Teachable Books, Teaching

A Few Teachable Podcasts

I have just recently gotten into the whole Podcast thing, and now I am HOOKED. Here are my three favorites, all of which would be wonderful in a high school classroom:

  1. Presidential

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This podcast hosted by a journalist for the Washington Post is fascinating, accessible, and gripping. It details each US President, starting with George Washington, and talks for 45 minutes about their contributions, their life-struggles, and what the world was like under their presidency. Perfect for a history class, and even more perfect for a history class combined with English Lit. (My favorite episode was the one about Andrew Jackson. What a complicated man, and it really made me think deeply about what “legacy” actually means.)


2. Revisionist History

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I admit to reading everything Malcolm Gladwell has written, and have loved it all. (Especially David and Goliath- life changing).  This podcast takes moments in history that may have been forgotten, overlooked, or misunderstood, and is evaluated as only Malcolm Gladwell can. Each episode is unique, but the first one, “The Lady Vanishes”, is breathtaking in its study of misogyny, racism, and power. I can’t recommend it highly enough, as it’s a springboard for many important conversations.


3. Magic Lessons


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I love Elizabeth Gilbert, and I’m not afraid to say it. I would love to hang out with her for an afternoon feed off her positive energy. But not only that, if you haven’t read The Signature of All Things, DO! Everything you might have thought about her after Eat, Pray, Love is out the window with that phenomenal historical fiction novel.

Magic Lessons would be wonderful in a philosophy or TOK class, as it takes issues about creativity and delves deeply into them. I loved the episode with the poet Mark Nepo, who gave a frustrated poet the assignment to read “Song of Myself” and reflect on each chapter as a way of understanding her life’s purpose and calling (what a great idea!). But I have to admit the episode with Ann Patchett and Brene Brown was the best for me– those two have such different life experiences, and yet they both (Gilbert, too), come to the same conclusion: we are all creative beings, and to not create and express is to stifle our purpose. Good stuff, especially for writers and students pursuing the arts.

Now that I’m hooked on this medium… more podcast recommendations are welcome!

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