There are many ways to set up a listening lesson with your class. Here are some ideas to help you get started and have students find out more about themselves and their listening styles.

When presenting Listenwise to your students and listening to a story together as a class, there will be a wide variety of listening styles in the room. Some people close their eyes and remain perfectly still. There are always a few fidgeters: pen-flipping, leg-swinging, chair-rocking people. Some people doodle and some people stare into space, or at the teacher, while they focus on listening to the content. As you can see in this picture, some people even style hair while they focus on listening.

You will find a variety of listening styles in your students. Here are a few suggestions for you to help students identify the listening style that works best for them.

First, choose 3 stories that your students will be interested in. For the first story, have everyone listen with their eyes closed or heads down. Since the goal is to have students understand what they listened to, when the audio is finished students could answer the comprehension questions or take a multiple-choice quiz. They could also write a summary of the story. And then to encourage metacognition, students can free write their thoughts to reflect on how well they listened in this style.

You can repeat this process with the next two stories, maybe having students fidget or move while listening to the second story, and lastly have students read the transcript while listening to the third story. You could get student suggestions on how they might want to try listening to the next story, and listen in that style.


Here’s a quick recap to help you find your listening style:

  1. Choose stories
  2. Identify a style to try out
  3. Listen to a story
  4. Check comprehension
  5. Free write about how well they listened


After completing the 3 or so exercises, have your students compare their free write for each listening style and cross-reference that with how well they understood each story based on the written summary, questions, or quiz. Then they can use that style when they listen to stories going forward.

Students can make modifications as they continue to listen and discover what works best for them to increase their understanding while listening. To encourage this thinking, be sure to ask students, “How well did you listen?” This question will encourage them to be metacognitive about their listening comprehension and make changes if needed.

Share your experiences with what works best for your classroom and your students!