TopDown Listening Skills

Discriminate between emotions................Evaluate themes.

Get the gist...................................................Find the main idea.

Recognize the topic.....................................Find supporting details.

Use discourse structure.............................Make inferences.

Identify the speaker.....................................Understand organizaton of extended speech.


HD Brown's 9 ways to check on listening, the listener:1. Responds physically to a command.
2. Chooses between alternatives such as objects, pictures, text.
3. Draws a picture of what is heard.
4. Answers a question about the message.
5. Outlines or takes notes on a lecture.
6. Provides an ending to a story heard.
7. Translates the message into another language [or format] or repeats it verbatim.
8. Models, example orders a meal after listening.
9. Engages in conversation that indicates appropriate processessing of information.





Voice Thread Go to this site to see how voicethread could be used as a retelling.

All Areas
All areas of comprehension, books, and much more. Other subjects too.
Very slowly read print.
Videos (therefore oral) of books.
Listen to discourse on topics. [I cut the web address in two for the chart to fit the page, add the second part once you get to the website.]
Articles on many topics to use for listening
All areas Great website

Recorded messages passages of all kinds, three levels.

Lots and lots of items.
Has prelistening activities, tests listening afterwards (you can see the questions while listening). Ex. listen to a phone conversaton.

Med El listening activities
"A collection of online games and listening activities designed to help you test and hone your listening skills."

Details & Following Directions

Highlighter for web pages and more
Use to highligh details on web articles.
Article & activiites on reading, writing, following and evaluating directions.
Pick a theme, then find a directions activity
For parents to use at home in asking wh- questions.

Following oral directions
Listen to oral directions one group at a time

Follow directions with prepositions
Easy use of prepositions, go to 3 places to find the bug.

Critical Elements

PBS Messy Attic
Identifying named objects within a sentence. Starts with 1-2 critical elements, continues to more & uses "then".

Descriptions Descriptions 2
Turn on the sound for oral comprehension. Dragons/Faces

Main Idea

Demonstration of teaching main idea.
Activities and worksheets.
web chart
web chart
Download a printer-friendly "find the main idea" web graphic organizer.
IDEA: Backwards web graphic organizer As they read, have your students pause at each paragraph. Then ask, them to use a web graphic organizer backwards.
  • This means that students must begin by writing the details for each section, or paragraph,
  • then write a summary sentence with those details,
  • and finally, try to find the main idea based on those summary sentences.
Introduction activities using short selection.
How to locate the main idea in a paragraph.
Test prep, main idea, common mistakes.
Listen to a chapter then go to the table of contents & click on the speaker for that chapter.


Listen for Details
Picture choices for the details, a portion of the information given at a time, then phrase choices given. ex. Which girl is it?

" If students are going to learn to summarize they need to be given a chance to genuinely share what they think is important for an audience other than the teacher."

One-Sentence Summary Frames.docx
Fill in the blank sentence structures for different types of discourse or writing.

Student arranges 3 pictures, when correct, he'll hear a sentence for each picture.
A story (use the link) and 4+ sequence cards with a sentence on each.
Sequence 6 or more sentences.
An introduction: basic sequencing, then hear/read one story & sequence 3 sentences.
Build a timeline.
Go to "Grade Level Help PreK thru 8th Grade" you'll get a list of areas per grade. Go to "Language Arts".

Sequence 6 - 10 steps
Order sentences, see a picture as a reward.

Cause & Effect

Draw a Stickman
A fun way to work on cause and effect and narrative development.