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Listening Matters

Help students understand and practice listening practices essential for developing meaningful relationships and finding common ground

From the RI State Standards on English Language Arts, 2021

Students need to practice speaking and listening with ample opportunities to take part in a variety of rich, structured conversations—as part of a whole class, in small groups, and with a partner.


Being productive members of these conversations requires that students contribute accurate, relevant information; respond to and develop what others have said; make comparisons and contrasts; and analyze and synthesize a multitude of ideas in various domains.


New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and audio.

--Rhode Island Core Standards for ELA

Created by Nancy E. Richman, PhD, MPA

You can grab a free copy of these Google Docs lesson plans and customize them for your learning context


2. Barriers to Empathic Listening

Learn about the 12 barriers to empathic listening and become more aware of your own inadvertent tendencies. 

Access the Lesson Plan & Slide Deck.

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3. Looping for Understanding

Learn a listening technique called “Looping for Understanding” and recognize how it helps people feel like they are being understood. 

Access the Lesson Plan & Slide Deck.

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4. Seven Types of Listening

Learn how different forms of listening are suited to different types of situations.  

Access the Lesson Plan & Slide Deck.

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5. Reflect on Your Listening 

Go on an internal mental journey to build deeper self-awareness of our identity as listeners in everyday life. 

Access the Reflection Activity

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