Thursday, September 28, 2006

This I Believe - AHS Version

Anne has her freshmen creating podcasts in the style of NPR's This I Believe.
Last year a colleague had me listen to a segment on National Public Radio called "This I Believe". After hearing and reading some of the submissions as well as researching the history behind the segment, I was intrigued. I wanted to challenge my students to submit their own essays to NPR spending time writing rough drafts, editing, peer editing, parent editing, and then finally submitting their polished draft to the station. I thought, how powerful for one of them to have their work published nationally. How powerful for all of them to know that their voices matter.

I told the class my goals for the assignment and had them listen and read a few examples. After the class listened to some, THEY decided they would like to podcast their own essays so they could be heard on the web just like those on NPR.
We have seven podcasts up so far, but we'll be adding more as the students get a chance to record their essays (they're coming in and doing it on their unscheduled hours). As you would expect, they vary in quality - both in terms of the writing and the narrating - but overall I think they are very good and you can hear some of their voices (in the literary sense) loud and clear. Of the seven so far, I think Zoe Y. and Phil H.'s voices come through particularly well and you get a clear feeling for what they believe (whether you agree or not). So head over to their blog and take a listen, and then take a moment to comment and give them some feedback (constructive feedback on their writing and narrating only, please).


  1. I did the same thing with my 11th grade students last spring. They really enjoyed it, and I am especially glad that we got podcasts from two of our foreign exchange students, Artie from Russia, and Sampson from Hong Kong.

    We didn't know how to get our podcasts to work on a blog then, so they are just linked to my class webpage. If you'd like to listen, you may check them out at Click on the English 3 button, and then from their page, click on the "This I Believe" Podcasts.

    Nancy Scofield
    Rye High School
    Rye, Colorado

  2. How amazing! This is such an awesome idea--I encourage these podcasters to submit their essays to NPR. Keep revising and polishing these--they may be of incredible caliber! My compliments to all of the students who participated in this.