Podcasting with First Grade

If you have not thought of podcasting with your younger elementary school students, I encourage you to think again.

The first graders at my school had listened to the second grade podcast about animals, and had really enjoyed their story.They were especially thrilled that the second graders had received so many comments from teachers around the world. Believe it or not, but having an audience matters… even to 6 year olds.

They were enthusiastic and eager to record their own voices to get them “into other people’s computers and iPods” too.

I had started reading a chapter book called Vacation under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne from the Magic Tree House series with them.

The idea was to pretend that we were interviewing Jack and Annie, the two main characters, about their latest adventure that had taken them to Pompeii.

MTH-volcano

We read one chapter at a time and discussed as a class,  what happened as we were reading. After each   reading, I typed up all the questions and answers that students had came up with. The following time I went to their classroom, we recorded these questions and answers from the “script”.

I rotated all students to be either the interviewer, Jack (boys) and Annie (girls). I also had them record several segments as a class chant together (ex. gasping, “no children allowed”), which they seemed to enjoy very much.

Recording with Garageband

Recording with Garageband

I had several students at a time come to the back of the class and record directly into Garageband, while the other students were silently working on classroom work or reading a book. A few times, I also took them out into the hallway, if the teacher had another activity planned in the classroom.

  • I was amazed how cooperative and attentive to what was going on with the recording in the back of the room while it was not their turn.
  • Several students started to take a real interest in the editing part of the podcast too. They were verifying that I was editing out any clicking noises that were included when I stopped the recording segment, or if a word was repeated twice.
  • If they were not happy with their recording, they asked to record over it for a second, third or fourth time.
  • Shy and quiet students were coming out of their shell. Their classmates were surprised and impressed of these new “podcast” voices they were hearing from them.
Recording in the Hallway

Recording in the Hallway

Recording:

  • After demonstrating the difference in the sound of their voices and fluency, students agreed to NOT read off the script.
  • I read one sentence at a time to the student who was to record. I let them practice saying the sentence out loud and coached them with their volume, melody and to use different acting voices.
  • Some students needed to have sentences split into parts. Putting each sentence back together made it sound seamless in the recording.
  • I could tell a drastic improvement among students in their confidence level and voice expression as we progressed in the book.

After class,

  • I “cleaned” the recording tracks
  • added music and  sound effects

The class couldn’t wait to hear the entire recording the next day. They wanted to hear the audio from start to finish, including the newest chapter clips. They begged to hear it again and again from the beginning and not only the added part. By the time we reached the end of the book they had heard the podcast over 20 times. 🙂

Skills addressed:

  • listening
  • speaking
  • presenting
  • comprehension
  • storytelling
  • performance
  • voice acting
  • oral fluency
  • media
  • technology

Take a “listen” and leave a comment to these first graders who worked very hard and enthusiastically on their recording. Let them know where you are from too. We will create a google map with placemarks to show how far their voices reached.

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Thank you for leaving our first graders comments. You are making a worldwide audience real for them and are keeping them motivated. We are tracking them on our Google Map. Once you leave a comment with your location, we will add you to our Google Map.

View MJGDS- 1st Grade Podcast: Magic Tree House in a larger map