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Enhancing relationships: active listening

Possible Learning Activities

  • In pairs, one student could tell the other what they did after school yesterday. Before listening to the story, the other student picks a role card that tells them how to behave while they are listening, for example, fidgeting, not looking at the speaker, interrupting, giving advice during the storytelling, or going to sleep.
  • Students can take turns at being the storyteller and swap roles.
  • After the exercise, discuss with students how it felt to be talking to people who were behaving like that. Ask:  “How did that feel? Did you find it easy to keep talking?"
  • Ask students to suggest how an active listener would behave, such as looking at the speaker, not interrupting, and asking questions to find out more information.
  • Repeat the role-play, with all students practising active listening.

Suggested Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate the skills of active listening (2C3).


(particularly taha hinengaro, taha whānau)

Contributing to the mental and emotional well-being of self and others by developing positive relationships.

Attitudes and Values

Demonstrating care and concern, and respect for the rights of others.

Teachers' Notes

  • Students need opportunities to practise being active listeners. Reinforce this activity in all curriculum areas by encouraging students to use active listening whenever they share their ideas and opinions.
  • The list of positive behaviours developed by students could be recorded on a chart on the classroom wall for student reference.