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3 Posts authored by: Grammar Girl Expert

This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.

 

Six empty speech bubbles, each with a pair of opening and closing quotation marks.

 

This month’s post is a week early because of the holiday next Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!

 

Podcasts have been around for a while, but their popularity seems to increase every day—and for good reason! They are engaging and creative, and they cover every topic imaginable. They are also great for the classroom: you can use them to maintain student engagement, accommodate different learning styles, and introduce multimodality.

 

LaunchPad products from Macmillan's English list include Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can assign to your students to support your lessons. If you’re teaching a lesson on quotation marks or integrating quotations, assign one (or all!) of these suggested podcasts for students to listen to before class.

 

In your LaunchPad, see the unit “Grammar Girl Podcasts” for instructions on assigning podcasts. You can also find the same information online on the page “Assign Grammar Girl Podcasts.”

 

Podcasts about Quotation Marks

  • How to Use Quotation Marks [7:51]
  • Quotation Marks and Punctuation [5:02]
  • Punctuating Questions [7:07]
  • Single Quotation Marks versus Double Quotation Marks [6:13]

 

Students can do a lot more with podcasts than simply listen to them. Choose one or both of the following assignments for students to complete using the suggested Grammar Girl podcasts.

 

Assignment A: Ask students, either individually or in small groups, to write a script for their own podcast on a grammar topic. Students should consider the following questions as they develop their script:

  • What topic do they want to focus on?
  • How long do they want the podcast to be? (As with an essay, broader topics tend to result in longer podcasts. You may also want to set time limits.)
  • What do they already know about their chosen topic? What other questions do they still have about their topic? What will they need to research?
  • If the students are working in groups, how will they structure the podcast to accommodate the different narrators?

 

After drafting, ask students to submit their scripts. Each script should include a title and the expected duration. You may also want them to include a separate paragraph reflecting on the script writing process.

 

Assignment B: Have students record their podcast from Assignment A and share the files with their classmates. Reflect on the process and results as a group. Which parts of the project were easiest? Which were most difficult? Did they have to adjust their scripts at all during recording?

 

Recording podcasts can take a lot of time and sometimes involves a steep learning curve. If recording podcasts is not feasible for your class, have each student read their script aloud to their peers.

 

Do you have other suggestions for using podcasts in lessons? Let us know what they are in the comments!

 

Credit: Pixabay Image 1375858by 905513, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License

This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.

 

Three dogs dressed as ghosts with a jack-o-lantern.

 

Happy almost Halloween! This month, we’ll look at some Grammar Girl podcasts about idioms--including two that are quite “spooky.”

 

Podcasts have been around for a while, but their popularity seems to increase every day—and for good reason! They are engaging and creative, and they cover every topic imaginable. They are also great for the classroom: you can use them to maintain student engagement, accommodate different learning styles, and introduce multimodality.

 

LaunchPad products from Macmillan's English list include Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can assign to your students to support your lessons. If you’re teaching a lesson on idioms, assign one (or all!) of these suggested podcasts for students to listen to before class.

 

In your LaunchPad, see the unit “Grammar Girl Podcasts” for instructions on assigning podcasts. You can also find the same information  on the page “Assign Grammar Girl Podcasts.”

 

Podcasts about Idioms

  • "Dead" Idioms [6:16]
  • "Skeleton" Idioms [5:24]
  • Quirky English Idioms [5:10]
  • Idioms about Rain [5:35]
  • Wordiness and Idioms [4:27]

 

Students can do a lot more with podcasts than simply listen to them. Choose one or both of the following assignments for students to complete using the suggested Grammar Girl podcasts.

 

Assignment A: Have students listen to the podcasts listed above. Then, ask students to brainstorm ideas for their own podcast about idioms, either individually or in small groups. Students should consider the following questions:

  • What aspect of idioms do they want to focus on? (For example, one student may want to investigate idioms across cultures, another may want to look at idioms that share a word or theme, and a third may choose to highlight one idiom and research it in depth.)
  • How long do they want the podcast to be? (As with an essay, broader topics tend to result in longer podcasts. You may also want to set time limits.)
  • What do they already know about their chosen topic? What other questions do they still have about their topic? What will they need to research?

 

After brainstorming, have students draft a brief write-up of their podcast idea. Ask them to include a potential title, the planned duration, research questions, and potential sources of information.

 

Assignment B: Ask students, either individually or in small groups, to write a script for their own podcast about idioms. (If your class completed Assignment A above, they can use their write-up to guide the script.)  Students should consider what information they want to convey (or what question they want to answer), how long they want their podcast to be, and how they will structure the discussion. Will they research different sources and summarize what they’ve discovered? Will they interview an expert and include that recording as part of their podcast?

 

Do you have other suggestions for using podcasts in lessons? Let us know what they are in the comments!

 

Credit: Pixabay Image 2870607 by Fotoshautnah, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License

This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.

 

Podcasts have been around for a while, but their popularity seems to increase every day—and for good reason! They are engaging and creative, and they cover every topic imaginable. They are also great for the classroom: you can use them to maintain student engagement, accommodate different learning styles, and introduce multimodality. 

 

LaunchPad products from Macmillan's English catalog include Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can use to support your lessons. If you’re teaching a lesson about commas or find your class needs some more help with the topic, you can assign one (or all!) of these suggested podcasts for students to listen to before class.

 

In your LaunchPad, see the unit “Grammar Girl Podcasts” for instructions on assigning podcasts. You can also find the same information on the support page "Assign Grammar Girl Podcasts." 

 

Podcasts about Commas

  • Commas: Oxford, Appositive, Nonrestrictive [6:46]
  • Serial Comma [6:12]
  • Where Do I Use Commas? [7:16]
  • When to Use a Comma before Because [2:57]
  • When to Use a Comma with Too [4:01]

 

Students can do a lot more with podcasts than simply listen to them. Use one of the following assignments to encourage students to engage further with the Grammar Girl podcasts.

 

Assignment A: Ask students to listen to the podcast "Commas: Oxford, Appositive, Nonrestrictive" and then have them write a short response discussing and reflecting on the experience. (All Grammar Girl podcasts come with transcripts in LaunchPad—students can also read the podcast transcript to inform their response.) Have students consider the following questions:

  • How is listening to information about a topic different from reading about it? How is it the same?
  • How do the host's tone and voice impact the listener's experience?
  • What does the host do to connect with the listener?
  • What new information did the student learn about commas? Can they pinpoint any element of the podcast that helped them remember this new information?

 

Assignment B: Ask students to listen to more than one podcast about commas, such as "Commas: Oxford, Appositive, Nonrestrictive" and "Serial Comma." Have them also read the transcripts. In addition to the questions above, have them write a response considering the following:

  • How do the podcasts compare? Does the content overlap, and if so, where?
  • What is different about the coverage of commas in each podcast?
  • What content or information is conveyed through audio that does not appear in the transcripts? Is any additional information found in the transcripts that is not apparent from just listening to the podcast?

 

Do you have other suggestions for using podcasts in lessons? Let us know what they are in the comments!


Credit: Pixabay Image 2426854 by geralt, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License