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Author: Calida O'Brien

This Cleveland Teaching Collaborative showcase features History and Social Studies podcasts submitted to the Cleveland Teaching Collaborative Resource Referatory. Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go and they're easy to incorporate into lesson plans and instruction, either as an assigned "reading" for students to take home or as a way to stimulate discussion in remote or in-person learning environments.

Podcasts in the Classroom:

Ben Richards, a Cleveland State University librarian, put together this Research Guide for educators and students on how to incorporate and create podcasts for university classrooms. Although this guide was created with undergraduate students in mind, podcast assignments can easily be transposed to PK-12 classrooms. 

Dr. Abby Mullen wrote a simple but effective article to explain to students How to Listen to a Podcast for Class. This article is a useful tool created to assist students with learning how to listen to podcasts, which is as much a learned skill as reading in higher education. 

Podcasts for Educators:

Deeper Social Studies 

Host: Jake Fond

The Deeper Social Studies podcast connects PK-12 Social Studies teachers to other practitioners in the fields of United States history, World History, and Civics. Each podcast episode focuses on pedagogy and educators' personal experiences, lasting only 30 to 40 minutes, perfect for a morning commute. This podcast gives Social Studies teachers a window into how other educators organize and create their curriculum and lesson plans, making Social Studies topics more relatable to their students and changing how students view and speak about the current events in society today.

Links to Listen: Apple Podcasts

Teaching History Her Way

Host: CherylAnne Amendola

Teaching History Her Way is a weekly podcast dedicated to uncovering and discussing the ways that educators can bring more difficult to teach histories of our nation to the classroom. Episode topics range from how to develop an anti-racism curriculum to how to use Children’s Literature as a unifying force in the classroom as well as Project-Based Learning ideas and Native American history inclusion. Above all, the host's focus is on student success, pedagogy, and professional growth as an educator.

Links to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Teaching Her Way Website.

Podcasts for Students:

The Honorable History of Children

Host: Honor Gilbertson

A short, three-part series about the hidden history of children, for children. Recorded with an audience of 9 to 12-year-olds in mind while still interesting and enlightening to all ages, this series can help get children involved and able to relate to events discussed in their history and social studies classrooms. Each episode is around 15 minutes long, perfect for in-class listening, and focuses on the way that Victorian-era children impacted history and spinning a narrative to show that children were not just innocent, silent accessories or things that events happened to, but agents of change and production themselves, as well as the subjects of laws and adults’ concerns.

Links to Listen: Spotify, The Honorable History of Children Website.

60-Second Civics

Host: Mark Gage

This podcast is a great way to start a late middle school or high school class for the day, especially in classrooms that are still hybrid or utilize Chromebooks daily. 60-Second Civics is just that: a one-minute-long daily podcast related to current events that students can listen to and answer a corresponding multiple-choice question on afterward. It’s a great way to simply introduce a variety of civics topics to the social studies classroom, whether by looking back at their archive of daily podcasts to find a specific topic or by allowing students to explore the website daily for the current date’s news. Some topics come in series, covering different aspects of more complex topics in easy-to-digest pieces.

Links to Listen:  60-Second Civics Website.

Ben Franklin's World

Host: Liz Covart 

While each episode is a bit longer than some of the others in this showcase, Ben Franklin’s World is roughly a 45-to-60-minute podcast that covers various topics on early American history. Not specifically about Benjamin Franklin, nor even of purely the United States, the host, Liz Covart, interviews early American historians about a variety of topics, from biographies of lesser-known Americans and historic locations to in-depth discussions on laws and more general themes (like inoculation). Each episode webpage has episode information, the interviewed historian’s biography, related articles and books, links to episodes that share similar topics, and a fun Time Warp question that serve as an in-depth discussion question to engage students after listening to an episode.

Links to Listen: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Ben Franklin's World Website.
**The podcast information, questions, and related readings are only available on their website. 

Bag Man

Host: Rachel Maddow

This seven-episode podcast short-series aimed at APUSH (Advanced Placement United States History) high school students. The episodes cover the political and criminal story of Richard Nixon’s Vice President, Ted (Spiro) Agnew. Each episode links students and educators to the primary and secondary sources used to create the podcast, including images of some of the archival documents, the names of the newspaper and radio ads, and the speeches made. This helps create a sense of the research required and can make students familiar with the types of documentation required for research projects. Since the documents are linked too, this allows the educator to create a lesson plan around any episodes used in class and for critical analysis of the political life of one of America’s most controversial Vice Presidents.

Links to Listen: MSNBC Website.

This Week in Black History, Society and Culture

Hosts: Black and African Diaspora Forum United (BADFU) Members

This Week in Black History, Society and Culture is a weekly podcast geared towards listeners who are eager to learn about the United States' current events and the ways that they are linked to the longer history of Black America. For educators interested in incorporating this podcast into the class, this show would be best assigned to high school, college, or university-level students taking U.S. History, Social Studies, or Black Studies courses to foster connections between the world we live in today and the struggles that African Americans have faced since the birth of our nation. The podcast updates weekly during the academic year, giving listeners a consistent and accessible perspective to look forward to and discuss every week.

Links to Listen: Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Castro, Castbox, Podchaser, Pocket Casts, Deezer, Listen Notes, Player FM, Podfriend, RSS Feed

Lady Science

Hosts: Leila McNeill, Anna Reser

If you're interested in discovering what role women have played in history and the fields of science, this is the podcast for you. The podcast hosts release a monthly podcast that focuses on the topics of women, gender, and sexuality with a mind to history and the ways that history affects the present. Episodes run between 30 minutes to an hour and include a transcript as well as additional readings that students or educators can explore to learn more on the topic. The podcast episodes themselves are well researched and can be used as an example of how to turn your research into a podcast episode.

Links to Listen: Lady Science Website

Reclaiming Jane

Hosts: Emily Davis-Hale, Lauren Wethers

Each episode of Reclaiming Jane is about an hour long and talks the listeners through a chapter by chapter, in-depth analysis of Jane Austen’s novels through the lens of some more modern issues taken with her novels, such as sexuality, gender, and race. The focus of the podcast episodes is more on the literature of Jane Austen, but the ways that the hosts discuss the literary work is with a mind towards the history of the work, viewing it as a historical work with insight to offer modern readers, giving this podcast an interdisciplinary touch that both historians and literature buffs can appreciate and enjoy. The podcast updates five chapters every few weeks, which can make for a perfect addition to classroom discussions 

Links to Listen: Apple Podcasts