How I Use It
Finally, ready-made lesson plans and materials I would actually USE! Teachers can search the site for NPR radio stories that relate to a variety of topics from history and current events to science and literature. Audio of each story is accompanied by highlighted-as-you-go text, so this would be a great tool for strengthening skills non-fiction reading. There is even a slow speed option that would be a great benefit for ELL. Stories could be used in many ways in the classroom -- as an opening hook to a new topic, for independent or small group pursuit of an area of interest within a given unit of study, or as homework or enrichment.
I'm sorry to have discovered this tool over the summer. Finding interesting and valuable ways to incorporate current events into my social studies class has always been a challenge, and I think this might be at least one answer to that problem. Lesson plans and activities are excellent quality and useful right out of the box -- including vocabulary, listening comprehension questions, graphic organizers, writing assignments and links to related web content. The lack of a visual element might make Listen Current less engaging for some students but others might enjoy the opportunity to engage their imaginations a bit while listening.