Looking for engaging activities for out-of-school time? Pick an appealing podcast (or two) to keep your kids on the move (and learning too!). After all, just because the school day is done doesn’t mean something educational can’t be part of the fun! Go ahead and create your own afterschool units, relying on those podcasts with a common focus.
Take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the natural groupings of topics and stretch your study to a week or two. Delve deeper with supplemental resources and hands-on activities where you can!
Hit a Home Run by Honing in on America’s Past-time!
Take a cue from one of our afterschool adopters and build a unit around baseball. You could even track your progress as you journey by incorporating a visual.
Use an image of a baseball diamond and chart your journey from podcast to podcast (or base to base in this case!) by marking with a dotted line or by placing a sticker on the appropriate place at the completion of each podcast. All done? Why then, with that newfound knowledge, you’ve gone way beyond a base hit!
- Negro Baseball League (5-#4, Combined-#121)
- “Casey at the Bat” (5-#5, Combined-#29)
- “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (5-#6, Combined-#30)
- “Who’s on First?” (5-#19, Combined-#122)
For some visual follow-up, it might be fun to share a related video clip or two. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Who’s on First?” prove to be particularly popular!
Poke into Past Presidents . . .
It doesn’t have to be an election year; learning about past Presidents can be enlightening anytime! Between Program 4 and Program 5, you’ve got your pick!
- Barack Obama (4-#12, Combined-#125)
- George Washington (4-#86, Combined-#71)
- Abraham Lincoln (5-#54, Combined-#83)
- FDR, Parts 1 & 2 (5-#89 and #90, Combined-#118 and #119)
And why not support your study of our nation’s former leaders with a tale or two about their youth? David Stabler’s cleverly crafted Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents provides a perspective that helps kids connect with these famous figures!
. . . or Explore Other Prominent Figures from the Past!
Continue into October (did you know it was Explorers’ Month?) with a peek into explorers!
- Marco Polo (5-#78, Combined-#53)
- Christopher Columbus (5-#79, Combined-#54)
- Pedro Alvarez Cabral (5-#80, Combined-#55)
- Vasco da Gama (5-#81, Combined-#56)
- Neil Armstrong (5-#82, Combined-#152)
No need to limit yourself to the traditional choices! You can also look into those folks who’ve explored in other ways, traversing new frontiers of their own with accomplishments in art or innovation.
- Henry Ford (4-#89, Combined-#112)
- Thomas Edison (5-#16, STEM-#9, Combined-#162)
- Albert Einstein (5-#17, STEM-#10, Combined-#163)
- Johannes Gutenberg (5-#23, Combined-#51)
- Galileo Galilei (5-#24, STEM-#5, Combined-#165)
- Leonardo DaVinci (5-#26, STEM-#4)
- Rene Magritte (5-#84, Combined-#31)
- Salvador Dali (5-#85, Combined-#32)
. . . and Tie Things Together!
Maybe you’d prefer not to identify the “theme” of your unit, but rather have your crew make connections on their own! After all, students do enjoy a bit of sleuthing now and then! Assign four different podcasts to four different small groups. Walk, listen, and learn! Then allow each group to share some basics. Guide them to respond to the following in imparting their information:
- Who was the focus of your podcast?
- When and where did this person live?
- What did this person do?
- Why is this person significant?
Incorporate a visual element! Have each group record their responses on individual posters, then mount those to the wall around a central poster. After everyone has shared their individual information, take some time to make “connections” linking commonalities in a visual and/or tactile way. List details shared by two or more of the figures on the central poster, then draw lines (or use yarn) to connect those to the individual posters which share them! Note: You may end up with a rather large cobweb of connections!
With The Walking Classroom, there are so many paths (and podcasts) you can choose for your “past” poking, you’re sure to find a suitable selection to satisfy your audience!
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