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Learning Objectives

Students will research several historic dog figures that changed society forever and will create educational podcasts to showcase the information to listeners.

*Note: This is a multi-day lesson.


Grade Levels



National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

Theme 2: Time, Continuity, and Change


Common Core English Language Arts Standards

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


Materials Needed

Computers/personal cellular devices with internet access and recording capabilities

Free Recording App such as Anchor or a free Audio Recorder on personal device


CNN Article, “Ten dogs that changed the world:” HERE

AKC Article, “4 Dogs Who Changed History:” HERE

Podcast on Shabam! “Brain Traps”: HERE

Podcast on Hidden Brain, “The Haunting Effects of Going Days Without Sleep:” HERE

Create Your Own Podcast Directions: HERE



Introduction and Instruction

  • Begin with a class discussion about historic dogs and how they have changed society in the United States, as well as the world. Have students share any historic dogs that they know of from the past and present.  Write a list of the names that they come up with on the board (ex. Rin Tin Tin).
  • Pass out the CNN and AKC articles to each student and read them together as a class. Write down any dogs that were not included on the list on the board. 
  • Give students time to research any other names of important dogs in history using their personal cellular devices and add these names to the list on the board as well.
  • Transition into a class discussion about podcasts. Explain how podcasts are used to present information and educate listeners.  Ask students to provide examples of podcasts that they listen to or know about, if any.
  • Have students listen to 5-minute segments of both podcasts, “Brain Traps” and “The Haunting Effects of Going Days Without Sleep.” Ask students to pay attention to the structure of each podcast and the devices/techniques that the hosts use.
  • Have students brainstorm as a class about what is included in the podcasts (different voices, sounds, music, interviews, presenting information in a fun and relatable way, etc.).

Partner Project

  • Write down the names of the dogs from the board onto individual slips of paper and put into a paper bag.
  • Pair the class into groups of 2 students. Have each group pick a name out of the paper bag.  This will be the dog that they will conduct research on and then create their own podcast to present the information.
  • Hand out the Create Your Own Podcast Directions to student groups. Ensure students have necessary materials and everything is in working order, such as personal cellular devices/computers with recording capabilities and headphones.
  • Circulate and assist student groups as they complete their podcasts. Student groups may need to be separated into different areas around the school due to noise levels when recording and creating the podcasts.

Review and Closing

  • Students share their finished podcasts with the class. The podcasts can be shared on the classroom website or another platform to share with parents.



Bougerol, E. “Ten dogs that changed the world.”  LifeWire, CNN, 2019,

“4 Dogs Who Changed History.” American Kennel Club, 10 Sept 2014,

Herbert, Mel; Kurz, Kosh; & Roderweiss, Wendy.  “Brain Traps.” Shabam!

Vedantam, Shankar.  “The Haunting Effects of Going Days Without Sleep.” Hidden Brain, NPR, 27 Dec 2017,