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Learning Goal

Students will learn how to listen actively.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain the five steps of active listening
  • Practice listening with a peer
Learning Summary

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

This lesson starts with a mindful listening activity: listen to the sound of a bell/chime for as long as possible. Students then share reasons why listening might be challenging for them. The story then follows Munchy and Jumpy as they mistakenly disrupt a family of beavers after not listening closely. After the story, students learn five helpful steps to active listening, followed by an activity in which students sit back-to-back and practice their listening skills by guiding their peer to draw a picture. Students end by drawing themselves actively listening to a friend.

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 back-to-back drawing activity, the teacher can present the instructions or send them to a student ahead of time so they can lead the activity. The leader should not use hand gestures. Try one round without allowing questions and another round where participants may ask clarifying questions. Compare the results. The math manipulative activity may be performed in the same manner. Students may create a 5-Steps to Listening poster.

For the back-to-back drawing activity, the teacher can present the instructions and allow time for the students to draw on their own. Try one round with few instructions and another with clear, detailed instructions. Students should compare their results. Show the 5-Steps poster and instruct students to complete one for home. 

CASEL Competencies

Self-management: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation & agency to accomplish personal/collective goals.

Relationship skills: The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups. This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed.

Social awareness: The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.