Using the "Six Minutes" Podcast in the Classroom

I recently learned from one of my professional development sessions how we can actually make better use of class time if we allow students to take a mini-break before diving into content.

This PD was geared toward engaging all students, but especially the students who do not make the best behavioral choices.

As I listened, it made 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 on how to engage students as a warm up, without the extra prep or grading. 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.  I was basically looking for a unicorn.

That is when I stumbled across fellow teachers sharing how they use the "Six Minutes" podcast. I. FELL. IN. LOVE.

Six Minutes Podcast by GenZ Media

The "Six Minutes" Podcast is from Gen-Z Media. 

They have several stories/adventures on the site, including the "Six Minutes" Podcast.  Here is official description of the story of "Six Minutes":
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.

At the beginning of each class period, I pay an episode of the "Six Minutes" Podcast.  Sometimes, I just have them listen, but other times I will have them engage with the podcast somehow.  Here are some ideas on how I have used the "Six Minutes" Podcast:

  • Allow the students to have some choice in the matter -- I will randomly ask my classes, "Should we listen to two episodes today?" and almost always, they really want to!
  • Have the students do something while listening -- in my room, they have a small scrap paper, and they can draw on it while listening
  • Ask the students a question about the episode -- I mainly focus on prediction skills
  • Recall facts about the podcast and talk about them with the class
  • Talk about foreshadowing -- which events lead up to this that now we know were foreshadowing 
  • After the first season, I will have the students draw the characters to see what they visualize with each character
  • Have students draw, write, or verbally discuss what happened in the episode

They also have other shows, including "Mayan Crystal," "Treasure Island 2000," and "Remy's Life...Interrupted."

Listen to the "Six Minutes" Podcast here!

This podcast has over 100 episodes per season with two seasons. 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.

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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