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5th Graders at Cubberley K-8 Respond To An Unforgettable Year By Creating "The PodClass" Podcast

By Eliana Flores-Barber

It’s no question that podcasts have become increasingly popular over the past years. They cover a wide range of topics and have many different personalities and styles people can choose from. These podcasts, however, mainly target teenagers and adults and rarely have material for younger kids. Luckily, Cubberley K 8’s fifth grade teacher Dr. Bober created a podcast with her students called PodClass.

As stated at the beginning of each episode by Patrick Hamilton (parent, producer and editor of PodClass) “There are a lot of things on fifth graders' minds, from weird trends to mysteries and history.” With this thought, PodClass is centered on the voices of the students and their thoughts on topics such as COVID-19, what kids can do to save the planet, weird trends, space, injustice and more.

Dr. Bober says she started the creative outlet for her students because she felt it was imperative to honor her students' assets and interests during the unprecedented distance learning of 2021,

"Whenever possible, we're doing our best to teach with cultural responsiveness- drawing on students' culture and interests and bringing real world issues into the classroom to help students learn."

In their Covid-19 episode, students talked with Producer Hamilton about ways to keep yourself safe during the pandemic and what it's like being a kid during this time. We get to hear first hand kids' experiences during this pandemic and how it affected them.

“I used to game so much and now it's just kind of boring to do that because you want to be with people and talk to them and go places,” says Kaura, a fifth grader in Dr. Bober’s class.

In a different episode, Hamilton covers the topic of how to save the planet but keeps it fun and light. “You guys have a really interesting subject here about saving the planet and it's something we all have in common. As far as I'm aware, we all live on planet earth right? None of you are currently orbiting planet earth in a spaceship passing Venus?” Hamilton says a joke to the students.

This eight part podcast features two students per episode as they speak with Hamilton about their specific topic. Through a series of questions, jokes, and fun facts Hamilton and the students make these short podcasts a great way for kids to learn about social issues and explore the world around them.

While it's a great podcast to listen to, its production process was something all students involved greatly enjoyed. “I loved the experience from getting our facts together to recording it. The greatest part was knowing I was a part of something big. I loved seeing my peer’s points of view, interests and opinions. This helped me learn more about my classmates because I am new to this school,” says Samantha, a fifth grader in Dr. Bober’s class.

All eight episodes of PodClass are up for everyone to listen to and enjoy. The group (of now 6th graders) plan to keep The PodClass going next year as a school club!

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