Wondering how to best fit Listenwise into your teaching practice? Good news – you’ve got a lot of options! Depending on your situation some might be a more natural fit than others, but we encourage you to experiment with a few and see what happens.

1. Engagement Hook

Before jumping into the instruction of new concepts or standards, have students listen to an interesting story. This can give you a hook to develop student background on the topic, activate prior knowledge and address any learning gaps.

For example, before starting to read The Grapes of Wrath, have students listen to Steinbeck and ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ Students can compare what they learned in the audio story to what they are reading in the novel and make connections between the novel, the Dust Bowl and migrant workers.

2. Current Events Routine

For students, current events can be a powerful connection to their lives. You can use it as a bell ringer to focus kids and get them thinking. You can also use current events to connect with events in history they are learning about. Listenwise posts one current event every school day. These are stories students can relate to and help them engage in their world and grow as active citizens and critical thinkers.

For example, use the story Children in Migrant Crisis in Europe. Compare the migrants of Ellis Island, the Dust Bowl, and Syria and Afghanistan. Students can learn more about the factors that can create a migrant crisis and make connections to other issues and events.

3. Persuasive Essays or Classroom Debates

Every Friday’s current event is a good topic for a debate. Students can listen to both sides of an issue, state their argument and provide evidence. They can discuss and debate or use this content in a persuasive essay.

For example, students can debate questions such as “Can Tolerance Be Taught?” or “Should the Spanish Language Be Gender Neutral?” or “Should Texts Include Punctuation?” Students can choose a side and argue their opinion using evidence from the story along with other sources.

4. Family and Community Engagement

Because this content comes from authentic public radio stories, students have the opportunity to become better citizens who are able to discuss world issues with knowledge and share what they have learned with their families. Consider assigning a current event for students to listen to at home with their parents or guardian. Increase family involvement by having students create questions to use during discussions with their family at night. These stories can be useful in expanding learning at home and within the community.

Use stories such as :

5. Cross-Curricular Coordination

Use Listenwise podcasts to support the curriculum across disciplines. Coordinate with other teachers in your school and share ideas for implementation, assignments, listening comprehension instruction, and assessment. By reinforcing close listening and comprehension across the curriculum, students can use the same questioning, reasoning, and analyzing strategies whenever they interact with content and media. Listenwise has aligned stories in ELA, social studies, and science. But you can also work with your Art Teacher to create a project based on listening.

Let us know below in comments how you’re using Listenwise and we can share your successes and ideas with the rest of the Listenwise community!

And if you are looking for more ways you can use audio in your instruction, check out our Teacher Support site and our awesome infographic for more ideas.