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Active Listening

Active Listening

'Assist Your Learning'

This is week two in the summer program of study skills presented by the Deseret Newspaper in Education Department (sherry@desnews.com ) and the Utah Starzz (www.utahstarzz.com) designed specifically for year-round classrooms but also appropriate for traditional classrooms.

Being a good listener means being able to focus your eyes, ears and mind on the words, actions and expressions of others.


1. Make eye contact. Get ready to listen by focusing all your attention on the speaker. Sit up straight and lean forward.

2. Tune in to the speaker. Concentrate on listening by not interrupting.

3. Concentrate on the presentation. Look for nonverbal clues to important information. Ask questions when appropriate.

4. Draw or write down key points. Be ready to jot down important facts or ideas.

5. Make connections to your own life experiences. When appropriate, get involved in the discussion by giving an idea, opinion or relating supporting information.


Actively listen to a special speaker and complete the following Listening Quiz.

Name ____________________________

Date _____________________________

Name of speaker ____________________

Did the speaker:

p use eye contact?

p use nonverbal signs?

p spend a considerable amount of time on one subject?

p ask for questions?

p use verbal signs such as tone/volume of voice?

p repeat key points?

p show visuals or write key facts on the board?

p speak slowly and clearly?

Did you:

p remember the details?

p sit up straight and lean forward?

p write down or draw important facts?

p get involved in discussions?

p use eye contact?

p ask questions?

p make a connection to your life?

p keep your desk clear except for note-taking materials?


Complete the story time listening game with a parent, with a friend or with your class. You will need a pencil and some paper. Number the paper from one to 20. Ask someone to read the story to you. Listen carefully and respond to the questions by writing your answers on your piece of paper. Get ready to listen, write and have some fun!

Last (1. day of the week), my friend and I were reading the Deseret News when we found an article about the (2. sports team). It was (3. adjective)! It stated that the team had spent an evening at (4. best friend's name) 's house and had played a game of (5. game) out in the yard. Everyone thought the best player was (6. sports hero). They were so happy, they all began to (7. action verb).

Later they ate (8. food), (9. food) and (10. food) for dinner. Then they watched (11. television show) on television. It was such a scary show that (12. sports hero) hid under the (13. piece of furniture). The article continued by saying that the team wants all the fans to wear (14. color) to the next game to show respect for the team. That will be (15. adjective)!

After I finished reading the article in the newspaper, I (16. verb, past tense) all the way to my best friend's house, hoping to ask some questions about the experience with the team. One thing I didn't understand was why the team came to (17. home town) for a visit. No one was home at my best friend's house, though. It seems that the whole family had left for a vacation to (18. fun place to visit). Now I will have to wait for a whole (19. time period) to learn all the (20. adjective) details.