Saturday, November 15, 2008

Active Listening

Briefly introduce the topic to students by asking them to identify the characteristics of active listening. Then, with a volunteer, demonstrate poor listening (looking away, interrupting, changing the subject) and then good, active listening, modeling the skills described on Student Handout A.

Ask students to tell you what they noticed. Lead them to be specific, e.g., "You were doodling" or "You were looking away." Chart their responses in two lists, one for active listening and one for poor listening.

Have students pair off and take turns talking and listening about a non-threatening topic: "A Place I Love to Go," or "Something I Learned To Do." While one person speaks, the other should listen actively. Give each person a minute or less to speak. When both members have had a chance to speak, ask students to discuss the exercise.