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Speaking Our Truths: Podcasts as Relevant Research


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Keywords: podcast, research, writing
Subject(s): English/Language Arts
Grades 10 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Discovery High School, Lawrenceville, GA
Planned By: Michelle Golden
Original Author: Michelle Golden, Lawrenceville

You’re going to be creating an informational podcast-- it’s like a research paper that you record! You will be investigating something that is interesting to you and using your own experiences, research, and interviews to answer a central research question. Be sure that your purpose is to inform, not persuade.
***Choose something that you’re interested in!***

Your research question should guide your podcast (it’s like a thesis statement in question form). Some sample research questions include:
What is the Black Lives Matter movement all about?
Why is fast food so cheap?
What is required to be a point guard in the NBA?
Would a later school start time improve student achievement?
How are gas prices determined at a gas station?


Once you’ve decided on a research question, you need to start doing your research!
Find 5 (good!) sources to help you answer your question
Complete your annotated bibliography. This should be a summary, evaluation, and connection to your research question for 5 different sources. (5-7 sentences each)
Decide who you want to interview for your podcast and schedule an interview

Your final podcast will be 7-10 minutes long and should present the answer to your research question in a detailed, specific way. You should try to include the following elements:
Interview of an “expert” (recorded if possible)
Interview of someone who has personal experience
Sound effects
Music (talk to me about ideas for “low tech” ways to do this if necessary)
Specific information from at least 3 research sources
At least 2 different “voices” talking

You’ll be turning in a written script before the final podcast is due, so be sure that you’re working towards gathering research and writing your script for the next couple of weeks!

Standards we’re covering with the informational podcast (just in case you were asking yourself “why??”)
Between listening to/analyzing other podcasts, reading your own research sources, writing your podcast script, and recording/presenting your podcast, you will be covering all of the following standards.

LA12.B.10: cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain
LA12.B.11: determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text
LA12.B.12: analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text
LA12.C.21: write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
LA12.C.21.a: introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension
LA12.C.21.b. develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic
LA12.C.21.c: use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts
LA12.C.21.d: use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic
LA12.C.21.e: establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing
LA12.C.21.f: use documents to clarify details or support claims
LA12.C.21.g: provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic)
LA12.C.23: produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
LA12.C.24: develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience
LA12.D.30: initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (e.g., one-on- one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively
LA12.D.30.b: work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed
LA12.D.31: integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data
LA12.B.33: present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks
LA12.B.34: make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest
LA12.E.36: demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
LA12.E.37: demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Bringing in other subject areas such as science would be a great use of this PBL-- students could direct their research about a scientific topic
Follow-Up
Ongoing podcast series
Materials: Mobile Labs, Microphones, Flash/USB Drives, English/Language Arts, Podcasting
Other Items: 3 Set of 10 headphones with boom microphone, $98 each, total of $294.00
1 32-slot laptop cart, $1628 each, total of $1628.00
35 Lenovo Chromebooks, $239.00 each, total of $8365.00