Lesson plan

Following Directions

Knowing what to do is half the battle of any task. This lesson teaches kids about following directions. After playing Simon Says and completing some fun worksheets, your students will certainly become better at understanding instructions.
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In this engaging reading and writing lesson plan all about following directions, young learners will be challenged to listen closely, read carefully, and remain focused throughout different activities. First, children will learn the importance of listening and following directions by playing several rounds of the game Simon Says. Then learners will get to practice following directions in nonfiction texts as they complete a word puzzle, following steps in order to arrive at the correct answer. This lesson builds important life skills in first graders that can be applied at home, in school, and everywhere in between!

Students will be able to follow instructions by utilizing their listening comprehension skills.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that directions are steps given to complete a job. Sometimes directions are written and sometimes they are spoken. It is important to follow directions exactly as they are given in order to do work properly. Following directions can be very difficult, or even impossible, if the person receiving directions doesn't listen or isn't focused.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell the students that today we will play a game that is likely very familiar: Simon Says.
  • Explain, "The object of the game is to listen carefully to the instructions and only do what is instructed if you hear the words 'Simon says.' If you do not hear the words 'Simon says' before an instruction, it is important that you do not do what was instructed. If you do what is instructed without first hearing 'Simon says,' you will be out of the game.
  • Say, "Let's practice first to make sure everyone understands the game. Everyone stand beside your seat. Ready? Simon says pat your head." (Look around to see which students patted their heads.) "You were a good listener if you patted your head, and you would still be in the game."
  • Play another round. Say, "Ready? Pat your head again." (Look around to see which students patted their heads.) "You were a good listener if you remained still, because I did not say 'Simon says pat your head.' If you did pat your head this time, you would have to take a seat for the remainder of the round."
  • Allow students to ask questions about the rules of the game.
(10 minutes)
  • Play two rounds of Simon Says and then have the students be seated.
  • Ask the students about what they thought was easiest or hardest about the game.
  • Ask, "What would make it easier to be more successful in this game?"
(15 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that the worksheet they are going to complete will also require them to really pay attention to what is being said.
  • They will not have to rely on hearing "Simon says," but they will have to look closely at the answer choices.
  • Have students work independently on either of the Following Directions worksheets (1 if they're at level or struggling, 2 if they're advanced).
  • Once they're done, distribute the index cards and have them each write one direction on the card. Use these cards for future Simon Says games.
  • Enrichment: Assign to advanced students the Following Instructions (2) worksheet during Independent Working Time.
  • Support: Assign to struggling students the Following Instructions (1) worksheet during Independent Working Time.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students complete the Listening Practice worksheet.
  • Collect the worksheets at the end of the lesson, and review them later to assess student comprehension of the lesson content.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students place their non-writing finger in their ear. Now, give one direction, such as "Simon Says put your pencil behind your ear."
  • Ask a student who was successful with this to explain to their classmates what was to be done.
  • Ask the students, “Was the task hard? What might be the reason some of you did not complete this task?"
  • Remind the students the most important part of following directions is to know exactly what needs to be done. In order to do this, the one who is working must be focused on the task at hand. If that person is talking to someone else or cannot hear the directions given, it will usually result in the task not being done, or the task being done incorrectly.

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