Relationship Skills

Family Resources on Listening and Me, Part 1

Project and Purpose

Students identify good listening skills and create and analyze scenarios that illustrate good and poor listening skills.

Essential Questions

How can we improve our listening skills?

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students assessed listening skills and learned about the importance of practicing listening skills. Students reviewed an article written by an expert on listening and with partners analyzed the listening skills using two different scenarios.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

Being a good listener is essential not just to learn, but being a good listener is also essential to developing and maintaining relationships. While adults often expect adolescents to listen in learning situations, it is also important for adolescents to learn quality listening skills as being part of interpersonal relationships.

Conversation Starters and Practice at Home

The first item is for follow-up after participating in class activities.

What were some of the takeaways from the article you read on listening? Why do you think the things you mentioned are important? Describe the scenarios you discussed in class. Describe why each situation demonstrated either a good listener or a poor listener.

Who is someone that you believe is an excellent listener? Describe why you think so.

Assess your skills as a listener. What are your strengths? What do you need to do better? Why do you think so

School to Home Resources on Listening and Me, Part 1



1. Introduce today’s topic by telling students that according to a 2012 article in Forbes Magazine, good listeners do the following:

  • Face the speaker.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Are attentive but relaxed.
  • Keep an open mind. This means no passing judgement on what the person is saying with words, facial expressions, body language, or sounds.
  • Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
  • Never interrupt or impose their “solutions” or stories. When you listen, you should not talk.
  • Wait for the speaker to pause before asking questions and ask questions ONLY to ensure understanding.
  • Try to feel what the speaker is feeling. This is called empathy. Empathy goes a long way to create a better experience for the people involved.

2. Ask students to describe how these skills make a person a good listener and why listening skills are important. What else would they add to this list?

3. Have students form groups of two or three and distribute the Listening Self-Assessment List to each person. Tell students that rather than taking the assessment, they are to do the following:

  • Read the assessment with their partners.
  • Apply the good listening skills list to each statement in the self-assessment to analyze if the statement is a depiction of someone with good listening skills or poor listening skills. Explain why/ why not

4. After they have analyzed the list, have the partners create a scenario—a short story—on the Listening Scenario Worksheet that illustrates the Listening Self-Assessment statement. The scenarios should feature characters their age without using names of people in the school.

5. When groups finish writing their scenarios, they will swap papers with another group. The second group will analyze the scenario to determine the listening skill that is either exemplified or needed and defend their reasons.

6. When the second group is finished writing their analysis, have them pass the paper to another group who will read the scenarios and the analysis to the whole group for discussion.


Ask students how these scenarios can help them determine the ways they can improve their own listening skills


Encourage students to take the Listening Self-Assessment and write a reflection on what they might work on to be a better listener.

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