Lesson Plan

Learning How to Listen

In this lesson students, learn how to listen and practice community-building skills using the circle process. This lesson helps build community and establish norms for how students communicate with each other.
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Are you listening closely? Discuss what listening looks like and sounds like together as a class! Kindergarteners and first graders will build up their social emotional skills as they practice learning how to listen in this multi-part lesson. First, students will come together to demonstrate what speaking and listening looks like in the classroom. As they model good listening skills, the teacher is encouraged to record everyone’s observations about the activity. Then they’ll apply what they’ve learned to a variety of follow-up exercises.

Learning Objectives

Students will understand what listening looks like and sounds like.


(5 minutes)
  • Gather students into a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor. Share that they will be gathering in a circle once a week or more, and this is a time where we get to know each other and learn how to be a good friend and classmate.
  • Introduce the raised hand attention signal once students are gathered in a circle.
  • Explain to students that when they see you raise your hand, it’s a signal to stop whatever they are doing, raise their hand in the air, and listen to you.
  • Introduce the talking piece. Explain that when they gather in a circle to learn and discuss important things, they will use a talking piece.
  • Show students your chosen talking piece, and explain that whoever has the talking piece can speak. While the speaker is sharing, other students must make sure they don’t talk and listen to the person who is sharing.
  • Practice using the attention signal and talking piece.
  • Note: Ideally students are gathering in a circle daily, but this can be adjusted if needed.