Listenwise News Bites



Listenwise News Bites is a current events podcast for young listeners featuring fun, interesting, relevant news stories that keep kids engaged, informed, and entertained. Veteran public radio journalist Monica Brady-Myerov poses thought-provoking questions following each news story that listeners can ponder or discuss with family members, teachers, or classmates. News Bites is produced by Listenwise, an award-winning learning platform using podcasts to improve students’ listening and literacy skills in grades 2-12. In partnership with NPR and other podcast producers, Listenwise News Bites brings you the highest quality, most engaging audio news stories.

For more stories from the news selected for young listeners go to

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22 episodes

Episode 21: Biden Elected President & Laughter Signals Friendship

This week we cover the results of the 2020 Presidential election with Joe Biden winning the necessary electoral votes. And what kinds of signals to do you send to others about your friendships? For student reflection: How might laughter help humans and other animals survive?

Nov 12, 2020
Episode 20: The Rise of Private Militias & An All Black Rowing Team

This week we look at the legality of the rise of private militias and hear the inspiring story of the first all-Black high school rowing team. For student reflection: How do you think doing a sport helps you win in life?

Oct 22, 2020
Episode 19: White House COVID-19 Cluster & Settlers of Catan

This week we look at how a COVID-19 superspreading event seems to have created a cluster of COVID cases at the White House, including President Trump and the First Lady. Also board games are surging in popularity as people have more time at home. For student reflection: What can you do to stay healthy and keep those around you safe?

Oct 08, 2020
Episode 18: Western Wildfires & Interpreting Texting Punctuation

This week showcases the wildfires that are ravaging the Northwest. We look at how difficult it is to fight fires during a pandemic. And we hear about the importance of using punctuation in text messages. For student reflection: How do you think communities can help people affected by the wildfires?

Sep 24, 2020
Episode 17: A Look Back on the Civil Rights March on Washington & College Athletes in a Pandemic

This week we look back on the 57th anniversary of the Civil Rights March on Washington at a time when marches for racial justice are demanding change. We learn about zoos reopening from the pandemic and 11-year-old Gui Khury who became the first skateboarder to land a 1080-degree spin during quarentine. For student reflection: Do you think public marches are effective tools for advancing social change?

Sep 10, 2020
Episode 16: Voting During a Pandemic and A Football Team Renamed

This week we hear how one state has successfully conducted mail in voting. And a National Football League team changes it name because it's a racial slur. For student reflection: How can sports team names, mascots, images, and fan gestures cause harm?

Aug 27, 2020
Episode 15: Pandemic Expands and the Voting Rights Act

This week we learn how the pandemic is growing in the U.S. and we hear about the importance of the voting rights act. For student reflection: Why is it important that all citizens have an equal opportunity to vote?

Aug 13, 2020
Episode 14: Remembering a Civil Rights Leader and the Silent Spread of COVID

This week we remember civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis. And we learn how some people can spread the corona-virus without even knowing they have it. For student reflection: What can you do to protect yourself and others from silent spreaders?

Aug 06, 2020
Episode 13: The Importance of Masks & the Emancipation Memorial

This week we hear about how masks can protect you and others in this pandemic. Also, we revisit the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, DC. As Confederate statues and other symbols of racism are being dismantled around the country, some people are calling for this statue’s removal, too. For student reflection: Do you think learning that masks protect the wearer will encourage more people to wear them?

Jul 30, 2020
Episode 12: How to Safely Reopen Schools and Seeing Earth from Space

This week we hear about how schools leaders are thinking about how to safely reopen school in the fall. And what does the earth look like from space? For student reflection: What ideas do you have for keeping schools safe during a pandemic?

Jul 23, 2020
Episode 11: Confederate Emblem Removed from Flag and the NBA Steps in to Help With Voting

This week's news showcases Mississippi's flag, the last state flag with the Confederate emblem, which is now being removed. And some NBA teams are stepping up to help with voting during the pandemic. For student reflection: What can be done to make voting accessible, especially during a pandemic?

Jul 16, 2020
Episode 10: Protection for LGBTQ Workers and COVID on the rise

This week we learn how the Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting LGBDQ employees. And we hear how people are demonstrating against racism in their cars to stay safe. For student reflection: Have you ever felt that you could not be yourself in certain situations?

Jul 02, 2020
Episode 9: Sheltering in Place Works and Sports and Race

This week we look at how sheltering in place requirements have worked to prevents thousands of coronavirus deaths. And we look at the NFL's response to protests about racial inequality. For student reflection: How are you thinking about protecting yourself from the virus in the future?

Jun 25, 2020
Episode 8: Reimagining Policing and Baseball during the pandemic

This week's news is about reimagining public safety following weeks of protest over police brutality against black people. Also, it’s summer which means baseball! For student reflection: What do you think are the most important jobs of a police officer?

Jun 18, 2020
Episode 7: Systemic Racism and Biking During the Pandemic

This week news is about how systemic racism is driving thousands of people across the country to protest for change. Also, the lock down during the pandemic has meant fewer cars on the road, which means it's safer for bikes, especially women on bikes in Pakistan. For student reflection: What do you think can be done to create positive change where you live? For more current events go to:

Jun 11, 2020
Episode 6: Protests Over Police Brutality and Local Heroes at Your Grocery Store

This weeks news focuses on protests happening in cities around the country following the death of George Floyd, a black man in police custody. And we hear from a grocery store cashier who is on the front lines of the pandemic. For student reflection: What can you do to protect essential workers? For more current events go to

Jun 04, 2020
Episode 5: Graduation in a Pandemic and Dogs Sniffing out the Virus

This week's episode looks at how school leaders are looking for alternatives to traditional, in-person high school graduations. And dogs and their incredible sense of smell are being trained to detect COVID-19. For student reflection: What other ways do you think dogs might be trained to help humans? For more current events go to

May 28, 2020
Episode 4: Keeping the Food Flowing and Helping Your Neighbor

This week's episode looks at why farmers are throwing away food during the pandemic. And we hear how students in one community are helping their elderly neighbors. Also in Florida, cold weather means falling iguanas. For student reflection: What can you do to help people during the coronavirus pandemic? Listen to more current events at:

May 21, 2020
Episode 3: How Contact Tracing Works and a Run on Toilet Paper

In this week's news we'll explore how contact tracing works. And a new toilet paper company in Maine stepped up production just as the coronavirus crisis hit. And do you miss your school building? One student did so he recreated it on Minecraft. For student reflection: What other skills, other than being a good listener, do you think are important to being a contact tracer? For more stories from the news selected for young listeners go to

May 14, 2020
Episode 2: The Future of School and Handshakes May be History

In this week's news we'll explore what going to school might look like in the fall. And will you be shaking hands once social distancing ends? A look at the history of the handshake and why it may become "history". Also, a lonely dog radio show. For student reflection: When school starts again in the fall what are some ways you think schools can keep students safe? For more stories from the news selected for young listeners go to  

May 10, 2020
Episode 1: Medical Protective Gear and Zoos

This week in the news we look at how shortages of protective gear for health care workers is putting them in danger. And we visit some animals at the zoo, who are lonely without visitors. And you will learn what alligators can teach us about social distancing. For student reflection: reflect on what zoo animal you'd want to take care of and why.   For more stories from the news selected for young listeners go to  

May 10, 2020
Listenwise News Bites Trailer

Are you a teacher with students who have limited access to wifi or laptops? Are you running out of ideas to keep your kids engaged in high quality, fun learning? The Listenwise News Bites podcast combines NPR news stories selected for young listeners with instructional activities. Listen on wifi, or download for an easy, offline way to engage young learners with fun news, weird news, and some serious news.

May 01, 2020