Educators Smithsonian Education
Podcasting with Your Students
The Smithsonian-Jamestown Podcast Project
Before the Visit - During the Visit - After the Visit - Acknowledgements

During the Visit

A focused assignment is always a good idea for class museum visits. Museums can be overwhelming places, and students can feel lost in the jumble of attractions.  The Jamestown students had an additional focus in this project. They would be going after the answers to specific questions, not only for themselves, but also for their podcast audience.

At the National Museum of Natural History, they recorded descriptions of what they were seeing and thinking. They then met with one of the museum’s experts on marine mammals and recorded an interview. In addition, they took digital photos, shot video footage, made drawings, and wrote journal entries. These “visuals” would be posted on the school website to accompany the podcast.

At the National Zoo, the procedure was much the same. They visited the Small Mammal House and the primate, elephant, and cheetah habitats. In the Small Mammal House, they interviewed one of the zoo’s biologists.

In the students’ recordings, we can hear them beginning to make connections between animal species. One student searches for words to describe a hippopotamus for the audience. “It has a head like a hamster on the body of a hog,” she says.

Back in the classroom, the class assembled the audio for two podcast episodes, one on the Natural History visit and another on the National Zoo.

National Zoo Visit Podcast Episode

National Museum of Natural History Visit Podcast Epidode
Podcasting in the Classroom

Museum Experts

During their visit, the students from Jamestown Elementary interviewed museum educators and mammal experts, recording their interactions and incorporating the Q&A into their podcast.

Before the Visit After the Visit

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