Writing for Podcasts

To be taught extra, go to our writing curriculum overview.

If your college students click on or scroll across the choices on NYTimes.com, they’ll quickly see that there are various extra methods to interrupt information and inform tales lately than simply through the written reporting they may affiliate with print newspapers. They’ll discover picture essays, illustrations, graphs, movies, GIFs, podcasts and extra.

Though you might not “read” multimedia the identical manner you do an article, writing nonetheless performs a starring position in creating it. In this unit, we’ll discover how that’s so by specializing in podcasting, a medium that has exploded in recognition during the last a number of years and additional surged through the coronavirus pandemic.

As all our models do, this one culminates in a scholar contest. At a time once we’re all caught at house, we hope this problem — one college students can do from their bedrooms or at their kitchen tables — will present an fascinating, even enjoyable, inventive outlet.

How will college students use writing within the course of? They’ll be brainstorming and outlining, scripting and modifying, researching, honing lists of questions, contemplating construction and movement, and serious about hooking an viewers and preserving it hooked. In different phrases, they’ll be utilizing most of the identical expertise they’ve used throughout our writing models — they’ll simply be doing it in a format that could be new for them.

Below, the core components for our unit in additional element. We’ve urged a sequence and created sources which might be versatile sufficient for college students to make use of on their very own, or with assist from a instructor or dad or mum.

Start by utilizing our prompts to brainstorm subject potentialities.

Our record of 1,000-plus writing promptsCredit…Joe Mortis

Podcast matters are in every single place. As scholar winners of our annual contest prior to now have proven us, you may make an ideal five-minute episode about something, like particulars of your private life or interviews with family or reporting on a neighborhood debate or theater narrated by a robotic.

One nice supply of inspiration is our rising library of writing prompts. Several profitable podcasts have grown instantly out of this categorized record of over 1,000 questions, overlaying all the things from video video games and music to morality and authorities coverage. And, after all, we publish two new writing prompts each faculty day, so your college students can all the time search a stream of latest concepts by scrolling by means of the gathering to seek out one thing that speaks to them.

For instance, what podcast concepts would possibly your college students be capable to brainstorm in response to questions like these?

What are you aware about your loved ones’s historical past?

What was your most valuable childhood possession?

What moral dilemmas have you ever confronted?

Is racial and financial range in faculties vital?

What period do you want you had grown up in?

Are you an identical particular person on social media as you’re in actual life?

What weaknesses and strengths about our world are being uncovered by this pandemic?

You can have college students pitch their concepts and get inspiration from different youngsters within the feedback of our Student Opinion query “If You Could Make Your Own Podcast, What Would It Be About?”

Listen to teen-created mentor texts and take a look at a number of the ‘podcasting moves’ we highlight in a step-by-step lesson.

Credit…Irene Rinaldi

Once your college students have a listing of nice subject concepts, the subsequent step is to determine how they may work as podcasts. What format ought to they use? How will they hone their subject to work properly as a five-minute podcast? What construction makes essentially the most sense?

This is the place the work of earlier contest winners turns out to be useful. Even in case your college students aren’t planning to ship their last compositions to our competitors, displaying them the profitable “moves” youngsters their very own age have made in answering those self same questions can encourage them to experiment. We’ve gone again and listened to all the highest podcasts in our 2020, 2019 and 2018 challenges, and used parts of them as examples on this step-by-step course of college students can comply with as they make their very own.

For instance, what can they be taught from the way in which one teenager interviews members of her household who’ve been incarcerated? From how one other marks the transitions between the start, center and finish of his podcast a couple of well-known April Fool’s hoax? From the way in which two younger ladies have a seemingly unscripted dialog about “Their Eyes Were Watching God” on their podcast about Black writers? This guided follow may help.

Understand the creative and technical particulars of making nice podcasts with assist from our lesson plans.

Related Lesson PlanCredit…Joey Yu/The Design School, Kingston University

When we introduced our first podcast contest, we additionally created a mini-unit to help it. You would possibly use Project Audio: Teaching Students How to Produce Their Own Podcasts together with the mentor textual content guided follow above to help college students in analyzing the strategies that make for good storytelling, interviewing and podcasting. The mini-unit additionally picks up the place our mentor textual content piece leaves off, and helps with the nuts and bolts of recording and modifying.

We additionally lately revealed three quick movies from two New York Times audio producers and one scholar contest winner who share tips about how one can plan, script and document significant podcasts.

In addition, we’ve lesson plans that target two in style Times podcasts. In Using the Modern Love Podcast to Teach Narrative Writing, a Virginia instructor describes how one can assist college students write their very own narratives and switch them into podcasts, whereas Experimenting With Sound and Story: Teaching and Learning With ‘The Daily’ Podcast explores the favored 20-minute information present as a mentor textual content for interviewing, utilizing sound parts and extra.

Enter our Podcast Contest.

Here is the problem we lengthen to center and highschool college students:

Do you take heed to podcasts to seek out out what’s occurring all through the world? Or do you tune in to find out about sports activities, music or movies — or just to be entertained? Do you like exhibits with one host or a number of hosts? Are you interested by sequence that inform a narrative over many episodes, or exhibits that discover a brand new problem or interview a special visitor every week?

Imagine you — otherwise you and a number of other of your mates — are behind the microphone. What would you discuss? What format would you utilize? What can be your distinctive podcast voice and angle?

In our Fourth Annual Podcast Contest, we invite youngsters to submit authentic podcasts of 5 minutes or much less. Your creation will be about something that pursuits you, in any kind that you just like. Our favorites will likely be featured on The Learning Network.

We hope your college students will be a part of us.