Title of Lesson: Active Listening
Grade Level: 9th Grade
Duration: 40 minute class
ASCA/NYSSCA National Standards and Competencies:
Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span.
Competencies: A:A1 Improve Academic Self-concept:
A:A1.5 Identify attitudes and behaviors that lead to successful learning
A:A2 Acquire Skills for Improving Learning:
A:A2.3 Use communications skills to know when and how to ask for
help when needed
A:A3 Achieve School Success:
A:A3.2 Demonstrate the ability to work independently, as well as the
ability to work cooperatively with other students
A:A3.5 Share knowledge
Standard B: Students will complete school with the academic preparation essential to choose from a wide range of substantial post-secondary options, including college.
Competencies: A:B2 Plan to Achieve Goals:
A:B2.5 Use problem-solving and decision-making skills to assess
progress toward educational goals
Standard A: Students will acquire the skills to investigate the world of work in relation to knowledge of self and to make informed career decisions.
Competencies: C:A1 Develop Career Awareness:
C:A1.4 Learn how to interact and work cooperatively in teams
C:A2 Develop Employment Readiness:
C:A2.1 Acquire employability skills such as working on a team, problem-
solving and organizational skills
Standard C: Students will understand the relationship between personal qualities, education, training and the world of work.
Competencies: C:C2 Apply Skills to Achieve Career Goals:
C:C2.2 Learn how to use conflict management skills with peers and adults
C:C2.3 Learn to work cooperatively with others as a team member
Standard A: Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes and interpersonal skills to help them understand and respect self and others.
Competencies: PS:A1 Acquire Self-knowledge:
PS:A1.5 Identify and express feelings
PS:A1.6 Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior
PS:A1.8 Understand the need for self-control and how to practice it
PS:A1.9 Demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups
PS:A1.11 Identify and discuss changing personal and social roles
PS:A2 Acquire Interpersonal Skills:
PS:A2.2 Respect alternative points of view
PS:A2.6 Use effective communications skills
PS:A2.7 Know that communication involves speaking, listening and
Standard B: Students will make decisions, set goals and take necessary action to achieve
Competencies: PS:B1 Self-knowledge Application:
PS:B1.1 Use a decision-making and problem-solving model
PS:B1.2 Understand consequences of decisions and choices
PS:B1.3 Identify alternative solutions to a problem
PS:B1.4 Develop effective coping skills for dealing with problems
PS:B1.5 Demonstrate when, where and how to seek help for solving
problems and making decisions
PS:B1.6 Know how to apply conflict resolution skills
Standard C: Students will understand safety and survival skills.
Competencies: PS:C1 Acquire Personal Safety Skills:
PS:C1.7 Apply effective problem-solving and decision-making skills
to make safe and healthy choices
PS:C1.10 Learn techniques for managing stress and conflict
PS:C1.11 Learn coping skills for managing life events
New York State Learning Standards:
Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts.
English Language Arts:
Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.
Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
Students will listen, speak, read, and write for critical analysis and evaluation. As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to present, from a
variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.
Standard 4: Language for Social Interaction
Students will listen, speak, read, and write for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people
Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Science:
Standard 2: A Safe and Healthy Environment
Students will acquire the knowledge and ability necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment.
Learning Objective: Students will use effective communication skills to work cooperatively.
Co-Leaders: 9th Grade Advisory Teacher
Materials: "Active Listening" handout
"Conflict Resolution Skills" handout
"Conflict Observation Sheet" handout
"Listening Skills" handout
Teacher Resource -- "Guidelines for Facilitating Role Plays"
Accommodations: Student with a hearing impairment: School Counselor may provide deaf and hard of hearing students the use of an interpreter in the classroom and/or provide assistive devices that require the instructor to wear a small microphone that can send signals to either an FM device that amplifies sound for the student.
Developmental Learning Activity:
Introduction: (10 minutes) Greet, Distribute and discuss "Conflict Resolution Skills."
Activity: 1. (10 minutes) Distribute "Active Listening" and work through the sheet with
students. Highlight or otherwise emphasize the exact words that could be used in their role play situations, such as "I'm still not sure I understand why that made you so upset. Could you explain again?" Explain that they will be doing role play during this class and they should be sure to include active listening and communication skills in their actions.
2. (5 minutes) Review "Guidelines for Facilitating Role Plays" with the students. Note the main points on the chalkboard.
3. (5 minutes) Ask for two volunteers to act out the first role play. Remind them to follow the guidelines listed and use active listening techniques.
•Role Play #1: You are a student. You told a friend in confidence about someone you'd like to go out with. Over the next few days, several people make remarks to you about it. The next time you're alone with your friend, you talk about what happened. Role play the conversation.
Conclusion: (10 minutes) Distribute "Conflict Observation Sheet" and discuss the role play situation just performed. Emphasize those active listening skills that the participants correctly used.
Assessment/Evaluation: Some of this lesson is based on the Sunburst Conflict Resolution materials. The model is based on the belief that cooperation is the underlying framework for conflict resolution and must be experienced, not just taught, to be understood and internalized. Through the use of these useful handouts, counselor-led discussions, role-plays, and homework assignments the learning objective will be met.
Follow-up: Students would be handed a homework assignment title "Listening Skills" to be completed before their next advisory class. Students are also asked to practice active listening with peers and families.
Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflict resolution skills are skills a person can use to resolve a disagreement in a healthful, safe, legal, respectful, and nonviolent way.
Set the tone.
Separate the problem from the person.
Use positive nonverbal messages.
Define the conflict.
Take responsibility for personal actions.
Use "I" messages to express needs and feelings.
Listen to the needs and feelings of others.
List and discuss possible solutions.
Will the solution result in actions that are helpful?
Will the solution result in actions that are safe?
Will the solutions result in actions that are legal?
Will the solutions result in actions that are respectful of all people involved?
Will the solution result in actions that are nonviolent?
Agree on a solution.
Keep your word and follow the agreement.
Ask for the assistance of a trusted adult or peer if the conflict cannot be resolved.
Active listening is essential to effective communication and is a vital part of conflict resolution. In active listening, judgment is suspended and the listener uses empathy to try to understand the speaker's experience, feelings, and perspective. The main principles of active listening are:
Draw the other person out. Use verbal/non-
verbal cues to show that you are really listening.
Convey attentiveness with body language and short vocal responses. Be aware that appropriate body language and vocalizations vary from culture to culture.
Ask questions to confirm what the speaker has
said. Not only will this help you understand, but it also may help the speaker examine their own perceptions.
"Could you tell me which of those things happened first?"
"I'm still not sure I understand why that made you so upset. Could you explain again?"
Repeat in your words what the speaker has said. This shows you are listening and helps check for facts and meaning.
"So she said she would call back and then she
called two days later."
Tell the speaker what you think he/she is
experiencing. This can lead the speaker to be
more expressive. It also provides a way to check the accuracy of your perceptions.
"You said what she did hurt a lot. It sounds like
you really felt humiliated. Do I have that right?"
Reiterate the major ideas, themes, and feelings the speaker has expressed. This provides review and a basis from which to continue the dialogue.
"So the main problems you have with this are...."
Show appreciation for the speaker's efforts;
acknowledge the value of talking; affirm your
positive feelings about being part of the dialogue.
"I'm really glad we're talking."
"It makes me feel good that you confided in me."
Guidelines for Facilitating Role Plays
Role plays provide opportunities to learn and practice skills for conflict resolution. Role play scenarios are open-ended. There is no script, no right or wrong ending. The actors make it up as they go.
Before the role play...
Organize the participants.
Role plays usually are limited to two or three actors. Those who are not actors are observers. Observers should take notes during the role play and be prepared to report their impressions.
Create a positive climate.
Make it clear that there is to be no judging or criticizing of role playing, and that everyone's contribution is valuable.
Establish procedures that set role play apart from "real life."
Participants may be more comfortable if some formalities are observed. Role play performers can wear special name tags or badges.
During the role play...
Aim for an appropriate length.
Role plays can last from 2-3 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on the skills being practiced and the level of participants' skills and role play experience. Early attempts at role playing usually will be brief. As participants become more skillful and relaxed, they may extend their role plays.
If role players get "stuck," take a break.
Talk about the action and try to figure out what's going wrong. Sometimes even a slight change can help.
Observers remain detached.
Observers do not act in the role play or talk to the actors. They refrain from commenting or criticizing. They simply watch and take notes on their observations and impressions sheet.
After the role play...
Actors can discuss the role play.
What seemed authentic or unauthentic? What was uncomfortable? What was particularly effective?
Observers can report impressions.
Observers are likely to notice things that the actors are not aware of, such as body language, tone of voice, and pacing.
Follow-up role plays can be done.
Observers and actors can switch jobs; actors can switch roles or try to play the same role in a different way.
Conflict Observation Sheet
Describe the conflict--what happened?
What was the conflict about?
How did the people involved in the conflict feel?
How did the conflict end?
Did anything change as a result of the conflict? If so, what? If not, why was there no change?
Was there a better way to resolve the conflict? If so, what?