Listen Up!

Scripture: Proverbs 5,7,12-15,17,19-23,27-29,31

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review Proverbs about friends and family.
  • Students will learn the importance of respectfully listening to others with full attention.
  • Students will participate in an activity in which they try to listen to someone’s message while focusing on another activity to understand how multitasking effects the brain and behavior.

Guiding Question: How can I listen more effectively to other people?

Materials: paper and pencil

Procedure: Review the main themes in Proverbs about friends and family emphasizing how frequently the author urges his son to listen to his parents. Give students a pencil and piece of paper. Give them 10 minutes to write a story that they make up on their own. It can be about something they did recently, an event, a fictional story, etc. Then organize students into pairs. One partner will sing a song while the other partner tells their story or reads it from their paper. You may want to tell students what well-known song to sing (such as Jesus Loves Me) so that they do not waste time trying to decide on one. Then, the singing “listener” will try to tell as many details from the story as he/she can remember.

After the activity, lead students back to the main group and discuss their experience. Were they able to follow all of the instructions? Was the activity harder or easier than they expected? Why?

Emphasize the importance of listening to people with your ears and your body language.

Role play good listening skills and body language: Sitting alert, eye contact (if culturally relevant), not interrupting. Emphasize that this shows respect. These habits also make the speaker think that the listener is more wise and responsible. Let some students come to the front and role play while you talk/tell a simple story.

Additional Questions:

  • How does it make you feel when people do not listen to you while you are talking?
  • Why is it important to listen to our friends and family? How will it help you have a better relationship with them?

Supplemental Activities:

  • Have students watch a video clip of a speaker/ performers such that the audience can be seen. Let students point out good and bad listeners from the video. How can you tell who is interested and paying attention?
  • Give students the references used in this lesson. Let them re-read the passages and find wisdom that was given in Proverbs that they have also heard their parents tell them. Let them list advice that is exactly the same and advice that is the same message in different words.