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TeachNet Grant: Mother Goose Meets Project Wisdom Through Pod Casting
Rosalie Cooper

Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210 Queens
93-11 101st Avenue
Ozone Park, NY 11416

Grade/Subject: Grades 6-8, English Language Arts, Technology, Social Studies, Health Education, The Arts
About the Grant:

Computers with Internet access, LCD projector, screen, Garage Band, Word or AppleWorks Word Processing, and computers with a microphone.

The Unit
Students learn how to form a pod cast through storyboarding by using a main theme. The main theme to this project is Project Wisdom/Character Education. Project Wisdom is part of the character education curriculum. Character education is used to assist youth in developing into ethical, morally responsible, community-oriented, and self-disciplined adults. The students put Mother Goose on trial for her abusive nursery rhymes to human and animal life. Each student examines a nursery rhyme of their choice, that is abusive. They must explain in the storyboard process why the nursery rhyme is abusive. The students brainstorm a solution to the rhyme that they must "correct" through the eyes of Project Wisdom.  By using the GarageBand program on the Mac computers students are able to record their pod cast by using music, real and software instruments, sound effects, and pictures. Students must plan an introduction, narratives, music, sound effects, pictures and a conclusion /solution to their nursery rhyme.

In this project two to four students work cooperatively. The project allows students to be very creative with their introductions, scripts, pictures, solutions and conclusions.

I recommend modeling the project for the class. The students need to see the storyboard in writing first, then in theGarageBand-pod cast program with all the different tracks and the pictures.

How This Grant was Adapted:

The best features of this program are:
Students work cooperatively in groups.

Students learn about Project Wisdom.
Students must analyze, organize and plan out their course of action /solution to create the Mother Goose nursery rhyme in a positive way using Project Wisdom.
Students learn from their peers.
Students have fun doing this project.

Students integrate technology in their curriculum.
Student must coordinate the timing of text, speech with pictures.
Student use technology in a unique way to convey their message.

Any subject teacher can use a pod cast for any lessons.


What will students be expected to know once the project is complete? Please include 4-8 learning objectives for your unit.

  • Students acquire knowledge from Project Wisdom.
  • Students research and analyze a nursery rhyme from Mother Goose that may be abusive to human or animal life.
  • Students work cooperatively in groups of 2-4 to evaluate the nursery rhyme.
  • Students create a storyboard with text and pictures for the pod cast.
  • Students acquire knowledge of the GarageBand program that are used for pod casting.
  • Students design, plan, organize and time their pod cast about Mother Goose.
  • Students develop an understanding of the different sound effects and music tracks that are available on the GarageBand program in order to produce a productive, powerful pod cast.
  • Students design an educational product that involves character education and technology.
  • Students develop skills in public speaking.
  • Students use their imagination and creativity to resolve the problem of abuse in nursery rhymes.
Websites Used

Include web links used in your unit, which should be free and accessible to all. Please provide a brief description of each web link cited.

This web site explains all about the value of character education through quotes and readings. Most schools use the program by ways of plays, announcements and linking character education in their lesson plans.

Good character education explains the 6 pillars of character. The key words are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship and fairness. The site has lesson plans and shows how to incorporate character education into the curriculum.

Zelo has a good selection of nursery rhymes for the students. They are very easy to follow.

The site is student friendly and contains links to the different nursery rhymes. The rhymes are indexed in themes, which allow the teacher to focus in on one particular area

Pod casting tools explains exactly what is a pod cast and allows the teacher and students to explore the different tools that are involved in creating a pod cast.

Story center explains in full detail the idea of organize all the written and visual thoughts together. The site gives an example of a storyboard, which is very easy to follow.

http://ask.com/ & http://google.com/ 
Both web sites are great for images of the different pictures of mother goose, project wisdom-owls, judges, the pictures of the rhymes, etc. A good idea is: if the student has  chosen cartoon pictures it is advised to stay with the cartoon theme. Do not have students mix   regular pictures and cartoons because it is easier and gives the projects continuity.

Standards Addressed:

Please list the New York State standards which apply to your unit. Indicate grade and subject area for each standard. Please copy the text of each standard; do not list them by number.


  • Students access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
  • Students apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.
  • Students understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and others areas of learning.

English Language Arts

  • Students will write narratives.
  • Students read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
  • Students read, write, listen, and speak for critical information and understanding.

The Arts

  • Students develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.

Social Studies 

  • Students will focus on basic civic values such as justice, honesty, self-discipline, due process, equality, majority rule with respect for minority rights, and respect for self, others, and property. This standard also emphasizes the important rights, roles, and responsibilities of citizenship, including ways that citizens can participate in our constitutional democracy.

Health Education

  • Students demonstrate personally and socially responsible behavior, to care for and respect themselves and others, to recognize threats to the environment and to demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior while engaged in physical activity.

Lesson 1:

Meet Project Wisdom


  • Students acquire knowledge from Project Wisdom.
  • Students identify the character trait words that deal with Project Wisdom.
  • Students recognize quotes from famous people that use positive character traits.
  • Students write and interpret the character trait words and quotes from Project Wisdom.


  • Computers with Internet connections, LCD projector, Word Processing program,  and Project Wisdom web site. If needed, the students can have story books that contain positive character traits. This is for the students understanding of Project Wisdom.


  • Students are introduced to Project Wisdom through the web site, www.projectwisdom.com.
  • Students identify key positive character trait words: respect, commitment, tolerance, values, encouraging, diversity, choices, helping others, self-responsibility, moral courage etc. 
  • Students discuss these words in small and large groups.
  • The teacher creates an awkward situation story to the students. The students must come up with a solution to the situation in a positive way by using Project Wisdom.
  • The teacher introduces quotes from famous people who use positive words from Project Wisdom. Some famous people are: Benjamin Franklin, Anne Frank, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cervantes, Emerson, Dr. Martin Luther King, etc.
  • Students  write down ten positive character traits with their meanings.


  • Students define 20 positive character trait words that they feel would make up a "well rounded" person with good positive qualities. 
  • Student will write an essay about the "well rounded" person using the positive character traits and then create their own quote.
  • Students will choose two Mother Goose nursery rhymes that contain bad or inappropriate character traits. The nursery rhyme should be abusive to human or animal life. Some examples are: "Jack And Jill", "Three Blind Mice", "Rock-A-Bye Baby", etc.


  • Assessment by teacher rubric.

Lesson 2:

Judging Mother Goose


  • Students critique/examine their Mother Goose rhymes which they had for homework.
  • Students identify the human or animal abuse in the nursery rhyme.
  • Students determine how they will change the nursery rhyme into a positive one.
  • Students rewrite the nursery rhyme into a positive rhyme by using character traits and quotes from Project Wisdom.


  • Computers with Internet connections, LCD projector, Word Processing program, Project Wisdom words, student's nursery rhymes that they had for homework. The two web sites to obtain the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. 


  • Students examine their nursery rhymes.
  • Students identify the parts of the nursery rhyme that are abusive to either animal or human life.
  • Students rewrite the nursery rhyme or find a positive solution using Project Wisdom character traits.
  • Students discuss their ideas as a class and then in groups.


  • Student create a "plan of action" on how they would pod cast their nursery rhyme. The criteria would be an introduction( which presents the situation/problem), a judge, a jury, narrator, the number of characters in the nursery rhyme and a solution/ending.


  • Assessment by teacher rubric.

Lesson 3:

Storyboard Time


  • Students organize their ideas in an outline form.
  • Students examine their rewritten nursery rhyme and determine how they would solve the problem, by creating a positive rhyme.
  • Students determine how many characters are involved, the sound effects, music, and pictures that will enhance their podcast.
  • Students establish how many students they would need to pod cast.
  • Students storyboard their ideas through graphic organizers.
  • Students review their scripts that they created about their Mother Goose Meets Project Widsom pod cast.


  • Paper, pencil or pen, the nursery rhyme, the Project Wisdom Words,  computers that contain a Word Processing program. If the teacher wanted to show a graphic organizer from the computer, the teacher should demonstrate the lesson with a screen, computer, and a LCD projector.


  • Students break up into groups of 3-4 students.
  • Students write their scripts starting with an introduction, the nursery rhyme (the situation), how they are using Project Wisdom, and their conclusion.
  • Students identify the part of the nursery rhyme that contains the abuse, a solution and an ending.
  • Students distinguish when they need background music and sound effects.
  • Students plan out their entire script on the graphic organizer with pictures making it into a storyboard.
  • Students retrieve the pictures from the internet for their nursery rhyme and pod cast.
  • Students select the section of the nursery rhymes where they are going to place the pictures in the chapters and the entire pod cast.


  • Students will check over their script to pod cast. They must make sure that they have the right number of characters, narrator, judge, jury, etc. and placement of sound effects and music. The students divide their pod cast by chapters for pictures that they will upload.


  • Assessment by teacher rubric.

Lesson 4

The Rehearsal


  • Students coordinate their entire pod cast with the introduction, characters, original nursery rhyme, pictures, judge, jury, sound effects, music and a solution for the abuse to animals or humans.
  • Students begin to set up their pod cast folders on their computers. Students rehearse their pod cast as a group.
  • Students determine if they are ready to record their pod cast.


  • The students script, Mac computers with the program GarageBand for Pod Casting, the built in microphone and internet sites with the pictures that they are going to place in their pod cast.


  • Students review their storyboard for pod casting.
  • Students print out their storyboard for their pod cast.
  • Students set up their folders for their pod cast  and create a folder for their pictures on their computers on the their desktops.
  • Students label the folder pictures. These pictures will include the following: a court, courtroom, a judge, characters and pictures from their nursery rhyme, a narrator (could be any character), Mother Goose and any other pictures that are needed, especially for an ending. An example of an ending could be a picture of a library where Mother Goose is reading positive nursery rhymes to children for the rest of her life.
  • Students determine what sound effects they need either from Garage Band or the sound effects that students will make by themselves if they did not find it in the GarageBand program.
  • Students rehearse their pod cast together to make sure that everything flows smoothly.


  • Students will do a final assessment on their storyboard for pod casting.


  • By  teacher rubric.

Lesson 5:

Everyone Pod Cast


  • Students record their podcast.
  • Students work cooperatively in groups to record their pod cast.
  • Students create an educational product that they can share with other students, parents and friends.


  • The students storyboard/script, the computers with GarageBand and the folder of pictures microphone.


  • Students start to create their podcast.
  • Students open up GarageBand application.
  • Students choose to create pod cast.
  • Students delete any tracks, by clicking on the track, delete.
  • Students turn off the metronomone.
  • Students click real instruments.
  • Students take out their storyboard/script.
  • Teacher announces "quiet on the set".  That means a group is going to pod cast.
  • Students roll up a paper to place by the microphone to block out the sound from the room when they record.
  • Students start to record. They must click the red button. In order to stop the recording, they press the red button.
  • Students should save after they recorded any piece of the pod cast.
  • Students critique their saved pod cast. By doing this, they can add or delete any part of the pod cast.
  • After they finished recording, they can add music and sound effects from the GarageBand program.
  • Students add the pictures that coincide with the recording. They drag the pictures to the pod cast track.
  • Students listen, critique and edit their pod cast once it’s completed.
  • Students should share out with other students in class and everyone evaluates the podcast.


  • Students should evaluate their work to share with others.


  • By  teacher rubric.

Rosalie Cooper has been teaching in the New York City Public School System for 33 years at the middle-school level. Over the years, she has won numerous grants including the UFT Mini, Learning Technology, Disseminator, and Impact. Her article about Professional Growth is featured in "The New Teachers Professional Handbook", from teachersnetwork.org Her classes were featured on "Five Alive", from Region Five in 2006.  In 2009, her students won Second Place and Honorable Mention in Digital Media for NYC, as well as first place in the Digital Art Interfaith Contest. She was the yearbook advisor for 15 years and has judged yearbooks from the United States for CSPA and NSPA since 1991. She is a Gold Key Recipient from Columbia Scholastic Press Association. At present she teaches technology in the Mac Lab.

Optional: Upload important documents by clicking on the link icon.

Entire Project Completed Pod(1).doc


Rubric For Choosing The Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme.doc

Rubric For Understanding Project Wisdom.doc

Story Board For Podcast.doc

Script Rubic.doc

Mother Goose on Trial.mov


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