Go To Listenwise Listenwise

At Listenwise, we have been watching how the outbreak of the coronavirus has caused many schools to close temporarily and rely on remote learning. 

We are committed to helping students succeed, especially in challenging times. 

If you are a single teacher or parent seeking access to Listenwise Premium for remote learning, join free for access to Listenwise PREMIUM for 90 days! 

Looking to set up a whole school or multiple teachers? Please complete this form to get full access to Listenwise Premium at no cost for your school site through May 31st. If needed, we can extend this offer until your school reopens.

We hope this provides you and your students with helpful structured learning opportunities during this difficult time. 

Listenwise is an online platform that supports remote learning with easy-to-use lessons and quizzes. Listenwise offers a curated collection of more than 2000 lessons featuring brief nonfiction audio stories for students in grades 2-12. Lessons address current events and popular curriculum topics in English language arts, social studies, and science. Listenwise sources podcasts from public radio and other producers of high quality educational audio content.

Listenwise lessons help students develop listening comprehension and other core literacy skills and build academic vocabulary and background knowledge in a wide range of domains. They offer opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking about important topics and make connections between the curriculum and the world outside of school. 

We have upcoming virtual “office hours” to support teachers using Listenwise for remote learning. Sign up on our webinars page. Recordings will be available and linked on that page afterwards.

Here is some guidance on using Listenwise’s collection of daily current events, standards-aligned lessons, and quizzes to support remote learning:

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to support you and your students while your school is closed. We wish you all good health!


Monica Brady-Myerov

Founder and CEO 

Monica@Listenwise.com

Remote learning is new to a lot of teachers, and it can seem overwhelming to learn many new platforms at once. Here is an easy way to start using Listenwise remotely with your students.

1)  Find a great podcast – lesson or current event
It may seem especially challenging to engage students in learning remotely. We recommend starting by choosing a story for its fun factor or its relevance to students’ interests. You can search the Listenwise library by topic or browse recent current events. For example, stories like Ninja Peacock Takeover or Remembering C.C. the Cloned Cat will appeal to many students. You can filter by topics, subjects, grade levels, or listening levels. If you are planning thematic lessons, you may want to explore our popular Collections

2)  Share the audio to Google Classroom (or another site).
The simplest way to invite students to listen to the story is to click on “Share Audio” and share the link to Google Classroom. You can also copy the link and send it via email or post it on a class website. You can discuss the story with students in Zoom or share a simple writing prompt using one of the discussion questions provided (or one that you create). This allows you to skip class setup in the Listenwise platform and get right to listening. Here’s how you share audio from a story.

3) Assign an auto-scored quiz.
If you want to go one step further, you can assign an auto-scored quiz. It can be assigned with or without the interactive transcript to support students’ listening comprehension. Upon completing a quiz, students immediately see their quiz results and teachers can view and analyze results from their dashboards. In order to assign a quiz, you will need to set up your classes. Importing rosters from Google Classroom is the easiest way. Just go to your “Classes” tab to see the options. 

If you are new to Listenwise and want to see how we integrate with Google Classroom, check out our Educator’s Guide to Using Listenwise with Google Classroom.

For more information about using Listenwise for remote learning, check out these blog posts:  

Remote learning is now a reality for millions of students. When they are physically isolated, social connections are more important than ever. Listenwise can help by providing interesting, relevant audio stories, which can seed engaging student exchanges that foster critical and creative thinking and offer opportunities to practice academic talk at a distance, including among English language learners.

In addition to setting up classes on the Listenwise platform and exploring ways to teach remotely with Listenwise, teachers can coordinate assignments using Listenwise in conjunction with other apps to make learning interactive, even at a distance. For example, students can respond to discussion questions accompanying any of the  2000+ Listenwise podcasts (or alternate questions generated by teachers or students) using a variety of digital tools that facilitate communication and collaboration. 

Teachers may select any of the following digital media to support student communication about Listenwise stories, or they may decide to use several of them in sequence to deepen learning about a topic and guide students through the writing process along the way. As with any academic conversations, guidelines for participation should be established in advance, including norms such as treating others respectfully and expectations such as using sentence stems that support academic talk

Students can respond to discussion questions through a variety of media, depending on teaching goals and comfort levels with various digital tools and platforms:

1) Engage in face-to-face discussions with Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, or other video chat apps. These real-time discussions work best with established guidelines or protocols. For example, you might ask students to jot down their own thoughts first, then take turns sharing ideas, either in small groups or as a whole class. Seeing each other’s faces can help students feel connected to each other, and discussing meaningful issues can help them feel connected to the world beyond their homes.

2) Participate in online discussion forums in Google Classroom, Schoology, or another learning management system. Online text-based discussion forums offer opportunities for broad inclusion in conversations, as students can take the time they need to respond. As with real-time discussions, clear expectations for participation are important. Many students who are anxious about speaking in front of others feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts without time constraints or social pressure.

Another advantage of threaded discussions is that participants can respond to each other in divergent conversation threads, making it easier to follow a chain of replies. For example, they might discuss lessons learned from the connection between two men with the same name, debate whether police should have access to genetic data, or share strategies for persevering in the face of challenges.
Check out these tips for facilitating online discussions in Google classroom, which allows assignment posts to take the form of threaded discussions that open up once students reply to the original prompt.

3) Record and share responses via FlipGrid, VoiceThread, EdmodoPadlet or other social media apps. It is important when doing this to honor student privacy policies, which can usually be achieved by operating within a “walled garden” that requires students to log into online spaces shared only by other classmates and teachers. Students can record themselves responding to discussion prompts using audio or video recording apps on computers, smartphones, or other mobile devices and then share those responses with classmates. 

For example, students might discuss what it means to be represented in literature, or what they would address in a campaign speech. Hearing each other’s voices and seeing each other’s faces can help to bridge the distance among students working remotely, even if they are not meeting in real time. When students record their responses via digital media, other students and teachers can play the recordings at their own pace repeatedly, and the recordings can serve as artifacts of learning to be revisited and responded to over time. Learn about one teacher’s experiences using FlipGrid with Listenwise to promote inquiry among her students.

4) Write essays or reports in Google Docs or another digital writing tool. Listenwise discussion questions can also serve as writing prompts. Some questions ask students to analyze key ideas within an audio story more deeply, while others invite students to make connections between stories and their own views and experiences. Listenwise debate stories can be helpful in teaching written argument

Some stories introduce students to topics that they can research further using additional reliable sources and then report their findings in writing or create their own podcasts or multimedia presentations. Extended written responses can also be shared for peer feedback using Google Docs reviewing features, published on student blogs with invitations for comment, or contributed to a collaborative wiki. Some stories introduce students to topics that they can research further using additional reliable sources and then report their findings in writing or create their own podcasts or multimedia presentations. Extended written responses can also be shared for peer feedback using Google Docs reviewing features, published on student blogs with invitations for comment, or contributed to a collaborative wiki.

For instance, students could co-author a wiki (e.g., using Google Docs or Google Sites) about the causes and effects of climate change or perspectives on immigration, using different Listenwise stories to spark specific lines of  inquiry. 

If you have engaged students in online communication about Listenwise, please share tips, successes, or challenges in the comments. Exchanging ideas through digital communication media can be helpful for teachers, too! 

We are excited to now feature Lexile audio measures on every podcast in Listenwise Premium! This is a major advance in helping educators connect students to audio content at a level of complexity that is appropriate for their listening comprehension skills.

Sign up for our free webinar this week: “Leveraging the Power of the New Lexile Audio Measures” co-presented with Metametrics to learn about how these measures can be used to deepen literacy instruction. The webinar will take place Wednesday, March 25th at 2 pm PST/ 5 pm EST.

What Lexile Audio Measures Mean for Literacy

Listening is an important part of literacy – both in the school years and beyond. However, until now, there has not been a standard system for measuring the complexity of audio content. For years teachers have asked for more information about how easy or difficult a Listenwise story would be for their students. This new Lexile audio measure provides a valid and reliable research-based approach to leveling listening comprehension.

How do educators use Lexile audio measures in Listenwise?

Lexile measures enable teachers to find stories at the right level of complexity for their students, so that they will be challenged without being frustrated. The measures are categorized as low, medium, or high to help teachers with story selection when they do not know students’ Lexile listening levels. 

Sign up for Listenwise Premium to explore all the Lexile-leveled podcasts! Due to school closures, we will be offering Listenwise Premium free for the rest of the school year to support remote learning during this challenging time. 

If I already know a student’s Lexile reading measure, can I use that to choose podcasts for my students? 

The Lexile audio measure is distinct from the Lexile text measure. Educators familiar with the Lexile Framework for Reading will discover that students’ listening levels might be higher or lower than their reading levels. To help teachers identify appropriate Listenwise content for their classes, we have provided guidance about ranges of Lexile audio measures for grade level instruction. However, in the absence of listening measure data, the Lexile reading measure can be used as a starting point to estimate listening levels. 

How do I find Listenwise podcasts by Lexile audio measure?

Every podcast is labeled with a Lexile audio measure. You can filter your search to find podcasts within a certain range, or you can search by topic and scan the results to see which ones have audio measures that fit your class.

Do you provide grade level ranges for Lexile audio measures?

We provide recommendations for use of Listenwise content by Lexile ranges. In general, elementary educators may want to start with low level stories (Lexile levels 340-1250L), middle grade educators with medium level stories (1251L -1555L), and high school educators with high level stories (1556L-2000L). Appropriate Lexile audio levels will vary by student – the key is to challenge students without frustrating them. 

We also provide recommended ranges by grade level for teachers using Listenwise Premium. These recommendations are for instructional use and assume the use of Listenwise comprehension supports such as interactive transcripts, etc. Simply click on the Lexile audio measure to display the recommended Lexile audio ranges for each grade level. 

As always if you have issues or questions reach out to us at support@listenwise.com.

Our new elementary podcast lesson collection features carefully curated podcasts designed to engage and excite students in grades 2-5. These short audio stories on current events and relevant topics in ELA, social studies, and science can generate writing and discussion, build vocabulary, and introduce or extend topic knowledge. Some podcasts lend themselves to a 30-minute lesson; others take as little as 10 minutes of instructional time and can fit into the beginning or end of the school day. Read on for details about what kinds of podcast lessons you will find at Listenwise, ideas for integrating podcasts into classroom instruction, and how to search for the stories that are best suited for your curriculum and your students.

If you don’t have a Listenwise Premium subscription, a lot of the elementary lesson collection won’t be available. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Premium to explore the full elementary podcast collection.

What is in the Elementary Podcast Lesson Collection?

The elementary collection includes standards-aligned elementary lessons, Weird News, and current events. Read about how we have taken our success formula and applied it to carefully selected podcasts for younger students.

Standards-aligned elementary lessons are 3-5 minute long podcasts on engaging topics in ELA, social studies, and science. Like secondary lessons, each elementary lesson includes instructional activities before, during, and after listening, along with listening organizers, comprehension and discussion questions, and related external materials. Each elementary lesson also includes an additional brief synopsis written specifically for elementary students and an auto-scored multiple-choice quiz assessing four key listening comprehension skills: recognizing literal meaning, understanding vocabulary in context, making inferences, and identifying the main idea. Lessons address popular topics such as hibernation and the Lewis and Clark expedition

Weird News stories are 30-second podcasts that are funny, unexpected, and engaging for kids. Each story synopsis features highlighted vocabulary words that are incorporated into comprehension and discussion questions. For example, stories such as Space Cookies and Beekeeper Police Unit offer intrigue, humor, and great opportunities to learn academic vocabulary in context. These short audio stories are especially well suited for quick vocabulary-building activities with a fun spin. 

Current events feature news stories grabbed from the headlines that are interesting and instructive for students. We publish an elementary-level current event every Wednesday, including listening comprehension and discussion questions as well as an auto-scored multiple-choice quiz. These stories work well for a brief weekly current events lesson, a learning station activity, or listening comprehension skills practice and assessment. Timely stories about a famous African elephant and a teen who discovered a planet, for example, are selected for high engagement value. 

New podcasts are added regularly to our growing elementary collection. Search the full collection here. To learn more about where we source our elementary podcasts, see Elementary Podcast Lesson Sources on Listenwise.

4 Ways to Use Elementary Podcasts

All elementary podcast lessons offer a variety of possibilities for classroom use. Podcasts can be played for the whole group while students follow a transcript projected on a screen and then discuss what they have heard. Students can listen to podcasts individually, take the auto-corrected quiz, and explore discussion questions in writing or in conversation with a partner. Using Google Classroom, teachers can assign podcast lessons for students to complete at their own pace over the course of a week. Alternatively, students can rotate among learning centers or stations, with a Listenwise podcast lesson as one of several activities. 

Here are a few more suggestions for incorporating Listenwise elementary podcasts into your classroom routine:

Morning Meeting:  When students gather to begin the school day, play a Weird News story such as Cat’s Great Escape (vocabulary: agenda, contained), Chance of Falling Iguanas (vocabulary: uncommon, tumble, advice, slumber), or Penny Pyramid (vocabulary: demolish, unconventional). The short, off-beat stories will grab and hold their attention. You can review the vocabulary words and replay the story, or just ask students to respond orally or in writing to the questions that incorporate the words. 

Before Dismissal: Play a Weird News story to help calm restlessness in the last 10 minutes of the day. Ask students to discuss the comprehension questions with a partner to ensure understanding, or use the discussion questions for group exchange before the bell.

Weekly Feature: Set aside a weekly time slot of about 20-30 minutes when students can listen to an engaging podcast while following along with the transcript projected on a screen. Some high-interest options include The History of Chocolate, Animal Superpowers, or Saving to Splurge on Something. After introducing students to the topic, ask them to use the listening organizers to focus their attention during the podcast. After listening, students can respond in writing to questions, discuss their ideas with a partner, or take the auto-corrected quiz. Results from the quiz will help you monitor students’ listening comprehension skills.

Long-Term Assignment: If you use Google Classroom, you can invite students to work on a podcast lesson at their own pace. You can assign the same or different stories to each student. Select which activities they should complete, such as filling in the listening organizer, taking the quiz, answering comprehension and discussion questions, reading the paired text, and more. For example, students can listen to Garbage in the Sea, answer the listening comprehension questions, and then read a complementary article about what they can do to prevent ocean pollution.

To learn how one 4th grade teacher used the Bird Mystery podcast to explore bird migration and teach vocabulary, see Teaching with Podcasts in the Elementary Classroom.

For ideas about how to use the elementary collection for remote learning, see Setting Up Listenwise Classes for Remote Learning.

How to Search for Elementary Podcast Lessons, Weird News, and Current Events

To find elementary lessons: 

  1. Go to your Teacher Dashboard. Click “Lessons.” In the drop-down menu, click “Search.”
  2. Select the filters you prefer. For “Grade Level,” be sure “Elementary” is checked and “Middle School” and “High School” are not checked. Under “Type,” be sure “Lessons” is checked and “Current Events” and “Collection” are not checked. 
  3. If you want to search for a specific topic, simply enter the topic into the search bar after making sure the filters are correctly checked.

To find Weird News:

  1. Go to your Teacher Dashboard. Click “Lessons.” In the drop-down menu, click “Search.”
  2. Enter “Weird News” in the search bar, and hit the “Return” key.

To find current events with quizzes: 

  1. Go to your Teacher Dashboard. Click “Lessons.” In the drop-down menu, click “Search.”
  2. Scroll down to “Type” and make sure “Current Event” is checked and “Lessons” and “Collections” are not checked.  
  3. Check “with Quiz” and click “Search.”

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt schooling, Listenwise supports educators in planning for remote learning during temporary school closures. If your school or district is closed for preventative health-related reasons, we are offering Listenwise Premium at no cost. Learn more about how to access Premium if your school is closed


Listenwise is an online platform that supports remote learning with easy-to-use lessons and quizzes. Listenwise offers a curated collection of more than 2000 lessons featuring brief nonfiction audio stories for students in grades 2-12. Lessons address current events and popular curriculum topics in English language arts, social studies, and science. Listenwise sources podcasts from public radio and other producers of high quality educational audio content. Listenwise lessons help students develop listening comprehension and other core literacy skills and build academic vocabulary and background knowledge in a wide range of domains. They offer opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking about important topics and make connections between the curriculum and the world outside of school. 


Here is a quick overview of how to use Listenwise in a remote learning environment: 

If you want to get started quickly sharing podcasts with students, you can learn how with this Quick Start Guide to Remote Learning with Listenwise. Links to audio stories can be shared via Google Classroom, email, or any digital communication media by clicking the “Share Audio” button and copying and pasting the link along with any questions you might want to ask. 

For guidance on optimizing the benefits of the Listenwise platform, follow the instructions below.

Set Up Classes

To use Listenwise for remote learning, you first need to set up your classes in the platform. Listenwise is integrated with Google Classroom, so it is easy to import rosters if your school uses Google. See the Teacher Guide for Google Classroom for more information. If you do not use Google, this brief video will guide you through creating classes.

Make Assignments 

All of Listenwise’s 2000+ instructional podcasts (current events and standards-aligned lessons) include online resources that can be assigned to students learning remotely.

  • Online multiple-choice auto-scored quizzes are available on many of our standards-aligned lessons and on every Wednesday current event. Find Wednesday current event quizzes here and quizzes on standards-aligned lessons by searching here
  • Written assignments can be assigned and completed entirely online. Each audio story is accompanied by a set of listening comprehension and discussion questions, which teachers can customize. Teachers can modify the questions and/or add their own, and they can respond to students with feedback within the Listenwise platform.
  • Links to audio stories can also be shared via Google Classroom, email, or any digital communication media by clicking the “Share Audio” button and copying and pasting the link along with any questions you might want to ask.

Track Results 

  • Quiz Reporting – Every quiz tracks students’ performance on key listening comprehension skills. To view quiz results, click “See Quiz Results” from the Classes tab. This quick video gives you an overview of the quiz reports available on Listenwise.
  • Assessing Written Assignments – Teachers can review student work and provide constructive feedback on written assignments. See this blog post for further guidance on using Listenwise for formative assessment. 

Support English Language Learners

You can scaffold Listenwise assignments by modifying supports for ELLs or struggling readers. Stories with the “Scaffolding” icon have additional supports you can assign online for ELLs. 

If you are looking for ways to use Listenwise for remote learning, you will find ideas here.

Questions or comments? Our team is on standby to support school and district leaders who are creating school closure plans. Email support@listenwise.com.

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt schooling, Listenwise supports educators in planning for remote learning during temporary school closures. If your school or district is closed for preventative health-related reasons, we are offering Listenwise Premium at no cost. Learn more about how to access Premium if your school is closed


Listenwise is an online platform that supports remote learning with easy-to-use lessons and quizzes. The platform includes a curated collection of more than 2000 lessons featuring brief nonfiction audio stories for students in grades 2-12, sourced from public radio and other producers of high quality educational audio content. The platform is designed for flexible use and can help teachers address a variety of potential instructional goals. For information about setting up your Listenwise classes for remote learning, see this blog post


Once you have your classes set up and ready to go, consider these ideas for using Listenwise to support remote learning: 

1. Following News with Current Events (~15-20 min. learning time)

New current event stories are posted every school day and include listening comprehension and discussion questions that can be assigned online. Recent current events include War Powers Act and Iran, Connecting through Art at the Border, and Esports Explosion

Of course, the biggest news story of the day is the novel coronavirus itself. As the virus spreads, your role as educators puts you in a critical position to help kids understand what’s happening with fact-based, level-headed information. Here are some recent Listenwise stories about the outbreak: 

2. Practicing Listening with Auto-Scored Multiple Choice Quizzes
(1 quiz = ~15 min. learning time)

Auto-scored multiple choice quizzes can be assigned to students online, with or without the interactive transcript, to support students’ listening comprehension. Quizzes can be assigned to the whole class or to individual students. Upon completing a quiz, students immediately see their quiz results, including correct answers, and teachers can view and analyze results from their dashboards. Teachers can assign quizzes whether or not they have also assigned listening comprehension questions. 

3. Making Curriculum Connections with Standards-Aligned Lessons
(~30-45 min. learning time)

Standards-aligned lessons address popular curriculum topics in English language arts, social studies, and science. Listenwise sources podcasts from public radio and other producers of high quality educational audio content. Listenwise lessons help students develop listening comprehension and other core literacy skills and build academic vocabulary and background knowledge in a wide range of domains. They offer opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking about important topics and make connections between the curriculum and the world outside of school. 

Here are some ideas for structuring remote lessons: 

  • Find a lesson related to your curriculum and assign it. (See Setting Up Listenwise Classes for Remote Learning for instructions.) 
  • Ask students to listen to the audio story once (5-7 min) and use a selected listening organizer to focus notes while listening.
  • Ask students to listen to the story again and answer the listening comprehension questions online. (See Providing Feedback on Written Assignments for guidance on responding to students online.) 
  • Ask students to respond in writing to a discussion question OR a writing prompt about a paired text or other external resource provided in the lesson under the “Teacher’s Guide” tab. All Listenwise podcasts have accompanying discussion questions, and many standards-aligned lessons have a paired text with a writing prompt.

Extra Fun Activities

For additional activities, try our Media Literacy Scavenger Hunt (45 min learning time) or Weird News stories with a vocabulary focus (5-10 min learning time per story).  

Questions or comments? Our team is on standby to support school and district leaders who are creating school closure plans. Email support@listenwise.com.

Are you seeking to improve your listening scores on the SBAC, CAASPP, ELPAC, ILEARN, English I and II assessments, TELPAS, WIDA, or other standardized tests? 

ELA and ESL state assessments focus on listening skills in at least 22 states and counting. We know that test preparation can be stressful for teachers and students alike, and we are ready to help.

At Listenwise, we have sought to create tools that support listening instruction in preparation for state assessments, while keeping instruction authentically focused on relevant, engaging content with learning benefits that extend well beyond test prep. Teaching students how to listen is important for literacy, critical thinking, social-emotional learning, and success in college and the workplace. Listenwise is designed to support all of these goals.

Listenwise can help teachers assess students’ listening comprehension with auto-scored quizzes. It can help students practice note-taking while actively listening, thinking critically about academic content, and responding to short-response questions. All of these features can help students prepare for the listening sections of standardized assessments.

Most of the state assessments provide audio content without closed captions or transcripts, so when teachers want to emulate these situations to provide testing practice on the Listenwise platform, they can hide the interactive transcripts. In other instructional situations, using interactive transcripts can provide helpful support that increases listening comprehension. 

For example, in the state test for ELA in California (CAASPP), listening passages include short informational texts that are read aloud by one speaker. The passages are typically related to common grade-level curriculum topics. In order to practice for the CAASPP, teachers can start using Listenwise with the transcripts, and when they get closer to testing time, remove the transcripts so that students can practice listening without reading along. Students can also practice taking notes while listening to the Listenwise podcasts, and they can replay the podcast multiple times. See this test example using an excerpt from “The Birth of a Democracy.” 

For teachers with students taking the English Learner Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), practice sessions should also include audio stories played once from the front of the classroom, as students need to learn how to listen to a passage only once without using interactive transcripts to read along. Instructions should focus on precise and strategic listening to help students practice key listening comprehension skills for the test. Watch this ELPAC listening prep video created by an educator to see what the test looks like.

With listening still ranking among the lowest literacy scores in California, listening is an important skill to integrate into classroom instruction across the curriculum. 

In California 79% of our middle school users increased their listening scores from 2017 to 2019, and Listenwise users outperformed average growth across the state of California. 

“We have found Listenwise to be an excellent tool to prepare EL students for the Listening section of the English Language Proficiency Assessment of California (ELPAC). The test requires students to listen to long passages only once and then recall information. Listenwise gives teachers the opportunity to have students practice in a group setting and individually at home. Additionally, at the high school level, students do not take the CAASPP in 9th or 10th grade, so using Listenwise at those grade levels gives students a chance to continue to interact with and attempt materials and questions similar to the test, so that they do not lose the prerequisite skill sets they need when they take the test again as juniors. Active listening is an incredibly important life skill, and Listenwise lets students practice in a way that is engaging and fun.”

-High School Teacher Specialist in California

As other states begin to test listening, educators will continue to see the importance of teaching listening as an integral part of their literacy instruction. If you are not a California educator, your state ELA tests that address speaking and listening standards will likely function similarly to the CAASPP. Using Listenwise more than once a week with your students and assigning Listenwise listening comprehension quizzes will help your students practice active listening, recognize literal meaning, make inferences, and identify the main idea. Use the Listenwise graphic organizers to help your students take notes and focus while listening, and monitor students’ growth by tracking and analyzing their quiz data.

To help with effective listening test prep, we have collected some informative blog posts and teacher testimonials about integrating listening instruction into teaching:

Other Resources for Addressing Speaking, Listening, & Writing Standards on State Assessments:

  • Planned Speaking Practice (blog post) – Interaction, oral language, speaking practice, cooperative learning, discussion groups…There are many ways to incorporate speaking practice into instruction. The first step is planning for purposeful talk and providing many opportunities for interaction.
  • Oracy Classroom Effective Strategies (Edutopia blog post) Explore strategies for developing confident speakers who can share their thoughts and learning.
  • The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies (Cult of Pedagogy blog post and podcast) 15 formats for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging.
  • What You Learn from Listening to Great Speeches (blog post) Speaking and listening must go beyond “turn and talk” opportunities. Students must be able to present information to small groups and large audiences.
  • How to Podcast in Class: Part 1 (blog post) Podcasting hits speaking and listening goals and is a cross-curricular activity. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started.
  • How to Use Listenwise to Improve Listening, Literacy, and Language Skills (blog post) Listenwise is uniquely designed to meet speaking and listening standards while teaching important content. Listenwise podcasts can be used together with texts and other media to spark conversations and analytical thinking.
  • 5 Reasons You Should Teach Listening (blog post) There are many purposes for listening, including understanding and thoughtfully responding to a speaker’s intended message. Teachers can teach students how to listen for a variety of purposes using instructional resources on the Listenwise platform.
  • Teaching Written Argument with Debate Stories (blog post) Listenwise debate stories offer discussion and analysis of a variety of interesting contemporary issues that are well suited for practicing written argument.
  • Appsmashing Listenwise & Newsela (blog post) Pairing text sets and podcasts can help students develop listening, reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills. 
  • Appsmashing Listenwise & Flipgrid for Student Inquiry (blog post)  Appsmashing listening and speaking tools can help students formulate and investigate their own questions.
  • Facilitating Online Discussions Using Google Classroom (blog post) Well-framed, authentic, respectful academic online discussions can provide opportunities for students to build effective arguments backed with evidence, make connections between someone else’s experiences and their own, or explain their understanding of a complex phenomenon using academic language.


The Listenwise platform offers teachers the capability to provide students with personalized feedback on their written assignments. Teachers can make comments or ask questions and then ask students to revise their written responses to assignment questions and resubmit them if needed. This functionality provides a good opportunity for formative assessment, allowing teachers to check students’ understanding, which can then inform future instruction.

Unlike Listenwise quizzes, written assignments are not auto-graded because they are customizable and include open-ended questions. The listening comprehension questions often allow for some variance in student responses, and teachers may modify them for different groups of students. Teachers can choose how to review and assess written assignments on the Listenwise platform in accordance with their instructional goals and assessment practices. 

Helpful feedback provides specific, constructive information about how well students’ work meets expectations for success and guides them to make changes that will lead to improvement. For example, teachers may want to provide feedback about the accuracy of students’ responses to listening comprehension questions, about the form of those responses, and/or about the depth of the responses. They might ask students to listen to the story again to check a response, to write in complete sentences, or to elaborate on their ideas. For more guidance about providing feedback that supports learning, read “The Secret of Effective Feedback” by Dylan Wiliam and “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback” by Grant Wiggins. 

See below for instructions on how to locate and review students’ written assignments on the Listenwise platform.


1. From the Classes tab, scroll to the class you want to review and click See Responses for the desired assignment. You can also navigate to this page from the Assignments tab by clicking the assignment name.

2. On this page, you’ll see your class roster and status of submission for all students (i.e. Not Started, Started, Submitted, Returned).

3. Click on a student’s name to see their submitted assignment. Review their assignment, leave your feedback in the box, and click Submit.

4. Note that students can revise assignments. Simply check the Student needs to revise box before clicking Submit.

We are excited to work with new podcasts made especially for young people in our elementary collection. In order to keep our curated podcasts short enough for a classroom lesson, we often edit the full podcast to make it 3-5 minutes long for flexible classroom use. Therefore, there is much more to hear on all of these podcasts. Learn more about each source, and if you are interested, subscribe and listen to more of their podcasts through the usual podcast apps–Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, etc.

Earth Rangers

Earth Rangers podcast is produced by a non-profit kids’ conservation organization based in Canada. They are committed to “instilling environmental knowledge, positivity and confidence to take action.” There are more resources for teachers in Canada on their website. The podcast features a character called Earth Ranger Emma, who takes listeners on journeys all over the world to speak to scientists in action through the power of audio. You can subscribe through the usual podcast apps.

Explore Earth Ranger podcast lessons on Listenwise:

The Past and the Curious

The Past and the Curious podcast is written and hosted by Mick Sullivan, a history buff from Kentucky. The podcast is built on the premise that history is amazing! Its goal is “to share true stories of inspiration, humor, and the incredible achievements of all types of people,” including those that may be unfamiliar to many. Mick is also the author of The Meatshower: The Mostly True Tale of an Odd (and Somewhat Edible) Occurrence. You can subscribe through the usual podcast apps.

Explore The Past and the Curious podcast lessons on Listenwise:

Tumble

Tumble is a science podcast for kids. It is a production by a husband and wife team, Lindsay Patterson and Marshall Escamilla. Lindsay is the founder, co-host, and producer, and Marshall is the co-host and writes and produces all the music. Lindsay has a background in public radio and science reporting, and Marshall is a music teacher. Their silly and serious take on science is fun to listen to and always includes an interview with a real scientist involved in discovery. 

Explore Tumble podcast lessons on Listenwise:

The Book Club for Kids

The Book Club for Kids was started by award-winning public radio journalist Kitty Felde. She is also the writer of “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza.” The podcast features middle-grade readers and the books they love. Kitty invites kids to tell her what books to feature, and the podcast includes young readers previewing the book and explaining what they like about it, a celebrity reading from the book, and often an interview with the author. You can subscribe through the usual podcast apps.

Explore Book Club for Kids podcast lessons on Listenwise:

The Good Words Podcast

The Good Words Podcast is “for kids and grown-ups to delight in hilarious, fascinating, wonderful words while we all learn together to use words better, and use better words.” It is written and created by librarian Lynn Hickernell, who also writes and performs music for kids and adults under the name Miss Lynn. Learn more and hear her songs at misslynn.com.  You can listen to this podcast on the Kids Listen app.

Explore Good Words Podcast lessons on Listenwise:

But Why from Vermont Public Radio

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids is a show inspired by kids’ questions about anything in the world. It’s produced by Vermont Public Radio and hosted by Jane Lindholm. But Why addresses “topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.” You can listen to this podcast on iTunes.

Explore But Why podcast lessons on Listenwise:

Bedtime History

Bedtime History is a series of educational, relaxing stories for kids. It is written and produced by Breck LeSeure who was inspired to make the podcast for his children. Learn about inspirational people such as Neil Armstrong, George Lucas, and J.K. Rowling. Other topics include space exploration and great feats of engineering such as the Transcontinental Railroad. Listen on iTunes.

Explore Bedtime History podcast lessons on Listenwise: