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Tune in to Teens: A Listening Exercise
Through a listening exercise where the students switch scenarios and roles they will experiment different ways of communication both verbal and non-verbal.
Learn how to listen effectively and give constructive criticism and positive feedback
Lead-in / Preparation
See handouts below
Estimated Class-Time Required
Description of Activities
Working in pairs, each team is given the hand out face down. Explain that there are three scenarios and each team member will be both a speaker and a listener. When the teacher says, they will turn over the page. Give them a minute or two to read the scenario. Then say “go”!
Give them 3-5 minutes to complete scenario #1. Say something like “Switch” and then the students will begin scenario #2 etc.
After each role play answer the reflection questions:
1. When you were the speaker what feedback did you receive from your listener? Verbal and non-verbal.
2. Is non-verbal feedback as telling as verbal feedback? If so, how?
3. How did the feedback influence you?
4. What influenced you the most in this exercise?
Once the two scenarios are completed and the reflection questions have been answered, the teacher will place 3-4 teams together (depending on class size) and together they will discuss and brainstorm what was effective listening and feedback. After each scenario the teams should discuss.
At the end there will be an entire group discussion on the exercise.
Once all the groups are finished the class should meet in larger groups and discuss what happened. See what was common amongst the groups. What was most empathetic? How did the speaker react to the listener’s reactions? Was the non-verbal communication clear?
You are having a really bad day. You overslept and were late to school. You forgot your history book and in it was your assignment that you needed to hand in. The teacher is a stickler and he won’t excuse you. Even though you worked really hard on the paper (you went to sleep late because you were working on it), the teacher said that even if you bring it the next day he will take off 10 points because its late! Everything is going wrong today. You feel like crying. At recess, you see your good friend and want to get everything off your chest.
Your role is to tell your friend about your bad day and how you feel.
Same scenario as above.
However, you too are having a bad day. The difference is your friend is never late, always gets good grades and is the most popular kid in school. You on the other hand, are very often late, get average grades (at best) and while you have friends, you’re not in the “cool clique”. After listening to your friend vent for a few seconds, you realize their problems are nothing compared to yours.
Your role is to say things like “It’s no big deal compared to what happened to me…”
“Oh, that’s nothing, don’t worry about it”, “this is what you need to do” or “ you’re making too much of it”. Interrupt your partner often to give your reactions and advice.
Talker A: Great news! You were just told by your homeroom teacher that you won an achievement award and will be invited to a special event hosted by the principal! You go to your friend to share the good news.
Listener’s role: Express your happiness for your friend. Use the proper voice (happy! upbeat!) to express your feelings. Use non verbal communication (such as hugs, clapping, smiling….)
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