The Unheard Voices Podcast

 In Curriculum Examples, The CAPE Blog

For one of our teachers at George Washington High School, the Unheard Voices Podcast is an idea that emerged in the aftermath of George Floyd’s violent death in Minneapolis in the spring of 2020. Teacher Peter Eilrich reflected on this and thought about how George was an ordinary man who had his story amplified. The idea of sharing stories and having them amplified inspired him and his students to consider the question: What is an unheard voice?

Podcast Graphic Organizer.

Mr. Eilrich shared that, “In the initial weeks of the project the students started listening to various podcasts. We would listen to it as a class and then organize our thoughts from the podcasts we would listen to in a community graphic organizer.“

As the project progressed, Mr. Eilrich reported that “most of the thoughts that students shared were verbal or typed during our meetings. As we listened to different podcasts I focused on having students notice the form and structure of the conversations and we began to move towards thinking about storytelling – how would we present this project? And that’s when teaching artist Ms. Chelsea A. Flowers helped us think about storytelling.”

Zoom demo by teacher Mr. Elrich

Due to the pandemic, Mr. Eilrich recorded a series of resources on how to work with equipment that the students would use later for recording. He personally delivered the equipment to the students’ houses and this gave them the unique opportunity for family interaction and conversation around the project.

Once the students had the equipment, Mr. Eilrich started to think about the content that the students would create and wondered: “what will help us keep the work moving when we get stuck and how do we put all of this together? Chelsea provided some ideas related to this around making notes and writing in a sketchbook. In particular the idea of writing vocabulary words. She also talked about making lists and working through them.”

Students created a jamboard that included vocabulary words and statements for visual representation.

To sum up, the project was initially planned for 6 weeks, but due to the learning involved by the students in the content creation, it took 8 weeks to complete this project. Below, is the outline and audio of the student’s final podcast project. Have a listen!

Unheard Voices Episode 1:

  • Dedication (Mr. Eilrich)
  • Intro Music – Mindknot (Mr. Eilrich)
  • “Discussion on Skate Park” (Cosme, Cristian, Magz, Eilrich)
  • “Intermission” (Robert Earp)
  • “Coronavirus & High School” (Osciel, Alexa, Alexis, Melanie)
  • Acknowledgments and Thank Yous (Mr. Eilrich)

Check out the Artists of Color and Social Movements at Dyett High School post, where students and parents explore the life and work of artists like Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Etta James, and Nina Simone. 

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