Irvington Middle School Eighth Graders Shine with Original Podcasts

Irvington Middle School eighth graders recently created their own original podcasts. Photos courtesy of the Irvington Union Free School District

Irvington Middle School eighth graders recently embarked on an innovative journey as they collaborated with their peers to conduct extensive research and create original podcasts. The dynamic project was led by English language arts teachers Tara Chillemi, Olivia Evanko and David Kendall.

Rather than writing a formal research paper, the students embraced an engaging approach. They researched a diverse range of topics, spanning from space exploration to the whimsical world of imaginary friends, the meaning of life and the history of the Holocaust. After meticulously researching their chosen subjects, the students crafted scripts for their podcasts and recorded and edited their own episodes. Throughout the process, they used a variety of techniques to ensure their podcasts were not only informative, but captivating for their audiences.

“Every year, we continue to be blown away by the interesting research choices, creative structuring of content and podcasting moves to enhance engagement,” Evanko said. “From sound effects to interviews to original music, each podcast is unique in its own way.”

Once the podcasts were complete, the students shared their final projects with their classmates and listened to their peers’ work in class. In addition, the students will take their work to the next level and submit their podcasts to the New York Times or National Public Radio’s student podcast challenges.


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