We are excited to work with new podcasts made especially for young people in our elementary collection!
- Earth Rangers
- The Past and the Curious
- Book Club for Kids
- The Good Words Podcast
- But Why from Vermont Public Radio
- Bedtime History
- Story Seeds
- Kojo for Kids
- Extra Scoops
- Brains On!
- Stories Podcast
Read more about each source, see sample podcast lessons, and learn how you might use them in your classrooms below.
In order to keep our curated podcasts short enough for a classroom lesson, we often edit the full podcast to enable flexible classroom use. Therefore, there is much more to hear on many of these podcasts. You can often find links to the entire podcast episode in the external resources section of the standards-aligned lessons. You can also subscribe and listen to more episodes of the podcasts through the usual podcast apps–Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, etc.
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. You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
Earth Rangers features a character called Earth Ranger Emma, who takes listeners on journeys all over the world to speak to scientists in action. She makes science and geography exciting for kids as they hear the immersive sounds of flies in wetland habitats, the rumble of a subway train en route to a museum, or howling foxes in the Arctic. These podcast lessons can add an experiential element to learning.
Explore sample 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. You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
The Past and the Curious podcast’s narrative style is full of suspense, funny voice imitations, and examples of historical music. The podcast lessons are an engaging way for teachers to explore history and nonfiction genres with their students.
Explore sample The Past and the Curious podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- Otzi the Ice Man
- The Harlem Globetrotters
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa
- Lewis and Clark and Prairie Dogs
Tumble is a science podcast for kids. It is a production of husband-and-wife team Lindsay Patterson and Marshall Escamilla. Lindsay is the founder, co-host, and producer, and Marshall co-hosts 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 the discovery. You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
The Listenwise collection of Tumble podcasts features science topics that are especially interesting to kids, so they are a helpful resource for student research. The podcast hosts include “think aloud”- style dialogues that clarify meaning and summarize to help kids better understand the topics and rich content vocabulary. Teachers may find that using the lesson’s accompanying listening organizers helps students take notes or listen closely for important details.
Explore sample Tumble podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- How Snow is Made
- Candy Mountain: Using Sweets to Study the Earth
- Colorful Butterfly Wings
- The Rise of the Dinosaurs
The Book Club for Kids
Book Club for Kids was started by award-winning public radio journalist Kitty Felde. She is also the author of the middle-grade detective novel, 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 to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
The Book Club for Kids podcasts encourages student voice and active engagement in academic discussions about literature. Teachers can share the authentic voices of the podcast’s student guests as models to help their students feel more confident talking about characters, stories, and books they enjoy.
Explore sample Book Club for Kids podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- Poetry and Basketball in The Crossover
- Basketball and Bullies in The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
- The Secret of Tuck Everlasting
- Race and Maniac Magee
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 the podcast on the Kids Listen app.
Good Words podcasts stimulate curiosity about word meanings and provide memorable background knowledge and audio experiences related to new words. Teachers may want to try having students use the accompanying language identification listening organizer while listening to Good Words podcasts to practice strategically listening for new words and important information.
Explore sample Good Words Podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- A Generous Act
- Thinking Differently is Part of Autism
- Euphonious Sounds Make You Feel Good
- Showing Off Is Not Always Ostentatious
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 subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
But Why podcast lessons inspire student inquiry about anything kids can imagine and encourage wondering and asking questions about the world around them. After listening, teachers can use the accompanying comprehension and discussion questions to help students reflect on what they have learned and what they may still want to know.
Explore sample But Why podcast lessons on Listenwise:
Bedtime History is a series of educational stories for kids focused on historical figures and events. It is written and produced by Breck LeSeure who was inspired to make the podcast for his children. Stories feature 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. You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
Bedtime History podcasts include calm music, clear facts, featured vocabulary, and thought-provoking questions in each episode. Teachers may want to try using these lessons for independent listening and literacy activities when students need quiet time during the school day.
Explore sample Bedtime History podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- The History of Chocolate
- How Michael Jordan Became the Best at Basketball
- Walt Disney’s Cartoons
- Artificial Intelligence
The Story Seeds Podcast matches kids aged 6-12 with diverse best-selling children’s authors to grow their story ideas into original stories. Its creator and producer, Sandhya Nankani, found inspiration for the podcast from her daughter’s creative spirit and a project she developed early in her career – The Weekly Writer, a collaborative interactive writing project between kids and authors. Story Seeds is hosted by Betsy Bird, a librarian, blogger, and author. Story Seeds has paired student writers with authors like Jason Reynolds, Veera Hiranandani, and Dan Gutman. You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
Story Seeds gives students a glimpse of what real writers do – use their imaginations, ask questions, develop their ideas, and revise their work in collaboration with others. These lessons authentically model the writing process. Teachers may want to encourage their students to try the genres and writing techniques featured in the podcasts after listening to the stories as mentor texts.
Explore sample Story Seeds podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- Fables: Look Before You Eat!
- Cliffhangers: A Girl Who Looks Like Me
- Overcoming Challenges: A Magical Tree
- Exploring Identity: The Hungry Mirror
Kojo for Kids
The Kojo for Kids show was created to give kids a chance to ask questions that matter to them. Award-winning radio and television news producer and host Kojo Nnamdi invites kids to ask questions such as: Why do stink bugs stink? What does it feel like to win the World Series? and Why does racism exist? In each episode, thoughtful, kid-friendly guests answer the questions students pose. Guests have included chef Rachael Ray, Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle, and Bill Nye The Science Guy. You can listen to this podcast at the Kojo for Kids website.
Kojo for Kids podcast lessons offers students an opportunity to hear other kids pose questions to influential adults, which may inspire and empower them to do the same. Teachers can use these lessons to promote inquiry and social awareness. The podcasts model respectful conversations with others to learn about their unique experiences.
Explore sample Kojo for Kids podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- Being a Ballerina Takes Practice
- Superheroes Fight Racism
- Baby Panda at the National Zoo
- Civil Rights Leader Ruby Bridges
Extra Scoops is a current events-based show for grade-schoolers who want to learn about interesting people, places, and ideas. It helps kids understand all the cool stuff that’s happening in the world, and what it means to them. Host Andy Rosen is a journalist who has covered technology, breaking news, business, and government at publications including The Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun. You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
The Listenwise collection of Extra Scoops podcast lessons feature relevant topics and include perspectives of kids with some expert knowledge on the subject. Teachers can use the lessons to promote social awareness and encourage students to gain self-awareness of their own unique knowledge and skills.
Explore sample Extra Scoops podcast lessons on Listenwise:
Brains On! is an award-winning audio show featuring science for kids and curious adults. Each week, a different kid co-host joins host Molly Bloom to find answers to fascinating questions about the world. The show’s mission is to encourage kids’ natural curiosity and wonder about science and history. You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
Brains On! podcast lessons make learning about science engaging and enjoyable because students can hear other kids reporting on interesting topics. Teachers can use these podcasts to inspire students to seek out information and be scientists themselves.
Explore sample Brains On! podcast lessons on Listenwise:
The Stories Podcast team performs fictional audio stories for children and families. They bring stories to life with imagery-rich details describing settings and characters, as well as fun, expressive character voices. Stories animate universal themes through classic storytelling techniques.You can subscribe to the podcast through the usual podcast apps.
The Listenwise collection of Stories Podcast lessons feature fables, which we’ve titled Timeless Tales, that teach familiar life lessons. Animal and fantasy creature characters activate students’ imaginations, and the moral of the story is often creatively expressed at the end of the story through song. Teachers can use these podcasts as helpful tools to support both literacy instruction and social and emotional learning.
Explore sample Stories Podcast lessons on Listenwise:
- Timeless Tales: What You Sow
- Timeless Tales: The Giant’s Daughter
- Timeless Tales: Hey, Little Mouse!
- Timeless Tales: The Hare’s Tug of War
Newsy Pooloozi is a weekly, world news podcast for smart kids and curious adults, covering science, animals, space, technology, culture, entertainment, sports, and sometimes even politics! The podcast is hosted by a mother-and-daughter duo based in India who work with kid correspondents from all over the globe to cover the world in a fun and engaging way. The New York Times calls Newsy Pooloozi a “news variety show,” and it is on the NYT’s Top 30 Podcast For Kids list (under its former name, Newsy Jacuzzi).
Newsy Pooloozi podcasts are featured in Listenwise elementary lessons and Kid News. Kid News stories are elementary-level current events, published every Tuesday. They are produced with kids in mind, include children as hosts and commentators, and address topics that are interesting and relevant to kids. Teachers can use Kid News to incorporate a weekly current event routine into their classroom practice. Newsy Pooloozi’s coverage of world news may also be a helpful resource to make real-world connections when teaching geography, history, science, or social and emotional learning.
Explore sample Newsy Pooloozi podcast lessons on Listenwise: