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ACTIVITY: "Listening Hearts"

TIME: 30-60 MIN

FOCUS: Listen; ALSO: Respect Self & Others, Communicate Better

 
STEP 1 – DRAWING POSTERS
  • Post one or several large pieces of newsprint, each with a large heart in the middle, around the room, marked "Listening Hearts Say."
  • Invite students to go to each poster, perhaps two students for each poster to encourage cooperation, and have them write some words or phrases that a person can say to show that they are really listening with their hearts – sometimes called "active listening." You might give 1 or 2 examples, e.g., "Sounds like you’re angry" or "How do you feel about that?" or "I understand."
 
STEP 2 – EXPLANATIONS
  • Have each student or pair of students explain briefly what they wrote and why.
  • Add your own comments at the end.
 
STEP 3 – EXPLAIN AND DEMONSTRATE "ACTIVE LISTENING"
  • "Active listening" is like the four parts of an "I-Message" (what a person feels, when and why they feel that, and what they want). We actively listen by feeding back to the speaker the feelings we heard, the reasons for these feelings, and what the person really wants.
  • For younger students, have a volunteer tell you about a time when they were really angry or excited and you demonstrate active listening.
  • For older students, have two volunteers do the demonstration and have the class evaluate it and suggest ways it could have been improved.
 
STEP 4 – PRACTICE "ACTIVE LISTENING"
  • Pair students and have one member of each pair describe a time when they were really angry, excited, sad, scared, or disappointed, and have the partner demonstrate active listening. Then reverse roles and repeat.
 
CHECKLIST FOR THIS ACTIVITY
  • Large pieces of newsprint with large hearts in the center
  • Marking pens or crayons


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