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Learning Targets

Students will:

  • Listen to a podcast

  • Answer focus questions orally or in writing to guide comprehension



  • Podcasts are available in most languages; encourage students to listen to podcasts in their native language with a family member. This suggestion applies not only for this activity, but also for family members to learn together about topics that interest them all.  

  • Family members can receive a text message in their home language with a link to open a mobile-friendly version of the podcast.

  • Encourage family members to send feedback to you about the experience, including how confident their child was in explaining the concept and photos of the activity.

How To

Before Activity:

  • Select relevant podcast(s). If possible, choose podcasts that have a transcript allowing students to read along as they listen. (Resource: Listenwise)

  • Preview and make note of vocabulary and content challenges. 

  • Prepare comprehension questions. This might require differentiated questions to reflect language proficiency.

  • Prepare language supports.

During Activity:

Synchronous setting: 

  • Prepare a time and place to listen to the podcast and discuss as a group.

  • Provide the graphic organizer for students to answer comprehension questions and list any new vocabulary, or allow students to contribute their thoughts by writing in a common graphic organizer.

  • Engage students in an online discussion of comprehension questions and content.

Asynchronous Setting

  • Decide how students will share their completed organizer: email, online classroom, or with a member of their household. 

  • Via email, text message, or a phone call, assign podcasts for students to listen to independently, and share the graphic organizer. Include the expectations for the activity.

  • Pre-teach critical vocabulary and engage in any background building during an online meeting or using an app such as Padlet or Flipgrid.

  • Share vocabulary lists or notes that students can use to review their learning and complete the organizer.

  • Students can share their responses with the teacher via email, text, a phone call, or a photo of the document. They may also share their responses with a friend or a member in their household.

Quick Tips

  • Provide vocabulary resources, online or as handouts, that will provide additional language supports as students listen to the podcast.

Evidence of Success

  • Students learn new details about the podcast topic and are able to use relevant language to engage in comprehension activity.

Watch Out!

  • For beginning English learners assign a podcast that isn’t too complex, and ensure individual time is dedicated to building background.

Support Suggestions


  • Provide an organizer that is partially completed with words that students will hear in the podcast. 

  • Share a short, comprehensible video about the same topic for students to watch and build background knowledge and language.


  • Students can be provided with targeted vocabulary to use in their responses in the organizer.


  • Set a goal for how many academic words or sentences you expect the students to use.