Effective Listening


The lesson includes several components: how to use active listening in conversations and during a speaker’s presentation, use listening skills to summarize and interpret information, and to determine if a speaker’s argument or claim is supported by facts.  As many teachers know, students often do not listen effectively and with purpose, hearing the words but not listening to the words.  It is a skill needed for people of all ages, whether speaking one-on-one or with others in a conversation, or while listening to a classroom teacher, a guest speaker, a YouTube video, or other audio/video presentation.

Effective Listening Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Effective Listening skills
  • Hands-on homework activities developing Effective Listening skills
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson opens by defining listening and discussing the three reasons a person may be speaking, including persuading, informing, and entertaining. Then the lessons lists five suggestions for active and effective listening. The HEAR strategy is also described, including Halt, Engage, Anticipate and Replay. The lesson reminds students they should listen to others as carefully as they would like someone to listen to them.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Using the prepared 1-minutes speech, present it to the class. Ask students to summarize what you said, sharing key pints, etc.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Next, ask students what helped them listen and pay attention to the speech.  In addition, ask students what caused them not to listen carefully.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students to share reasons why listening is important, and how they can listen better.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Effective Listening.
  5. Distribute Effective Listening content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Pair students.  Review the questions prior to the speech.
  7. Following the speech, students will complete the questions with their partner. Conduct a class discussion related to the responses.  (Responses will vary.)
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Students share their responses related to the effective listening skills used.
  10. In closing, ask students: Describe a situation when NOT listening carefully caused you problems, whether serious or humorous consequences. What was it like?  What did you learn from it?  It is recommended the teacher share a personal experience of consequences suffered when not listening.

Common Core State Standards: 


Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Language Arts