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Podcast Book Buddies

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Keywords: Podcasting, Reading, Writing, Literature Connections
Subject(s): Podcasting, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts, Speech and Language
Grades 2 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Winding Creek Elem School, Stafford, VA
Planned By: Melissa Miller
Original Author: Melissa Miller, Stafford
Grade Level: 2-5
Time Needed: One week per book discussion. Each podcast should take thirty minutes to complete.

Learning Objectives:
-Students will read a book over a podcast to another student
- Students will pose questions about the book on the podcast
- Students will write a reflective journal entry about their podcast experience with
their book buddy

Materials Needed: Flip cameras (at least one per classroom), computers, Internet, books, and reflective journals.

Before beginning the book buddy podcast project, the teacher will need to develop a sample podcast. In the sample podcast, he or she should read a book and pose a question about the book to the class. This sample podcast should be shown to the entire class. After viewing the sample podcast, the teacher will point out how the students need to speak clearly on their podcasts. He or she will also stress that they need to read fluently and use proper pitch and tone in their reading. The teacher will also explain that the students will be responsible for creating a reflective log entry about their podcast experience in their journal. In the entry, they will need to determine what worked, what didn't work, how they could improve their next podcast, and two things they learned about the book through their book buddy podcast.

The students from one class (Class A) would be paired up with students (Class B) from another school as book buddies for the school year. The students in Class A would select a book to read to their book buddy via a podcast on their school website. They would read the book and then give their reaction to the book along with a question that arose while they were reading the book. The students from Class B would watch the podcast of the students in Class A reading the book. They would then create their own podcast with their reaction to the book and the answer to the question the other student posed about the book. In addition, they would pose another question about the book that they would like answered. The students in Class A would then watch the podcast, answer the question, and then pose an additional question. This book dialogue would continue for approximately one week.

All students would be responsible for developing the questions that they ask to their book buddy, as well as choosing which book they would like to read to their buddy during each podcast. The students would also be responsible for answering the questions that their book buddy asks in a timely manner. Students would be able to develop the following types of questions based on the book: questions about the characters and/or their motivations, questions about the plot or why things happened the way they did, questions about the significance or insignificance of certain events in the book, as well as telling their book buddy about a text -to-self connection they made or a text-to-text connection that they remembered as they were reading. Another option for the podcast would be for the students to develop an alternate ending to the book.

The students will be responsible for writing a reflective log entry about their book buddy podcast experience. Another way to assess this activity would be to ask the students to write down the questions that both they and their book buddy have posed about the book along with their answers.

Reading is such a crucial part of the learning process. The podcast book buddies lesson plan would benefit several students, by reaching out to students in a multitude of different modalities of learning. It would benefit those students that are auditory learners, as well as those that are visual and kinesthetic.This activity would allow students to strengthen their reading comprehension, along with critical thinking skills. This would be a fun way for students to interact and connect with other students, while developing a deeper understanding of literature.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson plan could also be modified to include books that are content-specific in order to make it a cross-curricular activity.
This would be an on-going activity.
Materials: Flip Video, Camera/Video Accessories, Camera Bags, Cables, Computer Accessories, Power, Keyboards, Headsets, LCD Monitors, Mice, Podcasting, Web Page