Learning to listen
28 November 2016Add to My Folder
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Hearing and listening are two very different things, and it’s within this difference that many learning difficulties arise – not just in nursery and primary, but also secondary and beyond.
Children often assume that if they’re sitting quietly, they’re listening, but how much of what’s just been said by teacher has actually registered? Some children, it seems, are naturally good at becoming engaged, while others will, quite possibly unintentionally, use teacher instruction time as their cue to daydream. The trick is to get children tuned in – and it’s never too early to start.
Keeping things fun is always the best way to grab attention. Try out some of the following tried and tested games, using concentration skills to engage children and keep them on task. Once you’ve secured their concentration the listening becomes automatic.
Storytelling naturally encourages listening skills, and one of the best ways of focusing attention at storytime is by telling repetitive stories and rhymes. This allows children to follow the story, listening out for and joining in with the repetitive sections.
A good story to use is The Gingerbread Man, where children can try to remember all the characters trying to catch the gingerbread man, calling out the list of names. Children need to concentrate to remember everyone in the correct order, and they love the challenge.Some other books and rhymes to use could be:
- The Enormous Turnip
- The Very Hungry caterpillar
- Ten in the Bed
- The Little Red hen
- Old Macdonald had a Farm
- The Wheels on the Bus
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
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