Lesson Background: My students completed a persuasive writing unit earlier in the year. They focused on the elements of persuasion and how to write for a specific audience through letter writing and a problem solution essay. The majority of the persuasive unit was teacher directed and did not include enough student choice and independent work. Luckily, I found time in this quarter to be able to create podcasts to give them more options.
Summary of Lesson: The students were assigned a persuasive podcast to demonstrate their ability to persuade an audience using specific facts and new technology. My class is predominately ESL, and the majority of those students are fairly new to English. They began the project by selecting an issue at YIS Yangon International School) that they could explain through data collection and statistical information. For example, one issues a student chose was the overuse of paper towels when students wash their hands. They had to identify a specific audience and tailor their podcast to this group. They created methods of data collection, selected statistics they would need and wrote their script. Throughout the beginning of this process they listened to podcasts on a variety of topics to a get sense of this unique medium. At the end of the unit, they will play their podcasts for their intended audience as well as post them on my class blog. They will evaluate their own learning to examine how effective their podcast was and how they could alter in the future.