Developing listening skills is important for students. First of all, they must be able to pay attention to classroom rules or any instructions made during some sort of emergency. Furthermore, in later education and in the workplace, they will have to be able to retain information that they receive in an auditory manner.
At the third grade level, students have been introduced to reading paragraphs. Select a short passage (a paragraph or two short ones at most) and read them aloud to the classroom. Consider reading each passage once or twice. When you are finished, distribute handouts to the students with questions that focus on recalling details. Students must think back to what they just heard in order to answer the questions on the sheet.
Distribute a handout with four boxes on it. For each box, there will be a different set of instructions. For example, draw the letter L in one box and instruct students to circle it with a pink crayon; ask students to circle two out of four words in another box. Read the instructions to the students. When the students have completed the assignment, ask them why they got certain answers wrong and what this lesson has taught them about having better communication skills.
Describe a scenario aloud to the students. For example, present them with a scenario in which they are stranded on a desert island or lost on the side of the road. Give background information so that the story is a bit lengthy and so they do not know where it is going at first. Offer students a list of items they could bring with them and have them rank each item as 1 (most important), 2 (somewhat important) or 3 (nice to have). At the end, ask them why they chose certain items to see if they paid attention to the details of the story.
Sometimes listening can be difficult for students because of various distractions coming from both inside and outside the classroom. Take students to the listening lab in your school so they can focus on listening to passages on headphones by themselves. Purchase a program or disc at a school supply store or use ones from the Internet approved by the school. If the questions are not suitable, consider creating questions yourself on a handout that students have to answer once they are done listening to the program.
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