Developing listening skills is crucial for developing learning skills. I don’t know of many children who couldn’t do with some help in this area, in fact, many adults could do with a nudge as well (myself included when the drone of marking policies fills the staffroom at an after school meeting…)
Racing Whispers is a fun and engaging game to help develop listening skills. In this game. children must listen carefully and speak clearly to be successful. And, best of all, no resources required!
Instructions: Place the children into two - four teams depending on class size and have each team stand in line, with a clear space between the children so that only those who are at the front of the line hear the whispered message.
Sit on a chair some distance away from the children. Explain to them that you will whisper an action to the children at the front of each line. These children whisper the action to the second in their line, who whisper it to the third and so on. When the whisper reaches the last child in the line, they run up to you and perform the action. You can give points for how accurate the action is. Then whisper a new command to this child, who goes to the front of their line and the process is repeated. Actions could include, for example, hop three times on the spot, bend down and touch your toes, rub your tummy while scratching your nose…
Remind the children that they can only whisper and only give the message once. This means they need to communicate slowly and clearly and listen carefully when they receive a message. Also, remind them what they are learning – to listen carefully! It’s great to have fun AND remember the purpose J
And remember – you are doing a great job. In the words of John Wooden, ‘I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.’ I agree!