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Podcasts are just like writing a beat


Students will listen to a podcast of their choice and analyze the elements contained within to understand how the audio format is closely related to writing they already understand.


  • Students will analyze a podcast for its content.
  • Students will recognize elements within the podcast that they already do as journalists.
  • Students will synthesize these elements and learn how to translate one of their existing features or beats into the podcast format.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.3 Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.7 Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.


100 minutes


Handout: Podcast to Writing Analysis

Handout: Writing a Podcast Script

Rubric: Writing to Podcast Script

Electronic devices to access podcasts.


Students can be assigned one of the recommended podcasts or choose their own.

It is highly recommended that the instructor listens to a podcast before teaching this lesson.

Some podcasts to consider as examples:

Lesson step-by-step

1. Warm Up — 10 minutes

Ask students who has listened to a podcast. Find out which ones and discuss what they like about them. Tell students that they are going to learn how easy it is to make a podcast of their own using their own writing as a model.

2. Podcast Analysis — 30 minutes

Distribute the Podcast to Writing Analysis handout. Explain that most podcasts follow the same format as their writing. Their task today is to listen to a podcast of their own choosing to see how those elements exist within a podcast. If technology is limited, all students can listen to the same podcast broadcast from the teacher computer and record their notes. While students listen, they should take notes in the boxes to summarize how the podcast achieves these elements.

3. Reflection — 10 minutes

Once they are done, have students discuss their insights in pairs or small groups. Consider using equity cards to call on students and solicit responses.

4. Application — 25 minutes

Tell students that they are going to use their own writing to create a podcast script. They should take an existing piece of writing and convert it into a “script” that could be recorded. Distribute the Writing to Podcast Script document and have students complete it as an assessment of their learning. Note that most of the writing will be similar, but it should have a more conversational tone. Once done writing the script, students should read it aloud and track how long each element would take.


Students can be paired up to analyze the podcast and convert a feature into a podcast.

Students can be given a second podcast to independently analyze before converting their writing.

Students can be assigned one of the recommended podcasts or choose their own.