Listening: A Neglected Language Art

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Listen Up!

A student's listening level is typically 2 years ahead of their reading level. Thus, make sure your students are listening to books beyond their reading level. Listening is as important a skill as reading and writing (Pinnel & Jaggar, 2003). In fact, the better listener a child is, the better reader and student they'll be. The attached from Pearson describes four ways people listen: discriminative (for sounds), aesthetic (for enjoyment), efferent (to learn information) and critical (to evaluate information).

Three Ideas for Summer Reading

  • Have students listen to assigned books and write down words that are unfamiliar to them (as they read along or to reference the book later when they read it). By looking up the words through a Google search or hard dictionary, they will better understand the word and also have the control to look the word up themselves at a later time and control their own learning. Then, they can create a "word search (online)" with the words they researched to bring back to school and share with the class as a game and for further group discussion/learning.

  • Have students choose a story from Tales2Go and listen to it. After listening, the student can read the book aloud to a family member (preferably a younger sibling) and try "acting out" the characters/voices that were heard earlier in the audio. The other option is to have a summer "book club" where all of the students in the club listen to a book and get together every two weeks to act out the story together (everyone brings a snack/drinks to the "party").

  • Initiate a Summer listening contest. Assign 10 audio books. Create ten questions per book and have the students turn in their responses for each book. Creating such a Summer reading program follows CCSS and has an assessment piece that can be shared with the next grade/incoming teacher. We'd be happy to provide pencils as prizes for students completing questions for all ten books.

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