Behind the Snapshots: Common Core ELA Connections All of the above are snapshots of Podcast, Project-Based Learning activities, which enhance the in-place, grade 6-8 ELA curriculum and that support the Common Core ELA shifts in instructional focus. The participating middle school students come from (Special Education) Resource Room, ELL, Enrichment, general education, and newcomer classes. They are all busily and productively engaged in developing authentic podcasts for target audiences of peers and adults and must meet set deadlines. In each of these projects, students serve as leaders for their peers or for younger grade students. Literacy Leadership is an important dimension of the instructional program at the school. These projects lead to improved Literacy outcomes, as well as personal growth for individuals and enrichment of school culture. Students view a leader as someone who generates the initial idea for a podcast theme or develops a script, as well as having an auteur vision for directing other student podcast participants; including speakers, sound effects and music score technicians, and others involved in creating the final podcast product. Podcast Literacy Leaders have very specific ideas about how recordings should be edited, as well. Further, even though some of them are just 11 and none are older than 14, they can all effectively communicate their vision of how they want their podcast projects to evolve. Beyond preparation for the podcasts, these leaders analyze the finished products to suggest the next podcast project, being mindful of relevant themes and their ELA curriculum. They also carefully listen to them to improve their direction and scripting skills. The leaders have volunteered to work several lunch periods and after school to acquire boot camp leadership training. During this training they are taught how to work with younger peers to support these peers in accomplishing project goals. The leaders learn the basic elements of: project organization, adhering to time tables, using a microphone, voice quality and delivery for a podcast, coaching peers and communicating project goals to various audiences (teachers, students, administrators, graduate education students, parents).