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Crime Scene Critical Thinking Investigations and Activities (Grades 5-9)


Build Critical Thinking Skills Through The True-Crime Podcast "Serial" (FLEX)

In this ten-week class, students will grow in their listening, comprehension, and analytical skills as they listen and learn through the true-crime podcast "Serial".
Christina Johnson
78 total reviews for this teacher
Completed by 2 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
No live meetings
Over 10 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per week

How does aFlexible Schedulecourse work?

No scheduled live video chats
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great if your learner prefers independent pacing or is uncomfortable with live video chat

There are no open spots for this class.

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Class Experience

Students will further develop their ability to think critically while doing something they enjoy instead of dread.
Students will grow in their understanding of research, storytelling techniques, rhetorical techniques and analysis, and paragraph writing.

*Note: This class is just as rigorous as an English Literature class and hits nearly all of the essential English standards over the course of ten weeks; however, this class is engaging enough that students will barely feel like they are working. If your student struggles with finding a novel that is engaging enough for them to truly benefit from a literature class, this podcast course is an equivalent option. This is an excellent way for students to learn challenging skills in a low-pressure environment that they enjoy!
I discovered "Serial" several years ago while painting every square inch of my house, and I've been a self-proclaimed audiophile ever since. I've taught this particular podcast in the physical classroom for three years and witnessed students of all learning styles excel and grow in their critical thinking skills. This podcast is rigorous, and the assignments that go along with it are just as challenging as those that accompany a classical work of literature. I've listened to and analyzed "Serial" more times than I can count, but I still get excited when I hear the intro music.

I love the power that podcasts provide our society, and I have been able to engage even the most resistant students through the podcast medium. Technology, whether we like it or not, isn't going anywhere, and each generation is becoming increasingly attached to technological apps, advancements, and mediums. I believe that podcasts create a very safe and beneficial boundary for technology: with an endless variety of topics, students are bound to find something that interests them or teaches them something new. The accessibility of podcasts remains their greatest strength: free and accessible to all, no one is incapable of finding something that they can enjoy. I have a passion for podcasts and all of their potential, and I hope your student will join me in discovering all that "Serial" has to teach them. 
Students will be assigned 1-2 podcast episodes per week (45-50 min).
Students will be provided an instructional video lesson each week (15-20 min).
Students will be expected to complete an evidence journal assignment (15 min) and a discussion board or flip grid assignment each week (20 min).
Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours each week on assignments outside of class; however, students are encouraged to spend more time conducting research if they find the topic interests them.
All homework will be independent, but students will interact with their peers using the discussion board, flip grid, and/or optional live class session. Time will be spent discussing student findings, theories, and interests surrounding the work. 
Students should be able to access a podcasting app and have access to Google Docs.
A more detailed syllabus will be provided closer to the beginning of class.
This class will utilize Google Classroom.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
No live meetings, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
This podcast DOES contain mature content. Please ensure your student is mature enough to discuss all of the following before signing them up for this class. The podcast episodes contain strong language, mention of drug use, some mentions of sex, and the main topic of the podcast surrounds the topic of murder. There are cleaner episodes available online, but the overall content and assignment expectations will require a mature audience. 
Students will be directed to the location of episodes during the first class.
The teacher will provide links to assignments and "Evidence Journal" instructions during the first class.
This class will utilize Google Docs.


Christina JohnsonPassionate and student-centered teacher who strives to teach students how to think, rather than what to think.
78 total reviews
143 completed classes

About Me

Hello! I'm Mrs. Johnson, and I teach English Language Arts classes on Outschool. My classes focus on critical thinking, writing, and novel studies. My wide range of courses exist to help your student learn to love literature in all of its forms,... 
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