Thursday, May 16, 2013 A Resource For Public Radio

So many times, I find myself listening to public radio and thinking how easily and powerfully it could intertwine and supplement some of our elementary curriculum. I admit, though, I have never gone back to the NPR archives.

A few weeks ago, when I was at the New England Social Studies Convention, I met Monica Brady-Myerov. Monica has founded, a resource for educators that weaves public radio broadcasts with Common Core and State Standards. Working with public school teachers, Monica has developed and categorized many lesson plans with direct links to national and state standards. Each broadcast is about 4-5 minutes and comes with a detailed lesson plan, listening prompts, extension activities, homework suggestions, assessment opportunities. Additionally, the lesson plans have links to all of the standards that they address.

Monica has done an amazing job at organizing this website to make it easy to search and find resources. Lessons are organized by grades (3-6 and 7-8), as well as by subject. Some of the subjects include, but are not limited to, geography, immigration, the Civil War, STEM, mathematics, the Constitution, and Westward Expansion. I have included a screen shot of the dropdown menu that gives an idea of how easy it is to search for lessons. Monica has made it easy for teachers by including summaries of broadcasts, detailed notes on the transcripts, and specific questions with answers that accompany the broadcasts.

At the convention, I spent time talking with Monica about the importance of listening and of increasing students' awareness of and curiosity about the world around them. From broadcasts about the noise of worms to others about border states during the Civil War, public radio is an amazing resource for developing or supplementing curriculum, especially at the middle school to high school levels.

For the time being, is free. You do have to register in order to view the lesson plans and extension activities and I highly recommend that you do, as you will also receive updates about newly added broadcasts and lessons.

Enjoy your listening,


  1. First, a Social Studies convention - how exciting! Second, thanks for this link, Melanie - definitely going to have to research this.

  2. My comment is slightly off topic. I found your blog today for the first time and have been poring over it for hours! I was wondering how a typical day in your class goes schedule-wise? I'm trying to get in mind what I want to do different for next year (4th grade) and I think I'm already underestimating how time flies even though I know better! I want to start with "Reading Workshop" - a read aloud with strategy mini lesson/model, and practice time. Then doing differentiated reading groups. Then moving into "Writing Workshop" followed by Math Workshop and hmmm...where will Science and Social Studies fit? :O So, in doing my best to figure this out, I was hoping for some inspiration. :) Btw, this blog has already been a breath of fresh air. Thank you for it!

  3. Hi Nikki, Mel Swider teaches in a classroom and I am the district's writing and social studies coordinator, but I will answer your question for a typical day: WW-60 minutes, RW-60 minutes, Math- 60 minutes, read aloud-30 minutes, Science or SS (they take turns) 45-60 minutes. Read aloud is different than reading workshop in the grade 5 classroom. You can model, rinse and repeat, but RW is really for teaching specific skills explicitly, then giving students time to practice them in their own reading lives. I wouldn't think of reading groups as much as I would think of strategy groups throughout the year or book clubs at certain times of the year.
    Hop this helps,