Happy Learners - Listening Resources

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Listening Resources

Stephen Norwood Says
We should not be surprised when children don't listen. Even for adults it often takes time when you are busy in a conversation or activity to realise that someone is attempting to address the room. When our attention is focussed it can take a few seconds to realise that the rest of the room has gone quiet. It can then feel quite uncomfortable when you realise that everyone is now waiting. It is the same for children. For adults working with children we need to stay relaxed, positive and always use a range of cues to gain attention and reinforce listening expectations.

Silent Cues

Have a non-verbal signal such as raising your arm and or placing a finger on the lip. These can work very well even when the class is noisy but can take quite a few seconds to work. Helps to avoid raising your voice.

Clapping Cues

The adult claps and the children are taught that they must respond by repeating the clap rhythm. It can be any clap pattern as long it is consistent for your class. This can work quite quickly.

Musical Cues

This can be using a whistle when outside or a rainmaker, little bell or tambourine when in the classroom. Some early primary practioners use simple songs and chants that are then repeated to gain attention.

Reward Cues

As the class or group become focussed use reward cues to speed up the rest. Actively praise or give out team points to children who are ready. Use proximity praise to target children who are not ready by praising and rewarding those closest to them.

Naming Cues

Finally, use naming cues such as "Stephen, we are about to start now, thanks". Avoid blaming the child, or giving the impression that they have been naughty or are in the wrong. The aim is to remind not reprimand.



Carpet Time Song

Carpet Time Song

A simple chant to support transition of younger primary children to the carpet. This song acts as a cue for gaining attention and listening behaviour.


Give Me Five

Give Me Five

A poster to reinforce five rules for listening. Once actively taught the adult can use verbal prompts such "Give Me Five" or "Have I got all five?" to get class or group to be ready.



Listening Song

Carpet Time Song

A simple chant suitable for pre-school and lower primary children. This song acts as a cue for gaining attention and listening behaviour.


My Listening Checklist

My Listening ChecklistW

A checklist of good listening rules.


You may also be interested in the following pages:

Developing Listening

Language Resources Oracy

Language Resources Writing