In getting ready to help a teacher develop Social Studies podcasts, I’ve listened to many student podcasts.
I’ve heard factual reports (the history of ….), role playing/dramatic reenactments such as the tax act, etc.
In none of them did I hear the education reason for the podcast. Students jump right into the topic. It seems that facts are the most important thing in students’ podcasts. However, state benchmarks require higher level thinking about the standards. They require compare and contrast, inference level thinking.
So how can we transform podcasts from reporting of facts to be higher level? Let’s use Social Studies with the topic of the US American Revolution:
Instead of focusing just on the American Revolution, students can focus on the general causes for a revolution and then give world wide examples of revolutions. (NYS Standard 2: examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives)
They explain the critical vocabulary used to describe revolutions and give examples of these words or phrases from multiple revolutions.
Students compare the various “wars” that have taken place on USA soil as to the purpose of each side, how the wars were fought, and how each war reshaped the USA.
Those podcasts directly focus on a standard and involve higher level thinking. Please share the podcasts that your students have done that are standards-based and higher level thinking based.
© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007