Listen and Learn: A Short Listening Comprehension
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
The Listen and Learn resource idea stemmed from a need; a need for a short, easy to understand information segment with a side of listening comprehension. I needed to engage my non-readers and low-level readers in the consumer math high school level curriculum I was teaching in a meaningful way. I needed to do two ‘instructional’ lessons simultaneously because my student’s abilities ranged from non-reader to high school level reader. I needed it to hit the same key points that my students who could read the passage narrative were gaining so that there wasn’t any further discrepancy. I couldn’t rely on YouTube content that might have been too long, had ads that distracted the students, or would become unavailable mid school year.
I couldn’t find exactly what I needed, so I made it. (Isn’t this most every teacher’s natural reaction?)
What really is a Listen and Learn?
A Listen and Learn is a PowerPoint or Google Slide presentation that pairs five simple level, single sentence text with a graphic with automatic read-aloud audio. After the first five slides of basic content, a single comprehension question wraps up the presentation, also with automatic audio.
Students can pace themselves through the first five slides, replay the audio if they want to re-listen to a slide, and revisit a slide if they want to review before answering the question. *Questions are not self-grading.
How can they be used in the classroom?
I had three computers at the back of my classroom and I was able to gather a set of headphones for each that I could keep (locked up at the end of each period, of course) in the classroom. I would remind my small group of students who would be listening to the ‘reading’ that they should head to the computer when I transitioned to the reading passage portion of that day’s lesson. Students would then head to the back computer, access the resource, listen, put their answer on a post it note that I had sitting next to each computer, and turn it in as the other students completed the reading.
Now, the beauty of this resource is that it was student-led. They accessed the resource on their own (whether it was through email, Google Classroom, Google Drive, or a file-sharing system) and they navigated it on their own.
You don’t have to pair this with one of my consumer math Lesson Units (as the majority of the content in the lessons requires additional reading and writing), but that is where this Listen and Learn resource was born.
This could be used on its own to introduce a concept to students using a voice other than the teacher’s voice (which could be a welcome change of cadence for some students). The Listen and Learn could also supplement a lesson you’ve developed as the content is anchored in key concepts, so it is universal enough to fit into your current lesson materials.
Also, it’s a great option for a quick review that a substitute teacher can handle! Use the Google Friendly resource and the guest teacher can project and move through the slides easily!
Is this the right resource for my students?
The Listen and Learn resources are Ideal for the following student populations:
English Language Learners
High school or transition age students
Consumer Math students
Life Skill students
Can access a computer or tablet (log in and flip through slides)
Students who need a ‘Check for Understanding’ after/while reading
I hope the how and why behind the Listen and Learn is a little more clear now and that you see how I met my need for a short, easy to understand information with a side of listening comprehension. May you find new and fun ways to incorporate this resource into your classroom space.
Check out the resources here: