top 10 Listenwise podcasts

As we near the end of the school year, it’s time to share our list of the top 10 Listenwise podcasts of 2023/24. We’re always publishing new content so it can be hard to keep up. We hope this list will introduce you to some lessons you may have missed. 

Whether you’re gearing up for the upcoming school year or seeking fresh insights for professional development during the summer break, we hope this compilation of podcast and video lessons leaves you and your students feeling inspired. 

Listenwise Staff Picks 2023

50 Year Anniversary of the First Video Game – includes quiz

Pong was the world’s first widely played video game. A young programmer designed the game in 1972, and he was pretty sure it would fail. In fact, Pong was a huge success. Listen to learn about the circumstances behind Pong’s creation and release and hear how its creator developed the game’s distinctive beeping sounds.

If you liked this… here are more stories about video games:

Inclusive Video Games – includes quiz

Playing Video Games Has Hidden Benefits

Video Game Inspires Teens Love of Nature – includes quiz

The Beauty of Boredom – includes quiz

For most people, boredom is a negative experience, and technology has provided an easy way of escaping it. While feeling bored isn’t pleasant, author Kyle Steed explains that boredom can be valuable for human creativity. Listen to hear how Steed’s feelings about boredom have changed over the years and what he thinks can be gained by allowing oneself to embrace boredom.

If you liked this… here are more stories about strong emotions:

Small Kindnesses Bring Big Joy

Perfectionism Can Hold Us Back

Kid News: The Power of Wonder

Dinosaurs May Not Have Roared – includes quiz

What did dinosaurs sound like? Using modern technology to study prehistoric fossils, researchers have made some interesting and surprising discoveries about dinosaur communication. Listen to hear a science journalist share insights about how these reptiles vocalized, and find out why he calls big dinosaurs “touchy-feely.”

If you liked this… here are more stories about dinosaurs:

Birds Are Dinosaurs – includes quiz

Dinosaur-Eating Crocodiles

Dinosaur Bone Jackpot in Utah – includes quiz

Listenwise Staff Picks 2023

Why Fear is Fun

Haunted houses, horror movies, and Halloween decorations may be scary, but they can also be fun. In this audio story, an expert on fear explains why many people enjoy being scared, and how fear can be beneficial to growth and development. Listen to hear how feeling afraid helps build resilience, and discover why childhood games like hide and seek and peekaboo are surprisingly scary.

If you liked this… here are more stories about the power of fear: 

Spiders Fear Each Other – includes quiz

Witches Through History – includes quiz

Edgar Allan Poe’s Mysterious Raven – includes quiz

Debate: Who Should Get Credit for AI-Generated Music?

Some people believe that using AI to create music in another artist’s style is a fair use of the new technology, which provides immense creative possibilities. Others argue that profiting from another artist’s style without their permission is profoundly unfair. Listen to hear more about the creative and ethical issues associated with artificial intelligence and then debate: Who should get credit for AI-generated music?

If you liked this… here are more debates about the risks and benefits of AI:

Debate: Is Using AI to Meet People Deceptive

Debate: Is AI Image Creation Technology Dangerous

Debate: Is Using AI to Meet People Deceptive

Phases of the Moon – ELA & ELD, includes quiz

Each month the moon goes through different phases, from full circle to half circle to thin crescent. However, the moon itself is not actually changing. So, what causes the moon to look different each night? And, why does the moon’s shape change in a predictable pattern? Listen to hear about the phases of the moon and how light from the sun and the movement of Earth produce the moon’s changing shapes.

If you liked this… here are more stories about the movement of the moon and planets:

Weird News: Scientists Find Many Moons Around Jupiter

Experiencing a Solar Eclipse Through Sound

High School Astronomer Uses Math to Find Planets – includes quiz

Girl Shares Her Passion for Drumming – includes quiz

Pursuing a passion can be fun, but it may also take hard work. When a girl from England fell in love with drumming at age five, she practiced relentlessly to hone her skills. She also found opportunities to share the joy of drumming with others. Listen to hear more about the efforts of an extraordinary young drummer to pursue her passion.

If you liked this… here are more stories from Rebel Girls:

Amanda Gorman Speaks Her Truth – includes quiz

Karate Girl Mentors Others – includes quiz

Celebrating Friendship Through Social Media – includes quiz

Listenwise Staff Picks 2023

Climate Change and Animals – ELA & ELD, includes quiz

Scientists define climate change as the change in Earth’s weather patterns over a long period of time. This audio story explores how climate change affects animals forced to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Listen to learn more about climate change and how it is impacting monarch butterflies, sea turtles, and snowshoe hares.

If you liked this… here are more the effects of climate change on animals:

Polar Bears Find Temporary Refuge – includes quiz

Highway Crossings for Wildlife Help Species Survive – includes quiz

Taxing Cow and Sheep Burps – includes quiz

A Scientific View of Bigfoot – includes quiz

Have you ever wondered why carved pumpkins rot faster than uncarved pumpkins? In this podcast, you’ll hear a squash expert discuss the science behind why jack-o’-lanterns can go from evil to just plain rotten!

If you liked this… here are more stories of scientific mysteries:

Mysterious Light in Outer Space – includes quiz

Fuzzy Green Glacier Mice Mystify Scientists – includes quiz

Bird Mystery – ELA & ELD, includes quiz

Weird News: Monkey Calls 911

Listen to hear what happens when a monkey makes an emergency call.

If you liked this… here are more stories about animals doing unexpected things:

Weird News: Elephants Love Yoga

Octopuses Use Their Throwing Arms – includes quiz

Unlikely Animal Friends

Looking for more summer listening recommendations? Check out last year’s “Top 10 Listenwise Podcast and Video Lesson of 2022/23.”

Listenwise Staff Picks 2023

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