Listening Well

In this activity for grades 3-6, students practice the skills of good listening.

Learning Outcome
Students will begin to practice the skills of good listening.

Materials Needed
Agenda written on the chalkboard or on chart paper Evaluation questions written on chalkboard or chart paper Blank sheets of chart paper, marker



Go-round. Ask students to say their names and a favorite food.

Check Agenda

Explain that being able to listen to people well is an important skill that can help us prevent conflicts and solve conflicts that do happen in a way that leaves everybody satisfied. Today we're going to set up some guidelines for good listening. Go over the day's plan and ask if it seems okay to everyone.


Good and Poor Listening


To review the concepts of good and poor listening, ask:

Can you think of a time you felt someone was really listening to you well? What was that like? How did it make you feel to have someone listen to you well? What are some signs that people give us with their bodies that show they are listening? What could you say to let someone know you are interested?

Develop the following list with the class and write on chart paper.

Good Listening

  • Face the speaker
  • Show that you're interested
  • Ask questions to get more information

A. Explain that students will take turns talking about a topic you will suggest. While one person talks, the listener's job is to listen as well as possible. You will keep the time and give a signal when it is time for the speaker to stop talking.

B. Model the activity with one of the students. Ask the student to tell you about something s/he likes to do outside of school. Model good listening and ask a few questions to get more information.

C. Divide students into pairs.

D. Choose one of the following topics and have one person in each pair begin talking about the topic. Allow about a minute. Reverse roles so that the person who was listener becomes the speaker.

  • Something I like to do outside of school
  • A friend I like and why
  • Something that happened recently that I feel good about
  • A place I would like to visit

Discuss: How did your partner let you know he or she was listening? How did that feel?

Cooperative Story Telling

Introduction: Explain that the class will make up a story as a group. You will give them the opening sentence and they must build on the story from there. Everyone in the class will contribute a sentence or two as you go around the group.
A. Develop your own opening sentence or choose from the list below:

  • The large gray cat arched its back and hissed.
  • Jose had always wanted to know what was on the other side of that door.

B. Go around the group so that each person can add a sentence. Assist anyone who is stuck by reviewing the story so far and asking, What might come next?

C. Discuss: What did you have to do to be able to add to the story? Did anything surprise you about the story?



Ask a few volunteers, What do you want to remember about listening?


Have students finish the following sentences in writing and then ask a few volunteers to share their sentences with the class:

When people listen to me, I feel ________________________.

When people don't listen to me, I feel ______________________.


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