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USING RADIO ROOKIES STORIES AS A TEACHING TOOL
Youth produced radio documentaries are valuable curriculum resources because youth voices are too often excluded from mainstream teaching materials. The Radio Rookies approach places youth voice at the center of issues-oriented instructional programs. Radio documentaries foster academic engagement by capturing the interest of students and inspiring them to question and share their beliefs and perspectives about contemporary issues. Students are pushed to ask themselves:
What do I think about this issue?
What has been my personal experience with this issue?
What about my experience leads me to agree or disagree?
Integrating Radio Rookies documentaries into educational programs allows youth to do more than simply hear the opinions and viewpoints of other teens. Through listening, discussion and debate, and writing about the issues presented in these stories, students learn to share opinions and articulate their own perspectives. Ultimately teen listeners learn to validate the power of their own voices and stories to influence other people’s ideas about the important issues affecting our local, national, and global communities.
Radio Rookies' provides "The Teaching True Stories Curriculum Guide" which is a basic overview of how and why to use audio in the classroom, as well as suggested guidelines for listening and follow-up activities. You should feel free to use this Guide as a template from which to base your own lesson plans tailored to the specific needs of your classrooms and subject areas. Our site also organizes stories by topic, so you can easily search existing stories to see if there's something that fits with upcoming lessons:
To give you a sense of the kind of stories that may be useful resources in your teaching or work with youth, here are some pieces other educators have used in their classrooms: