Active Listening Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Help students understand what you mean by 'active listening' with this lesson plan. Define the term for students, teach techniques, and view examples. Then have students practice with a fun game.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'active listening' and other key terms
  • demonstrate understanding of active listening
  • determine and evaluate active listening in others


  • Active listening scoring guide, to be used with students in activity. Create using criteria from lesson, like eye contact, paraphrasing, summarizing, etc.


50 minutes

Key Vocabulary

  • Active listening
  • Paraphrasing
  • Summarizing
  • Questioning
  • Clarifying

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.2

Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.3

Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.


  • Begin class by asking students to choose a topic about which they are passionate and writing a paragraph or two about it. Ask students to defend positions, if necessary. Suggest topics such as sports, music, climate change, etc.
  • Have students tuck these away for later.
  • Explain to students that a necessary skill for them to develop is active listening. Ask them to brainstorm the meaning of this term and discuss.
  • Preview and pre-teach vocabulary, then start our video lesson What Is Active Listening? - Techniques, Definition & Examples. Allow students to take notes or print copies for them to highlight.
  • Pause at 0:50 and ask:
    • How is active listening different than regular listening?
    • What is the goal of active listening?
    • When are times you need to use active listening? When are times you don't?
  • Resume the video and pause again at 2:55 and ask students to model active listening body language. Use volunteers, then have students practice with a partner. Discuss:
    • What is an example of paraphrasing?
    • Demonstrate questioning and clarifying.
    • When is summarizing a good active listening choice?
  • Play the lesson summary and answer any remaining questions before moving on to the activity.

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