Tips for Using the 6 Minute Podcast in the Classroom

I have recently learned from one of those very exciting PDs how our class time is more valuable if we allow the students to take a mini-break before diving into our content. This PD was geared toward how to engage all students, especially the students who do not make the best behavioral choices. As I am listening to this advice, it makes sense! As an adult, I don't particularly like showing up somewhere just to jump in with both feet and get started on the nitty-gritty. So, I searched Facebook groups and Pinterest for ideas. There are so many fantastic bell ringers and quick activities. For me, I just wanted something that was no extra prep and no grading. None. I did not want this to turn into something that would take a lot of my time but still hit on some type of literacy standards—basically looking for a unicorn activity. That is when I stumbled across fellow teachers sharing how they use the 6-minute podcast. I. FELL. IN. LOVE.

The podcast episodes' lengths are around 6 minutes— some shorter, some longer. Each episode leaves a cliffhanger ending which makes students eager to want to listen to more.

Here is the official description for the 6-minute podcast:
Eleven-year-old Holiday is pulled from the icy waters of Alaska with no memory of who she is or where she came from. Are her mom and dad really who they say they are? And when she begins to develop incredible abilities, she'll soon discover she's not alone in the world.

This podcast has 100 episodes per season with two seasons! This is perfect because I share the podcast Monday- Thursday, and then I do First Chapter Friday on Fridays. If you are unfamiliar with First Chapter Friday, check out our blog here.

Even though I do not use this as a grade, it could be easily adapted to various lessons. From writing to story structure, the possibilities are endless.

What podcasts are you using in your classroom? We would love to compile a list!


by Erin-Jane Stevens, Contributing Teacher/Writer. Erin-Jane Stevens is a middle school ELA teacher who strives to bring excitement to each class she sees.  She continues to find and create fun, new, and rigorous ways to captivate students’ attention and grow their love for ELA.

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