Our collection of 2800+ engaging and educational podcasts touch on a wide range of topics. Whether it’s a famous actor discussing his dyslexia, the story of an unlikely friendship between two critters, or an exploration of poetry written by gangsters, there is something for everyone. Here, our staff shares some of their favorite Listenwise podcasts, and why they made such an impact. Enjoy!
Diversity in Children’s Literature is one of my favorite lessons for several reasons. I think it is powerful for students to hear youth voices, especially when kids and teens are talking about how they are making a difference in the world. This story explores the importance of racial representation in literature in a way that simply presents it as an effort to make learning more engaging for all students.
When I was an elementary-aged Black girl, I would have greatly appreciated it if my teachers and school library had access to the resources she is providing. As a curriculum developer and former ELA teacher, this story is a great tool to prompt discussion and writing activities about text-to-self connections in whatever texts students are reading.– English, Content Developer
Are you in the mood for a fun story? Animal Laughter will put a smile on your face, maybe even make you laugh out loud (I did!). It discusses a research study about how different animals laugh in their own way and the evolutionary impact of laughter. I love this story because you get to hear clips of animals laughing, which is fun for listeners of any age. It made me realize that laughter is universal, not just for humans, but for animals, too.– Erica, Customer Success Manager
Young Inaugural Poet on Her Journey is an interview with Amanda Gorman, the former National Youth Poet Laureate who stole the show with her recital of “The Hill We Climb” during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. In the conversation, she describes her development as a public speaker by overcoming a childhood speech impediment and researching a collection of history’s great orators. I particularly enjoyed hearing the excitement and conviction in her voice on the verge of such an uplifting moment from last year.– David, Account Manager
Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream offers students an opportunity to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This podcast is a wonderful listen year after year to commemorate the power of words to invoke inspiration and change. As an educator, I love the assignment resources, teachers guide, scaffolding, class activities and quiz offered alongside educational podcasts!– Vicki C., Account Executive
Actor Says Dyslexia Helped Shape Him: As a parent of a dyslexic child, we have really loved reading the Hank Zipzer books by Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz). They really articulate what it feels like to struggle in elementary school. This interview with the author shares that same emotional connection and helps both dyslexic kids and neurotypical kids empathize with kids going through struggles.– Karen, Chief Operating Officer
I love all the Weird News stories because they are all funny, but if I had to pick one, it would be Cats at Work. It’s just an ingenious solution to a problem!
As for lessons, I love our new elementary lessons from the podcast Brains On! They have kid hosts and are super fun, educational podcasts. The podcast Sibling Relationships really resonates with me because I am the second oldest of four. I defy the stereotypes and I like how the story uses science to debunk the myths. Another story I like is about a Snake Charmer because he figures out how to make a living out of what he loves – snakes! Who knew snake dens can house more than 80 snakes?– Monica, Listenwise Founder & Chief Content Officer
Man’s Best Friend for 6000 Years fascinates me. My dogs have played important roles in my life, and I like thinking about how dogs have been human companions across continents, cultures, and millennia. I also enjoy learning about how archaeologists piece together clues to understand the past and what it can tell us about the present. It’s fun to imagine the relationships that people might have had with their dogs long ago. I find it heartening to consider how those bonds represent common human experiences, regardless of time or place.– Marielle, Director of Curriculum
As a huge foodie, and someone that loves sampling cuisines from different cultures and trying to recreate them in the kitchen, Eddie Huang: Cultural Identity and Food is right up my alley. What I found most fascinating were the different lenses through which Eddie viewed food and cooking, and how those evolved over time. At different points in his life food has represented a means for his father to provide for his family. Food provides an opportunity for Eddie himself to reconnect with his Taiwanese identity. It also creates a way for him to come to terms with the complex attributes that make him unique.
I believe that food is one of the great through lines that connect people from different backgrounds. Food allows us to showcase what makes our cultures special in a forum that everyone can participate in. Eddie Huang’s personal food journey exemplifies this to a T.– Matt, Senior Account Manager
I really liked Bonnie & Clyde Poetry because it shared how the pair utilized poetry to capture their feelings even as they were on a crime spree. This gives new meaning to the idea that poetry really is “cool” because even famous criminals used poetry to help describe what their lives were like during this very dangerous time.– Kim, Director of Partner Success
After such a difficult last couple of years, I’m hungry for educational podcasts with uplifting themes. Unlikely Animal Friends is as uplifting as it gets. I hope to apply a lesson from Waffles and Hemingway to my own life.– Adam, Director of Sales
My family went camping a lot when I was kid, but I had never thought much about the lack of diversity at campgrounds. Finding Joy in the Great Outdoors helped me understand what camping might mean to people whose races and ethnicities differ from mine. I had no idea that for some people, camping raised complicated feelings about belonging in America. I think about this a lot as I – and so many others of various backgrounds – spend more time outdoors during the pandemic. We are all probably looking for the same things.– Vicki K., Curriculum Developer