an option, an archived broadcast would also be appropriate. You might play radio broadcasts, as desired, throughout the class sessions.

  • This lesson uses Arbitron radio ratings as part of the readings. You might look also at tracking and statistical information on podcast and music download sites; however, the radio ratings provide the best footprint for student comparisons. Additionally, they can lead to great conversations about how digital audio options change radio listening trends.

  • Review the Arbitron reports that are available. You can choose any of the free reports that meet the needs and interests of your students. This lesson focuses on the How Kids and Tweens Use and Respond to Radio report, which focuses on slightly younger students, but does include some data on listening practices of children up to age 18 years. Students will likely remember their own listening practices from their elementary and middle school days. Some will have younger siblings or other family members whose experiences they can think of as they review the Arbitron report.

  • For additional essays and materials on sound broadcasts prior to teaching this lesson, visit Adventures in Cybersound, which explores audio broadcasts on the Internet.

  • Make copies or overhead transparencies of the Listening Survey, Listening Diary, Example Listening Diary, Research Implications of My Diary, Listening Findings Peer Review Form, and Listening Findings Rubric.

  • Test the ReadWriteThink Notetaker on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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