Many teachers (and even a couple non-teachers) have asked me for formal lesson plans and ideas for teaching standards-based Serial to high school students. And maybe I went overboard here, but there are now 40 pages of teacher guides and printable handouts available -- just for the first episode. There are ten lessons in total, focusing on vocabulary, connotation, themes and motifs, structure, genre, close reading, some creative writing, and a fun memory game. Each lesson plan comes with a background, some additional options, and some personal observations on how it worked with my students, and they all cite the anchor standards that apply.
You can get straight to the lesson plans by clicking here.
Beyond the "normal" lesson planning, these took me about 25 hours to formalize into something I could share -- just finding the exact location for every vocab words took me about two hours. Then additionally, it took my wife several hours to make them look good for your students. But if you don't like them, then please send me an email and tell me how I can improve them.
Plans and ideas for the rest of the episodes will be ready by the end of the month (I'm hoping by Christmas), and will have 1-3 lessons per episode. They'll include the "crazy chart" and working with maps and cell phone logs, all the good stuff, but it will certainly not be 40 pages for each episode. They will also be free for a certain amount of time, and I'll be sure to let you know when they're ready.
In the meantime, if anybody can think of the best way we can just casually and freely share ideas and problems as a community of Serial-loving teachers, let me know -- I'm getting a pretty decent list of teachers interested in collaborating, including one from Woodlawn High School. On the list there are mainstream English teachers, AP English teachers, AVID teachers, EL teachers, and a couple of administrators. I'll post something soon about how we can all virtually hang out.