Podcasting and Recording Software is available free or at low cost. There are many uses for this technology at the Primary and Elementary grade levels. Oral literacy is vital to educational and social growth, and recorded podcast-style activities are a great inroad to writing, reading, speaking and listening literacy.

Our Pennsylvania academic standards benchmarks include Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. There is scant evidence that speaking and listening are addressed adequately in most school curricula. An early start in these areas will open new educational scenarios for our students and educators. Use of podcast style recording can be integrated into all subject areas! Oral literacy, technology, writing, and many other academic and social skills can be addressed through the study of speaking, recording and listening.

Open source software for these activities is free, and the learning curve is not very steep. Activities are quick and easy to accomplish and will be very useful in your classroom

The Natural Order of Communications?

Our state standards for communications are titled Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Most humans are capable of listening at birth. In most cases, the next natural ability humans develop is that of speaking. Reading ability seems to be the next communications skill to "fully" develop, followed by the skill to write. Of course there is a certain time during educational development when all of these skills must be honed simultaneously, but in the primary learning stages the natural order seems to be listening, speaking, reading, then writing.

Educators may make an argument that reading is the most important communication skill, and eventually this becomes true. The reason for this is obvious - we all should become independent learners. But information obtained and reinforced by using a variety of audio, visual, and literary sources makes a lasting impression on learners. It is my opinion that educators should focus on this natural order of communications during the primary learning stages. Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing - what do you think? RA 10-15-09


Reader's Theater

This page is loaded with ideas and themes to help with understanding concepts and value of reader's theater in primary grades!

Readers Theater Resource Page

Santa Maria-Bonita School District
Santa Maria, CA

KinderKids Podcasts and Vodcasts

This page is from a consortium of Kindergarten teachers in New Hampshire.
Video podcast examples appear featuring the work of students. You'll enjoy this page!

KinderKids Podcasts and Vodcasts

Podcasting In Plain English

Brainstorming Links - Fun Ideas for Podcasts

National Institute of Health and Human Services Kids Page


Tons of great ideas!
Brainteasers & Riddles
Books and Stories (educational too!)
Environmental Art & Poetry Gallery
Environmental Health Science Education
Games and Surprises
Jokes and Humor (Laughing is Good for You!)
Links and Resources for More Science and Environmental Health Fun and Games
Sing-Along with NIEHS

Quite the compendium of North American Bird Sounds
Just a sample:
Black-Chinned Hummingbirds

Pennsylvania Academic Standard inReading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
How Can Podcasting or Recording Software
Help to Meet This Standard?
1.1.3A Read text using self-monitoring comprehension strategies (e.g., predict, revise predictions, reread, use text organization including headings, graphics, and charts, and adjust reading rate).
Before and after reading logs. Use mp3 recordings as evaluative or reflective activities for students.
Reading rate matching – instructor records the rate – student listens emulates the instructor’s recording.
1.1.3G Demonstrate after reading understanding and interpretation of both fiction and nonfiction text.
· Retell or summarize the major ideas, themes or procedures of the text.
· Connect the new information or ideas in the text to known information.
· Clarify ideas and understandings through rereading and discussion.
· Make responsible assertions about the text by citing evidence from the text.
Short stories can be retold and recorded. They may also be scripted for readers theater, teacher/narrator reads everything except the dialogue which can be written on large cue cards.
Modifying the ending of a short story (or scenario) will provide opportunities for discussion, brainstorming and group work. Video or audio recordings provide reflective opportunities.
1.1.3H Demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading.
· Read familiar materials aloud with accuracy.
· Self-correct mistakes.
· Use appropriate rhythm, flow, meter and pronunciation.
· Read a variety of genres and types of text.
· Demonstrate comprehension
Progress is easy to show when early efforts are recorded. A progressive archive of recordings can be used to show improvement in all of the areas addressed in this segment of the standards. These recordings may be used for portfolio style documentation or for student reflection
1.2.3B Use and understand a variety of media and evaluate the quality of material produced.
· Use electronic media for research.
· Identify techniques used in television and use the knowledge to
distinguish between facts and misleading information.
·Assess the quality of media project (e.g., script, play, audiotape) that
has been developed for a targeted audience.
“Electronic media” can be other podcasts by students their age. Evaluate with a rubric, then produce your own.
Examples can be found at KinderKids Podcasts
Use pictures in MovieMaker or a similar program to alter the meaning of a message.
Students can use these “media projects” as modesl and participate in the production of a similar project (i.e. commercial, scene from a play, podcast for kids)

Elementary Podcasting Rubric (Under Construction)
Introduction is inviting to
listeners; host states first
name; includes adequate
information to catch the
listener's interest.
Not particularly inviting;
listener will have some idea
what is to come
Does not address
listeners; provides only a
basic introduction
No clear introduction
Sequence &
Details are in logical order;
presented effectively;
keeps interest of listeners
Details in logical order;
sometime presented
poorly; listener loses
interest at times
Some details poorly
to listener
Many details in unexpected
order; listeners perceive
limited sense of organization
Vocabulary Use
Includes all required
vocabulary words; accurate
use of words in context;
spoken naturally, with
correct pronunciation
in phrases or sentences
Includes all required
vocabulary words; most words
used in context; spoken with
correct pronunciation
in phrases or sentences
Includes most vocabulary
words; some used out of
context; pronunciation is
Missing required vocabulary
words; words used out of
context; poorly spoken
with disorganized phasing
Rhythm / Pace
Phrases sound natural when
spoken; pace and flow are
Phrases spoken well; pace
and flow slightly disrupted
Phrases broken and
disjunct at times; flow is
unnatural and poses a
distraction to listeners
Phrasing is unacceptable;
flow is non-existent; not
Strong conclusion; unifies the
concept for the listener; reviews
all important information
Conclusion is acceptable;
recognizable attempt
to unify the concept; reviews
some information
Makes effort to conclude;
incomplete review; wrap-up
No effort to conclude

Elementary Podcasting Rubric (Kids Version) Under Construction
We could tell they were
talking to us; they said
their name and what it's
about; we want to listen!
We can tell what it's going
to be about
The person just started
talking and didn't tell
much about it
Didn't tell us about it
Sequence &
It was super organized;
we wanted to keep listening
to it!
It was pretty organized, but
sometimes it didn't make
sense; we paid attention
and we could follow what
they were saying
When we listened, we
were mixed up and
could not pay attention
The speaker was
really mixed up and we
could tell!
Vocabulary Use
They used all of our words and
said them the right way!
They skipped a few words,
but said the rest right!
Used most of the words,
but had a few wrong
Skipped too many words
and said them wrong
Rhythm / Pace
Wow! They could be on the radio!
Pretty smooth talker!
Kind of...uh...jumpy
and...um... not smooth
We need a lot more practice!
The ending was great because
they reviewed, reminding us
about important things
Ending was good;
they tried to review all of
the important things
Tried to review, but skipped
a lot of stuff
It just ended!

Primary Podcasting Workshop Files

I embedded the following audio file as a test file, but decided to leave it in place.
Enjoy listening to "Violets", a piano selection by a Croatian composer
named Dora Pejačević (1885 - 1923). The selection is performed by my son,
Richard D. Auvil. This is a public domain selection.

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