Posted in Reading

Audio as Text?

Why do we need audio resources in our instruction?

Most people think of text as articles, books, or basically anything with print.  But the Common Core includes video and audio recordings as text as well as print resources.  The use of audio recordings of text is apart of the Speaking and Listening Standards for the Common Core (CCSS).   We as teachers have come to accept the use of audio books as a way to help students who need support with reading (so they can hear the text read fluently as they read along) and to engage reluctant readers but not as many teachers utilize audio recordings as a way for students to gain information much like we do through the use of videos.

The “listening” part of the Common Core is evident in Kindergarten through High School standards.  Phrases such as, “listen to others, recount information presented orally, ask and answer questions about what a speaker says” are prominent in the listening standards.  So, if building listening skills is essential, where can teachers find audio resources?

Where can I find great audio resources for my classroom?

There are a couple great, easy to access, and FREE resources that teachers can tap into for audio text.  The first resource is LISTENWISE (  Listenwise is a repository of audio files from National Public Radio for science, social studies, ELA, and current event topics.  Audio files on the site are searchable by subject or keyword and are of varied lengths.  All of the audio files and podcasts included at the site also have a transcript included as well.

If you decide to use the website be sure to checkout their blog ( as they pull together audio resources for current topics such as the timely posts they shared in the last week; Listenwise for Presidents Day and Listenwise for the Winter Olympics.

What are some other great audio resources?

I am a HUGE proponent of Podcasts.  As someone who puts 20,000 miles in her car each year my family and I find that Podcasts are a great way to simultaneously pass the time and learn something.  While not all podcasts are appropriate for all ages of children I find that there are great podcasts that can be used with elementary age children.  My own children have been listening to the Stuff you Missed in History Class podcast for many years.  I will tell you that I do read the descriptions to the podcasts using the description before sharing them and would always recommend listening to the entire podcast before sharing them with your students to be sure the topic is appropriate.  For more podcasts that are appropriate for different age students check out these links: