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Learning Goal

Students will learn active listening strategies and practice them in conversations.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Describe different active listening strategies
  • Explain why conversation is important
  • Understand how it feels to be a speaker when someone really listens
Learning Summary

Research shows that people who have been taught to listen are better at it!

This lesson on listening begins with a mindful listening practice, followed by a lesson on active listening. After a hook of seeing how many details of a story students can recall, you’ll discuss the “moves” of active listening—summarize, body language, clarifying questions—students pair up and practice. One student tells the other about a great day they had recently while the other person practices listening actively. Students discuss how the listening activity went ending with personal reflection in their journals.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Listening

Listening is hard! Talk about the challenges of listening to online lessons. Students probably have something to say about this!

For the Active Listening activity, teachers who are comfortable with break-out rooms should pair students. Alternatively, the teacher chooses a student to read a story while the teacher models poor Active Listening in the first round and good Active Listening in the second round. Then the teacher reads a story while students practice good Active Listening. Students may create a poster for home based on the Listening printout.

If another adult or student is available, model the process of the online Active Listening activity in your recording. If alone, model first poor, then good Active Listening while listening to a recorded story, then read a story so the students may practice Active Listening. Have the students create a poster for home based on the Listening printout.

CASEL Competencies

Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.