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Podcasting Gone Digital

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Keywords: Reporting
Subject(s): Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Art
Grades P-K through 5
School: Highland Elementary School, Sylvania, OH
Planned By: Michele Henson
Original Author: Michele Henson, Sylvania
Each year as a culmination of our "tall tale" unit we invite all the student's fathers to join us for a Logger's Breakfast. We flip flapjacks and prepare sizzling bacon. Everyone comes dressed as their favorite character.
This year we wanted to add a podcast to end the event with that would share all we had learned about four of the tall tale characters.
Step One
Students were divided into four groups focusing on Paul Bunyon, Pecos Bill, John Henry and Daniel Boone. Each group was responsible for gathering all the information they had learned about their character. This information was then divided up between the children in the group. Each child wrote one to two sentences to describe that portion of the characters life. (Some teacher support was needed for this part as this is a first grade classroom but overall we were impressed with how independent and creative the students were.) These sentences were used as the text for the podcast.
Step Two
Student then completed drawings of their thoughts. They were encouraged to complete detailed pictures with all the background filled in.
Instead of scanning their art we took digital pictures of their papers. They turned out fantastic. These pictures were downloaded onto the computer.
Step Three
The podcast was now ready to be prepared. I built four podcasts, one for each character. Each students script was an episode that included their original artwork from the digital picture. We encouraged explanation and tone in the voice.
Step Three
Our podcast was then published and loaded on to I tunes.
Step Four
Following our breakfast we presented our four podcasts. The children were so proud and the fathers were so impressed. It was such a special way to share all the information we had learned and personalize it!

As a followup we decided to get creative with the leprechaun for St. Patrick's Day!
Using our digital camera we took a picture of different leprechans.
Each morning as the students entered the classroom before St. Patrick's day the little leprechaun would leave a special "podcast" message for the students.
They toatally believed it was the leprechaun in the picture's voice.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This activitiy includes reading, writing and art as well as the content standards met in our social studies unit.
Check out above what the "tiny leprechaun" did!
Materials: Camera/Video Accessories, Whiteboards