Learning the Constitution with podcast.

Well the summer is half over and I need to begin thinking about what I should do in my classes this fall.
Last year I changed up my podcast lessons a little. Instead of using a script for the students to produce their podcast I made them create their own scripts about the Constitution and the Federal government.
I divided each class into groups of 4-5 and have the kids write a contract for their group. We use Moodle to share resources and communicate online. Once the kids finished their contract they had to decide what each persons responsibilities would be. For example; one might be a reader, one might be a writer, one might be an editor, one might get sources and create a works cited portion of the script, one might have more than one job. We discus what types of jobs there could be and list them on the smartboard.
Once jobs are assigned we start creating the scripts. The podcast need to be between 5-10 minutes, each podcast needs to have sound effects, lead in and fade out music and be edited so that there are no extra noises, giggles, door slams, bell rings etc..
Usually I give them topics to choose from and a sample script to look at. Topics range from Congress (article 1 and 2). the Executive (article 3) States rights and federal govt rights (articles 4 and 6)
Political parties, The amendments 1-10, The amendments civil rights 13-15, the amendments 11, 12, 16-27.
The Articles of Confederation and their failure.
Students are directed to create either a gameshow, a news broadcast, a documentary, or a letter from a delegate at the Constitution Convention.
When the students are finished they post the podcast online for peer critiques and make corrections based on the feedback given by their peers.
Grades are based on a rubric we create together in class with teacher input. The students grade each others projects then I grade them and combine grades for an average.
This worked so good last year I don’t think I will change much this year. They only thing is to make videos for the flipped class format to post online so the students can use most of their in class time working on the project. The videos need to cover how to make a podcast and how to edit using audacity. I usually give about 4-5 weeks for this project.


About merlehall

I am a technology teacher for Macon Middle School. In Northeast Missouri. I have been using an online classroom with Moodle for the past several years. My students use a hybrid online, brick and mortar class. My classes are designed to support the core classes in that: In 8th grade we study the Constitution of the United States using smartboards, podcast, vidcast, internet research and word. In 7th we study economics using HTML, game creation, ebook writing, podcast, game playing, excel spreadsheets, and database design. In 6th grade we study geography and math using Monopoly with checks, spreadsheets, and work on keyboarding, speed typing, touch typing and dictation. In addition to education I am an avid fisherman, hunter, hot air balloon lover, front porch setter, square dancer, so you will also be seeing information on these subjects as well from time to time.
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