By Kara Eng
Mrs. Arbet, a Lower School language arts teacher, is always on the lookout for new ideas. Inspired by a combination of Pinterest, other internet resources, and a few books, she decided to put a spin on the traditional book report. Instead of writing a mundane essay, 5th graders have written and recorded podcasts, making an audio advertisement for The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Mrs. Arbet says that it is a “nice way for them to share their comprehension of what they’re reading.”
The podcast project is new. Mrs. Arbet says that “as long as it enhances [the students’] learning, we’ll continue the project.” Having already used the technology in their math class, the 5th graders already knew what to do. Riya Duddalwar ‘22 explained the process. “You write a book review on the book and you have to talk about the characters. It’s just an advertisement. We had to write the script and now we’re recording it.” Maddy Brousseau ‘22 thought that the podcasts were a good idea. “I think it’s way more fun because you get to speak while doing it and you get to be recorded. You can show your excitement.”
Along with making podcasts, Mrs. Arbet’s class have been reporting on specific countries of their choice (for their geography and history units) on blogs, they’ve started a class newspaper, they’re going to make a public service announcement about modern day slavery (to tie in with their reading of Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson), and will be doing a project using green screens toward the ends of the year.