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Bottom Up Listening Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Bottom-up listening relies on understanding basic individual letter sounds to piece together meaning. This lesson plan teaches students about bottom-up listening and pairs students up to practice the concept of bottom-up listening.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define bottom up listening
  • list the steps involved in bottom-up listening
  • distinguish between bottom-up listening and top down listening
  • discuss the relationship between bottom-up and top-down listening in regard to understanding

Length

45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1.B

Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1.C

Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1.D

Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2

Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.3

Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.4

Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Materials

  • A simple sentence
  • Basic definitions for 'listening', 'bottom-up listening' and 'top-down listening'

Instructions

  • Begin by reading your simple sentence aloud to the class.
    • What is meant by what I just said?
    • How do you know that?
  • Reread the sentence in very slow motion, paying close attention to each letter and sound rather than the words.
    • How was what I just read different from the first version?
    • Did the meaning of the sentence change?
    • How do you know that?
  • Write the definitions for 'listening', 'bottom-up listening' and 'top-down listening' on the board for the class.
  • Review each definition with the class and allow students to ask any questions they may have.
  • Explain that your slow-motion sentence forced students to focus on bottom-up listening.
    • Based on the definitions provided in class, why was the slow-motion sentence dependent upon bottom-up listening?
    • Can we use just bottom-up listening to hear and understand things? Why or why not?

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