Podcasts: The Nuts and Bolts of Creating Podcasts
About this printout
Use this helpful tool to integrate podcasts into your classroom or to help your students create their own podcasts with audio and images.
Teaching with this printout
Podcasts can be used across grade levels and content areas. This tool provides the nuts and bolts of creating a podcast, including links to video tutorials with thorough instructions and free software. Peruse the Extras section to access resources with free audio and images to use with your podcasts.
More ideas to try
- Have students create class podcasts of favorite books through the use of “book chats.” Younger students can complete these as a class or in small groups. Older students can create small-group or independent podcasts. Topics can vary. For example, students can discuss their favorite characters and how they changed throughout the story, or they can discuss elements such as plot, theme, and setting. Students can also create thumbs-up/thumbs-down book reviews by providing a thumbs-up or thumbs-down rating and stating reasons for their choice.
Visit the ReadWriteThink.org podcast page for great examples of “book chats.” In particular, listen to Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers and Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers.
- Have your middle and high school students create their own podcasts about persuasive messages they find in their favorite books, television shows, video games, and movies. Have students identify the persuasive message and describe what makes it persuasive (answers might include convincing ideas, well thought-out arguments, or strong opinions). You might also ask them to identify any propaganda techniques in use (such as assertions, bandwagon, card stacking, glittering generalities, lesser of two evils, name calling, pinpointing the enemy, plain folks, testimonials, and transfer). Have students critique these messages in their podcasts.
- Set up a class podOmatic site and have your students create podcasts about current events or classroom happenings so they can share with family and friends.
- Use podcast assignments across the curriculum. Podcasts can connect to:
- Writing: Have students create their own recipe podcasts or critiques of recipes they have tried. For ideas, view Spatulatta, which includes podcasts about creating recipes. You can also have students write biographies of significant figures in history, authors, or characters, or even their own autobiographies, to podcast.
- Reading: Have students create book review podcasts for a book the class just finished reading or individual book reports. For ideas, view Just One More Book!!, which includes example book reviews.
- Vocabulary: Have students create a podcast by crafting sentences using new vocabulary words they learn in content areas. Older students can listen to the podcasts at Just Vocabulary for examples. Younger students can listen to examples at Claymont Fourth Grade Podcasts Social Studies Vocabulary Words. Students can also create songs using vocabulary words. Have students listen to the Princeton Review Vocabulary Minute Podcasts for examples. The “junior” words are more suitable to younger students and the “senior” songs for middle and high school students.
- Science: Have students write a research report or brief narrative on a science topic you’re studying, then create podcasts about these concepts. Have them listen to the podcasts at Science Update for examples.
- Math: Have students create podcasts to help each other understand how to work through problems and concepts.
- Economics: Have older students listen to the podcast, You Can’t Always Get What You Want. This podcast is a short economics tip based on the Rolling Stones song by the same title. Have students take up the podcaster’s challenge to find a short clip from one of their favorite pop songs that deals with economics and base a message around that idea that they can then podcast. For more economics podcast ideas, visit Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education and scroll down the page to “Stavros Center on iTunesU.” Their podcasts are for multiple grade levels and include an economic concept, teaching tips, and activity ideas.
- Social studies: Have students create a podcast on an historical topic. Direct students to The Education Podcast Network: History for examples. Find many more social studies podcasts for the classroom on The Education Podcast Network.