One essential part of success in the classroom is following directions. Of course, this takes practice for young learners, but listening activities can help! Learn how students can build listening comprehension in fun and meaningful ways.
Simple Following Directions Activities That Kids Love
Kids learn to follow one-step directions before they work on multi-step directions. Some master this skill before entering the classroom, but others need some help. This is where listening activities come in handy!
Learn how Listening Mats can help kids with listening comprehension and reading skills in and out of the classroom.
Table of Contents
- Simple Following Directions Activities That Kids Love
- Common Challenges
- What are Listening Mats
- What do Listening Mats Include
- How & When to Use Listen & Draw Activities
- What Teachers are Saying
- More Listening & Following Directions Activities
Imagine this: You give your students a few steps to complete a game with a partner. Some pairs listen the first time and can play the game without your intervention. Others, however, need guidance because they missed the first step.
We’ve all experienced this.
Students need to work on listening comprehension to begin following multi-step directions as they age. Listening Mats are a great way to practice this skill in a fun way.
Imagine this: You give your students a worksheet and ask them not to begin until you read the directions. Before you have the sheets passed out, Jonathan has already started coloring his pictures and writing words on the dotted lines.
Those weren’t even part of the instructions.
Jonathan needs to work on his listening skills. Following directions activities, like Listening Mats, help students learn to stop and think about what they must do before they begin.
What are Listening Mats
Listening activities help students learn to pause and think about what they are doing before they begin. Listening Mats provide students with a picture and a set of instructions to follow. Students can read the instructions independently, or teachers can call out the directions slowly so students can work at their own pace.
Listening Mats offer bulleted lists of tasks to complete on a picture, a list of things to draw in designated boxes, or a short story for students to illustrate using all the elements. The point of each activity is to get students to slow down and think!
What do Listening Mats Include
Listening Mats include many activities to help students master their listening comprehension skills. There are ten months’ worth of listening activities, and they are differentiated for kindergarten through 2nd grade.
Each month has 20 different following-directions activities that build on listening and reading comprehension.
The activities include:
- Listen and color – Students read and complete a list of tasks using the image on the page.
- Follow directions and draw – Students read and follow the instructions to illustrate the boxes.
- Visualize and draw – Students read and illustrate a short story using all the elements mentioned.
How & When to Use Listen & Draw Activities
Listening activities are an excellent addition to any lesson, specifically your reading lessons. They teach kids to slow down, process, and translate to other subject areas.
Use the mats to start the day as a fun morning work warm-up activity, or have them on hand to wind down at the end of the day. There’s no wrong time to use them. The great thing about the Listening Mats is their versatility.
Keep them in your back pocket for days when you have a sub, or use them weekly to get extra practice. Try using fun crayons or markers to complete the listening mats as well! They will be following directions accurately in no time.
What Teachers are Saying
My kiddos have finally started listening to my instructions during other activities after introducing these! I feel like they’re finally starting to really pay attention to what I am saying 🙂 – Holly S.
GREAT! NO PREP, just PRINT! These are absolutely great for teaching my students. It teaches them to listen to instructions and how important it is to listen to the DETAILS of that instruction. – Homeschool M.
My students would do these all day if I let them. I paired these with tons of distractions, as we were practicing self-talk to avoid being distractions. I ran around the room with maracas, my neighbor ran in and banged on some desks, and I talked super quietly in order to get them to focus in on me. – Kelsey M.
I used this resource throughout the school year. First, to enhance listening skills Gradually, I used the resource to promote reading. My students found these challenging and fun. – Janet R.
My students love these drawings! So happy to have this low prep, engaging activity to use during my centers! – LaYoyia D.
Free Listening Mat Samples to Try!
Try 6 FREE Listening Mats in your classroom with this printable sample! See how simple they are to prep and how much kids love using them to practice following directions. Then, apply them to whole-group lessons or smaller groups.
Click the image below to grab a copy.
Listening Mats Resources
Try the Listening Mats Bundle by Proud to be Primary. It includes 20 different listening mats for each month of the school year.
You can also see each month individually and the seasonal/themed activities for each month.
Each set of Listening Mats has three variations to try that all work on following directions. Through repeated practice, your students will master listening comprehension skills.
More Listening & Following Directions Activities
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