Students (and adults!) often have their ears plugged with earbud headphones everywhere they go- from they gym, to the morning commute and even as they drift off to sleep. More often than not they’re listening to music but quickly podcasts and audio books have gained in popularity. Podcasts are an engaging way to hear a story, learn facts and Apple recently shared that 1 billion podcast subscriptions have been created by Apple users alone. Podcasts can tell captivating stories that can help students focus in on ideas and allow them to access content that may be out of their reading level. This allows all students to participate in class discussions and build background information on topics.
Songs, audio books, and sound effects are other audio types that educators can access. Common Core and State Standards often focus on listening skills, by using audio files educators can motivate address education requirements, promote listening and improve comprehension skills.
Discovery Education subscribers have access to a number of types of audio files- podcasts, songs, sound effects and audio books.
The collection includes some popular podcasts: Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, How Stuff Works and Distillations from the Chemical Heritage Foundation. While these collections of podcasts are primarily used in middle school and high school classrooms, there are resources for elementary classrooms as well. Educators in K-5 classrooms can access audio books from Weston Woods, Scholastic and other publishers.
All audio files within Discovery Education have been organized by grade and subject area and are searchable by keywords. First search for a keyword then narrow your media type to Audio> Audio File. Be sure to explore audio files available in various languages, too.
Below is a list of ways to use Podcasts & other audio files available in Discovery Education and be sure to share your favorite way to use audio files in your classroom in the comments section, below!
Stuff You Should Know: Podcast series providing informational conversations between Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark. They explore the history, facts, misconceptions and opinions about a variety of topics- primarily science based but also relevant for social studies and health classrooms. These podcasts allow students to dive in and learn more about a topic they’re interested in. Students could do additional research on the topic and then share back with the class.
Stuff You Missed in History Class: Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey team up for conversations about the greatest and strangest things that you missed in history class. The stories are an engaging way for students to learn the untold stories that add details, perspective and depth to the historical time periods they’re studying. These episodes can also be a great way for students to connect historical events to present day issues.
Weston Woods Audio Books: A variety of K-5 titles allow students access to stories that may be out of their reading level. These resources model strong reading fluency, set the tone and allow students to explore the tone and mood of a story without struggling through difficult words. Audio files are great for using in stations- you might ask your students to illustrate a scene from the story or pause part way through and ask them to write the ending.
Be sure to explore the SOS resources that use audio files!