Island Podcasts

posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:33 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Jan 12, 2012, 3:23 AM ]
Several weeks back our fifth graders read Island of the Blue Dolphins together. This is a wonderful story set on an island off the coast of California during the late 1800s. Karana, the main character, gets stranded on the island and tells the story of her years there all alone.

Inspired by that story we read together in class and at home, the children either re-told excerpts from the Island story (5r), or they wrote original Island Stories of their own (5s). These "island stories" were written and graded as part of Grammar and Writing. Then, as a culminating activity, we recorded the stories and added music to make "Island Podcasts" during our computer classes. The children learned how to download a free audio editor (Audacity), how to find and download free and open source music licensed under a Creative Commons license, and then how to mix their voice recordings with the music into a great-sounding podcast.

What follows are three examples of the "best of the best" podcasts from both fifth grade classes. Stay tuned for more podcasts coming in the Spring! Please leave some positive comments for our students to encourage them to continue their creative work! Send any comments to me (paulschwan1 -at- and I'll post them below!

Podcast Samples from Fifth Grade: