Listening and Attention

Children with difficulties in this area may:
+ Have problems with hearing
+ Be easily distracted by noise and movement
+ Tend to daydream and be in a world of their own
+ Find it hard to focus on one activity at a time
+ Find it hard to follow instructions - this makes learning and socialising difficult
+ Often make mistakes because of an inability to attend to detail
+ Have poor organisational and self-help skills (getting dressed, finding tools for a task)
+ Avoid tasks that require sustained attention
+ Be unable to concentrate during tasks involving turn-taking
+ Have constant movement of hands and feet
+ Have kinaesthetic strengths and learn better through using concrete materials and practical experiences
+ Have visual strengths and enjoy learning through using visual materials

Activities to develop listening and attention skills:

Listen and Do - Follow specific instructions to complete an activity

Sound Walk - Listen carefully to sounds; draw 'sound maps' paint or compose poetry related to sounds heard.

Simon Says - The family game - listen carefully to specific instructions, then do the actions.

Shared Reading - Use the interactive whiteboard to focus attention on both visual and written cues.

Circle Time - A variety of listening activities (the person who is speaking can hold an object to indicate that everyone else must listen).

Listening Centre Activities - These may include stories, information, poems, rhymes, jokes, jingles and so on. Discuss details of the texts.

Who Am I? - Miming activities that can related to topics/ subjects (story characters, historical figures, occupations etc.).

Parachute Activities - Listen carefully to instructions as part of a team game or activity.

Whispers - Pass an action message round the circle; the last child to receive the message must perform the action.

Messages - Recall verbal messages containing one or two elements

20 Questions - Pupils ask 20 questions (yes/no answers only) to find the identify of a hidden object.

Hot Seating - One pupil plays a familiar story character, or famous/historical character and sits in the hot seat; other pupils ask questions to discover the identity of the character.