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6th Grade: Radio Stories

posted Jan 30, 2012, 12:30 PM by   [ updated Feb 14, 2012, 12:15 PM ]
Today, the entertainment world is dominated by video.  Capturing the sights and sounds of our world in motion is so easy, that few people still take the time to listen to stories.  Stories told in audio only can have a magical quality, somewhere between the worlds of books and video; radio brings you sensory delights of the real world, music and voice, but leaves your imagination free to create the faces, places, and ideas the way books do.  Especially when it comes to the human voice, stories on the radio often have intimacy where TV has only awkwardness.

For this project, we're going to ask someone close to us to tell us a story, and then we're going to produce that story in the style of a radio piece, adding music, discussion, and reflection.  We'll look for themes that link the stories and publish them in collections.

Guidelines for Picking Stories

  • Find several adults close to you that can tell you a story.
  • The stories should take less than 5 minutes to tell.
  • The stories should be relevant to that person's identity, family history, or personal struggle.
  • The people should be willing to have their stories published online.

Guidelines for Recording

Many devices are capable of recording audio these days.  Digital cameras that record video, phones that take voice memos, and computers with microphones can all be used as voice recorders.  Students must identify a device they can use and experiment with using it in advance of beginning this project.


StoryCorps - Good examples of types of stories people tell about their lives
"Our mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives."

RadioLab - Great examples of radio productions with a high degree of editing, music, and reflection
"Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world."

This American Life - This American Life showcases a moderate amount of editing but great summarizing and reflection.

Submit your Stories

Use the form below to submit your story ideas.  You must submit at least three of these.


In order to get our audio or video into school, we may have to upload it to Google Docs from home.  This is a pretty simple process:
  1. Go to Google Docs
  2. Click the Disk Icon to Upload a file

  3. Find the file and click OK.
You can practice this using this boyscout.mp3 file.

Using that file, the garciaa.mp3, or another file of your choosing, practice importing audio into Garageband, editing it, and adding sounds.

Support for Importing Video to Your Computer at Home or School

Project Milestones

  MilestoneEvidencePoints Due Date
 1 Bringing in recorded raw audio Audio shared with teachers on Google Docs 10 2/6/12
 2 Splitting raw audio into a minimum of 5 named sections Screen shot and list of sections including times they start and end. 10 2/15/12
 3 Cutting raw audio down to 3 minutes Screen shot and updated list of sections 10 2/16/12
 4 Written Introduction and Reflection Document submitted 10 2/16/12
 5 Recorded Introduction and Reflection Screen shot 10 2/24/12
 6 First Draft of complete piece (including sound effects and music) Audio and Screenshot Submitted 10 2/27/12
 7Final Draft of complete piece  Audio and Screenshot Submitted  40 3/2/12


Feb 1, 2012, 10:50 AM
Feb 1, 2012, 10:52 AM