The Walking Classroom has been such an amazing asset to my middle school students. Despite a cold winter and very rainy spring last year in New England, we incorporated The Walking Classroom as often as we could. My students always asked, “Can we listen to a podcast today?” They loved walking, listening, and learning!
The program was a great addition to our poetry unit. After a very stressful week of English standardized tests, middle school students were relieved to hear we would be creating free verse poems in class. Students could select from a number of different poetry stations, including Paint Chip Poetry, Reversal Poetry, Concrete Poems, Acrostic Poems, Blackout Poems, Roll the Dice Poems, and Found Poems.
The Walking Classroom added an additional component to this unit, as we walked and listened to podcasts about famous poets including the following:
- Maya Angelou (3-#17, Complete-#37)
- Robert Frost (4-#23, Complete-#33)
- Langston Hughes (4-#16, Complete-#34)
- Carl Sandburg (4-#24, Complete-#35)
- Ogden Nash (4-#40, Complete-#36)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (4-#62, Complete-#27)
- Emily Dickinson (4-#38, Complete-#28)
Students then shared their newfound knowledge about the poets in small differentiated groups.
After learning about feudalism, and building castles and manors in social studies, and writing a collaborative essay in English class, students also really enjoyed listening to the following podcasts about the era.
- Castles of the Middle Ages (4-#83, Complete-#47)
- Knights of the Middle Ages (4-#81, Complete-#48)
- Joan of Arc (4-#85, Complete-#50)
- Women and Girls of the Middle Ages (4-#82, Complete-#49)
- Feudalism (4-#84, Complete-#46).
It was amazing how much they knew! Even in math class, we walked, listened, and learned, covering The Great Depression (5-#87, Complete-#116) and The Stock Market (5-#86, Complete-#115).
In May, the entire eighth grade traveled to Boston, Massachusetts for a scavenger hunt. In preparation for this trip, students listened to The Boston Tea Party (4-#53, Complete-#62), The Boston Massacre (4-#54, Complete-#60), and Paul Revere (4-#50, Complete-#65).
These are just some of the podcasts we have incorporated into our middle school curriculum. Our students do not have a recess block and some do not even have a physical education class, so The Walking Classroom is truly a gift!
8th Grade English Teacher
Millis Middle School