One of the biggest enemies of meaningful learning is boredom. As a team continually striving to grow and learn ourselves, we are very conscious that learning happens best when we are interested and engaged. With this in mind, we are excited to bring you some new lessons and quizzes for the beginning of the year that will hopefully help keep your students engaged in the classroom! Try these new stories for back-to-school hooks and let us know what your students think.


Still A Spy Vs. Spy World
This startling and engrossing story comes at just the right time politically. This story features the 2010 arrest and indictment of 10 Russian nationals who were masquerading as regular Americans. These agents, part of what the United States Department of Justice calls the ‘Illegals Program,’ allegedly endeavored to infiltrate many different areas of life and industry in the U.S. One was even a college professor! The NPR reporter interviews the former head of the British Intelligence agency MI6, whose expertise and knowledge shine through to make this intriguing story especially engaging!



Young Adult Dystopia
Of all of the genres that students enjoy , one seems to have become overwhelmingly popular. Dystopian novels and short stories have become increasingly commonplace in the young adult sections of libraries and bookstores everywhere. This story delves into some of the novels that are captivating teens and also tries to get at why this kind of literature has become so popular. Listen to this story to hear teens talk about how they feel about this kind of literature and what they believe they gain from it.




Post Traumatic Growth
As hurricane season peaks, it’s worth noting that the most damaging effects of a natural disaster can come after the actual event. This story addresses the mental health wounds that natural forces like hurricanes and tsunamis can cause in those populations that experience the calamities. Listen to an interview with a researcher who studied the mental health effects and outcomes experienced by young women in New Orleans after the devastating Hurricane Katrina. She explains how a majority of subjects in this study actually gained strength through surviving the catastrophe. This post-traumatic-growth, as it’s called, is exciting for researchers and can offer survivors hope in the aftermath of disaster.

We are always looking for engaging stories like these, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to send them to! You might just find your story suggestion on Listenwise. We welcome any feedback, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Here are a few more new Listenwise stories that your students will hopefully find enjoyable and educational. Watch out for more and more lessons that will be published this fall, as we are seriously committed to providing a diverse collection where there is something for everyone.