Duolingo Podcast Choice Board

Hey tired teacher!

If you teach upper level Spanish and you just need a minute to catch your breath (or grade or lesson plan or sip your tea while someone else provides them input- hey, there’s no judgment here, I feel the same way!) as we charge towards the end of the school year, I’ve got you covered! (and the best part is you can do this lesson multiple times! My Spanish 4 and Heritage and AP Little Darlings are doing this this week…AND again when I take a personal day in a few weeks!)

Duolingo Podcasts are amazing and I’ve rounded up a list of 11 that highlight an important custom or tradition in the Spanish speaking world. Students will choose one podcast that interests them, and while they’re listening, they’ll fill in a notetaker with the following information:

Then you have approximately 22-25 minutes to put your feet up and catch your breath while they listen to their chosen podcast. You’re welcome, enjoy! (The list of podcast episode links is below, don’t you worry!).

Afterwards, or the next class, if you really want to stretch this baby out, students will partner up with someone who listened to a different podcast and share what they learned:

Students will explain the cultural significance of their custom or tradition and comment on the Products, Practices and Perspectives they noticed in the episode. Then the pair will brainstorm together one custom/tradition that is important in our culture that is similar to the custom/tradition that they learned about.

Let’s say that Student A listened to “Piñatas en México” and partners up with Student B who listened to “Siestas en España”. Student A tells Student B all about what he learned about piñatas, and they both work together to think of how that’s similar to a tradition or custom we have in the US. Working together, they fill out a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting Piñatas with something similar in the US. Although they brainstorm together, both fill out their own Venn Diagram sheet. THEN, Student B tells Student A all about siestas in Spain and then they both fill out another Venn Diagram, comparing and contrasting siestas to a tradition we have in the US.

Now…depending on which podcast they listened to, it might make more sense to compare something similar in two cultures (Like La Once in Chile and Brunch in the United State) OR…it might make more sense look at the same topic, but how they’re different in the US and another country. (Like Piñatas in Mexico and Piñatas in the US). I gave my students the freedom to decide which made more sense for their topic.

That’s where we’ll end in Spanish 4 and Heritage. They’ll turn in their Venn diagrams and we’ll call it a day. 

For my AP Little Darlings, we’ll extend the lesson a bit further. First they’ll relate their podcast to three different AP subthemes using my AP Movie Guide, then they will write a Cultural Comparison question or prompt, tailored to their podcast, and finally we’ll practice Cultural Comparisons using Inside/Outside circles.

Like in the exam, students will get 4 minutes to prepare, then they’ll present to a new partner for 2 minutes. Student sitting in the outside circle will present first while their partner in the inside circle listens and provides feedback using the AP rubric, then they’ll switch circles and roles. I’m playing with the idea of having them present the same comparison twice, two two different partners, so they have a chance to think about the feedback and then immediately put it into action. We’ll see if we have enough time 🙂

Here are all the goodies you’ll need:

Duolingo Podcast Choiceboard  If your school blocks Duolingo, you can download each episode, upload the episode to Google Drive, then link it into the Choice Board. (Kinda a pain, but not too bad…if you don’t want to do that 11 times, just delete a few episodes and give them fewer choices…they’ll never know!!) 

Slideshow Instructions to Project – Print slides 4-5 back to back, for the partner Venn Diagrams

NotetakerPrint off this Notetaker, for students to organize their learning while listening, or print off these One Pagers from Spark Creativity (thanks Jane VanDerBeek for sharing!) and let students choose one to use. Remind students to include their name and the title of their podcast on their notetaker, and to include the information on the instructions slide, above.

And…if you’re looking for a little fun afterwards, I’ve been working on a new project: The Lucky Trivia Game! It’s like The Lucky Reading Game, but with fun facts from the Spanish speaking world. Here’s The Lucky Trivia Game: Perú, free to download from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. If you love it, here’s The Lucky Trivia Game: Costa Rica and stay tuned because we’re finalizing The Lucky Trivia Game: España soon!

Hang in there, friends! The end is in sight!


  1. Yes! These Podcasts are SO great! I used them when I was working on my own Spanish. I teach German and so wish they had them auf Deutsch! I have thought of trying to use the same format of toggling back and forth between L1 and L2 to tell a more complex story for my Ger A kids. The stories are SO engaging!


  2. These podcasts are GOLD! Thank you so much for sharing your brilliant ideas!! I can’t wait to try this out with my Spanish IV kiddos!


  3. As always, these resources are AWESOME! Thank you so much for creating and sharing! I’m excited to start bringing this in next year and love that so much of it is already done for me!


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