Grades 6–12 This Peabody award-winning radio series/podcast delivers scientific ideas in a creative, innovative way. The episodes are a joy to listen to, with a great deal of emphasis put on sound design in addition to the hosts' clever banter. Teachers of science, math, ELA, and other subjects can use full episodes or segments as prompts to get kids thinking or to kick off a discussion. Some episodes feature strong language, so be sure to preview them before sharing with students.
Grades 6–12 Little-known history comes alive three times a week in this fascinating, comprehensive podcast from the people at HowStuffWorks. With a focus on weird events, overlooked stories, and underrepresented groups, this popular series is educational, too. The extensive archive is easily searchable by topic. Teachers can find supplemental material for lessons on the civil rights movement, European history, World War II, and much more.
Grades 6–12 Science Friday with Ira Flatow covers a variety of complex science topics, from the first Apollo moon landing to climate change to how exercise affects the heart. On the show's website, listeners can access full episodes or choose from a selection of shorter segments from the episode. Related articles and videos are also available to supplement the audio. For teachers, Science Friday offers free STEM activities, lessons, and resources.
Grades 6–12 This popular NPR radio show and podcast combines personal stories, journalism, and even stand-up comedy for an enthralling hour of content. Host Ira Glass does a masterful job of drawing in listeners and weaving together several "acts" or segments on a big, relatable theme. With an archive of over 600 episodes on as many topics, it might be tricky to figure out which episodes to share in the classroom. Teachers can browse the Education Resources on the show's website to learn how other teachers are using This American Life in the classroom. Many episodes have mature concepts and swearing, so always preview the episodes before sharing with students.
Grades 9–12 From the people behind the award-winning website HowStuffWorks, this frequently updated podcast explains the ins and outs of everyday things from the major ("How Free Speech Works") to the mundane ("How Itching Works"). Longer episodes and occasional adult topics such as alcohol, war, and politics make this a better choice for older listeners, but hosts Josh and Chuck keep things engaging and manage to make even complex topics relatable. And with nearly 1,000 episodes in its archive, you might never run out of new things to learn.
Simple Stories in Spanish - Simple Stories in Spanish is a weekly production of the Small Town Spanish Teacher. Listen along as she tells easy to understand stories to help you learn or practice the Spanish language. Wherever you are in your language journey, Simple Stories will help propel you forward. You can find transcripts of the stories at smalltownspanishteacher.com.
Grades 6–12 One of the largest oral history projects of its kind, StoryCorps has recorded the stories of over 250,000 people in the U.S. Students at just about any grade level or in any subject area could use the StoryCorps interviews in a variety of ways, including writing prompts, discussion topics, primary sources for research projects, and more. Students also can record their own stories. StoryCorps Education provides teachers with free lesson plans and support to use StoryCorps in the classroom.
Another excellent resource for learning about race and culture, this NPR podcast looks at news and history through a multiracial, multigenerational, and multicultural lens. Although some episodes might not be appropriate for younger students, the creators of the podcast have created a playlist of kid-friendly episodes.