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NPR podcasts/radio shows for middle schoolers?
September 12, 2012 1:02 PM   Subscribe

NPR podcasts/radio shows for middle schoolers?

I teach 7th grade and am looking for podcasts that my students can listen to and then discuss.

I've read this thread but my needs are a bit different and NPR's programming is more diverse since 4 years ago. Ideally, I'm looking for clips about 10 minutes long.

Caveats: No swearing, interesting topics for discussion and/or daily news that are not too mature for a 7th grade audience.

I'm a bit of an NPR newbie, so all suggestions will be considered!

Thank you!
posted by brynna to Education (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would recommend looking through the top stories/most commented/most shared on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. In addition, some stories that are featured on the evening edition of Marketplace would also be useful.

Also, the podcast usually runs 20 minutes but there are segments throughout, How To Do Everything is absolutely addictive and fun.
posted by bamassippi at 1:07 PM on September 12, 2012


Are the kids going to be listening on their own, or are you going to be curating what they hear? If its the latter, Soundcheck (the music program from WNYC) is great and will expose them to all sorts of music they wouldn't otherwise hear, and the interviews are great even if you're not all that into whatever they just played.
posted by griphus at 1:08 PM on September 12, 2012


Thanks for your answers so far:

We would be listening as a class. Today, we listened to this piece about corporate punishment in schools. We listened for about 15 minutes and then had a discussion surrounding it. Looking to do this more often!
posted by brynna at 1:14 PM on September 12, 2012


Some one recommended Radiolab last time, and I think that still holds. They podcast shorter 10-15 minute segments, or you could just play a single story from one of their longer shows.
posted by ikaruga at 1:17 PM on September 12, 2012


Addendum: for instance, RadioLab's The Good Show discusses morality and "goodness" in terms of ethics, biology, and mathematics, and remains one of my favorites.
posted by ikaruga at 1:19 PM on September 12, 2012


You might find subscribing to the Story of the Day podcast. Sometimes the topics are heavy, sometimes they are light but it is doubtful that most would ever be inappropriate for your 7th graders.
posted by mmascolino at 1:28 PM on September 12, 2012


I really like Snap Judgment. It's a little bit like This American Life, but the stories are a little more personal, a little more "story slam" feeling.

Although The Memory Palace isn't an NPR podcast, it's a fantastic, short podcast. Nate DiMeo gives a snapshot of a moment in history, and it's beautifully written. Listen to the Re-Up episode for a selection of what he's doing.
posted by gladly at 1:41 PM on September 12, 2012


I love Radio Rookies, which is

"a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world."

Teenagers (usually older teenagers, around 16-18) produce radio segments about subjects that are important to them, like the ban on cell phones in schools in New York. I would have loved listening to something like this around that age. It airs occasionally during Morning Edition but there are archives on the Radio Rookies show page.
posted by matcha action at 2:33 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd love to know more about why you are limiting yourself to NPR for podcasts for this project. NPR programming is geared to adults, and children find it incredibly boring. Yes, you can facilitate a conversation for them, but it will likely not leave them with any desire to listen to NPR in the future.
posted by frizz at 2:55 PM on September 12, 2012


Thanks again for your responses! I'm looking for specific episodes, rather than general programs. I wish I had time to listen to them all...
posted by brynna at 3:06 PM on September 12, 2012


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