SYSK Podcasts in Y4

The project

After following the Stuff You Should Know podcast for years I thought it would be  a good idea of having the students listen to a few podcasts and then create their own. They followed a similar model to that used by Josh and Chuck. The main difference was that our students worked individually and not in pairs. Each student had to select and research an article on the website. They then had to condense what they learned into an informative 2-3 minute podcast. This was good practice for the students to learn how to put their research into their own words. I had set up the structure of the podcast for the students to follow in a shared Google Document where the students would collect their research and write their podcasts.

The process

  • Introduce Podcasts
  • Select a topic or article on the website
  • Read the article, taking notes of important information and facts
  • Organize the information in their own words
  • Record their podcasts
  • Edit the podcasts

Introduce Podcasts

Played a few clips from some of my favorite SYSK podcasts, and some other podcasts. Talk about the general organization of a podcast and show them the layout they will be using for this project. Let the students know that they would be creating something similar in our class.

Select topic or article

The students will have half of a class period to research the website to read through the articles and select an idea or article. They were asked to select a topic that really interested them and not just to pick the first one they read.

Read the article while taking notes

The students needed to read their selected articles trying to find the important facts and ideas that were present in the articles. This is something that I really had to keep an eye on to make sure that the students were not just copying what they were reading.

Organize the information in their own words

The students will then look over their notes and start to organize the information into the Podcast layout that they were given.

Record their podcasts

The students used GarageBand to record their podcasts.

Editing and uploading podcasts

Due to the lack of time to complete this project I edited the students podcasts (just adding a jingle and cutting out the outtakes). After they were finished I uploaded them to so the students could embed them into their digital portfolios.

Example of student work

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]


I used a checklist to make sure the students met all of the criteria for their podcast (time, information, own words, etc.).


I definitely would do this project again with the students next year. I would change only the timing of the project. It took to long just trying to complete the project during the one hour a week dedicated to ICT lab time in our school.

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