Active Listening

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SWBAT engage effectively in discussion with partners to follow rules for active listening and demonstrate appropriate roles as speaker/listener.

Big Idea

What skills are involved in Active Listening?

Active Listening

15 minutes

This lesson was adapted from the same website, Teachable Moment, used the other day to introduce Listening skills.

This activity was used with a dual purpose in mind – students getting to know each other and again to address Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards that will assist students throughout the year.

After practicing Active Listening on the first day of class with a simple activity, today,I began the class by asking students to respond to the following prompt:

Prompt:  Thinking back to the first day of school when we took part in the “Favorite Color Listening Game” as a class, brainstorm some listening strategies that will improve your listening skills.

After students wrote a response to this prompt, I asked them to share in their small groups, and then shared as a whole class.

I then presented the Active Listening Power Point, sharing the Active Listening Rules (screen 2).  We related ideas brainstormed in the prompt to the check list and identified consistencies.

Next, students individually responded in writing to the prompt on screen 3

The step I need to work on most is ______.

I plan to improve on this by…

We quickly shared responses to this prompt as a whole class. It is very important that students take time to reflect upon their strengths and weaknesses in Listening.  Being able to recognize limitations, pushes  students to intentionally focus upon  improving their listening skills in different areas.

Paraphrasing Activity

10 minutes

The class shared their definitions of “paraphrase”.  We decided that paraphrase meant to retell what someone said in our own words – not repeating the exact words.  This is an important concept for students to recognize from the beginning so that they avoid plagiarism in the future.

I explained that we are going to practice actively listening and clearly presenting our ideas in the next activity.  (screen 4).

With a partner, one person will speak while the other person listens; there will be no comments or questions.  The listener needs to practice listening skills as previously discussed.  After the speaker has shared his/her ideas, the listener has 15 seconds to paraphrase what he/she has just hear.  Then the roles are reversed.

                Topic:  What is your favorite class and why?

Self Reflection

15 minutes

After each student had a chance to speak and listen, I asked each to reflect in writing on this listening experience. (screen 5).  We shared some responses as a whole class.

As a whole class, we shared response from screen 6.  Some of the responses were just indicated by a show hands and reasons randomly shared.


10 minutes

As an exit pass (screen 6), students considered the following two questions:

  1. What was one thing you learned from today’s listening activity?
  2.  What was one thing that you need to practice more?

Since time allowed, we were able to share some of the responses with the whole class.