When planning an upcoming 6th grade ACL unit which focused on creative writing, I was asked if there were any apps for horror or spooky themed stories to tie in with October’s festivities. Not finding anything free or age-appropriate in the app store, my next course of action was to pay a visit to iTunes. If you can’t find an app for a topic, odds are you will always discover a podcast for it…
Sure enough, I found Vintage Horror Radio. The podcast show highlights “radio adaptations of classic stories from horror authors, as well as the performances of horror icons like Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and others”. Some of the shows were even originally aired on CBS Radio Mystery Theater.
The apptivity could be set up like this:
- Place students in different listening stations. Each station would have a different episode (teachers are advised to preview and preselect episodes that are age and content appropriate).
- Students could complete a graphic organizer on the episode (see “Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary“, “HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming“, and “Quadfecta of Integration” for examples and tools)
- Students could discuss elements of radio theater (e.g. use of sound effects, narration, music & soundtrack, and tone and intonation) – check out “sound effects: the art of noise” and “radio sound effects in audio theater“)
- Students would then cast, script, and perform a radio show of their own (on a given topic or story) and record it (this can be achieved with the voice memo app on the iPod, iTalk Recorder on the iPad, Caster Free and Voice Changer Plus on any iDevice, or a tool like Audacity on the web).
- Putting on an Old Time Radio Show (PBS lesson plan for teachers)
- War of the Worlds: a Broadcast Recreation (a lesson for re-creating reader’s theater radio broadcasts)
- Audio Broadcasts & Podcasts (Read Write Think lesson on oral storytelling and dramatization)
- A Radio Drama Project
- Using Audacity for pupil radio dramas with sound effects