radiolab

5 Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter and Happier Right Now

“Why aren’t you listening to podcasts when you’re doing mundane things like driving or washing the dishes?” That’s what I tell myself whenever I’m bored and doing things I would rather not be doing (like running). Seriously—podcasts have made life more interesting and me more thoughtful, and they’re free and amazing and basically you should just go listen to some right after you finish reading this.

Maybe you don’t listen to them because you don’t know where to start. And if you do listen, maybe you’re looking for some new ones. I have re-energized my teaching by using podcasts in the classroom (my students are currently making podcasts to be played on local radio ANY DAY NOW :D), but I’ll save a post for that at a later date. Right now I’m just going to share some of my faves because they’re awesome. 

Disclaimer: These podcasts made me smarter and happier. You may disagree. Listen for yourself and decide!

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Using Podcasts to Spur-on Argumentative Writing

I have a podcast addiction. I’ve spoken before about my love for narrative non-fiction, and when my husband introduced me to Radiolab on our first 18 hour drive to Colorado, then Freakonomics, I discovered a whole new world of interesting stories. Radiolab in particular crafts its episodes to be suspenseful and intriguing in a way anyone can get into—even high school students. Often, the topics are complex and prompt the audience to question all aspects of the question/issue/topic. Isn’t that what critical thinking is?

The same-old persuasive essay topics are killing my engagement lately. If you’re wondering how to use podcasts in the classroom, wonder no more! I’ve done the work for you.

Here are some specific podcasts that could work in the classroom and intrigue students: 

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