Following Directions Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

One of the most important life skills is following directions. In this lesson, learn how to use strategies to make sure you hear, understand, and follow directions correctly.

Why Follow Directions?

Have you ever bought a toy that needed to be assembled, or put together? Chances are there were directions, a list of steps to guide you. Following the steps of those directions is important so that the toy comes out the way it's supposed to!

Directions can also help you keep safe. When you're in a car, you often see street signs that tell drivers which way to go, to slow down, or to be on the look out for something. These signs are more than just helpful--they can save lives!

Not following this direction could be very dangerous!
Street sign

Directions are everywhere. At school and at home, directions may be written on paper or spoken aloud. For example, teachers give directions to help you learn, and following these directions can help you succeed. Let's look at some strategies you can use to make sure you follow directions carefully and correctly.

Focus and Listen

Have you ever tried to do something when you were distracted? More than likely, you didn't do your best. It's really hard to do anything when you are not focused, and this is especially true for following directions.

When reading directions, turn off the television or loud music and really concentrate on the words and what you're supposed to do. If you're receiving directions in the classroom, avoid staring out the window or whispering to your friends--focus your concentration on the person speaking and the directions being given.

It might be tempting to look out the window, but keep your focus on the speaker and the directions being given.

If you're having trouble paying attention, you might try taking notes on what the person is saying. This helps ensure that you're listening and also provides you with a written reminder of what has been said.

Repeat the Directions

Have you ever been reading a book and, after a few minutes, you can't recall what you just read? Sometimes this happens with following directions, as well. A good way to avoid this is to give yourself a test! Not a big test you have to study for, but one that will make sure you understand the directions correctly.

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