Serial Podcast Lesson Plans

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Sarah Koenig’s viral podcast, “Serial,” has been making rounds into classrooms across the country.  And why not?  The highly engaging podcast quite literally traces the argumentative threads embedded in the cases of Adnan Syed and Bowe Bergdahl.

These materials provide a flexible framework for analyzing either season of Serial, and can be implemented in a variety of innovative ways — ranging from simple homework tasks, to an independent listening assignment, to “summer reading.”


(Note: If you haven’t listened to Serial yet, check it out at or on your favorite podcasting mobile app.  You’ll surely be hooked, but keep in mind, the podcast’s language and content demands a mature listening audience!)


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Lesson Features

Lesson Focus Rhetorical analysis and close reading for an extended period of time; close listening; speaker's purpose; credibility
Grades Upper Secondary (mature language: 10 through 12)


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