Whole Body Listening

Last week, we read the book “Whole Body Listening” which explores how two siblings, Leah and Luka struggle to focus their brains and bodies during the school day. Kindly, a peer mentor helps to explain to these students how they need to use their eyes, hands, feet, heart, brain, etc. to listen in group environments to not only access the information but to work as part of a group.

Whole Body Listening Larry Poster

Whole Body Listening is more than just “hearing” with the ears. It includes:

  • listening with the eyes (looking at the speaker)
  • listening with the mouth (closed and quiet – no talking, humming, making sounds, etc.)
  • listening with the body (facing the speaker)
  • listening with the hands (quietly at the side of the body or in the lap)
  • listening with the feet (standing still or quietly on the floor)
  • listening with the brain (thinking about what the speaker is saying)
  • listening with the heart (caring about what the speaker is saying)

Being a good listener means much more than just hearing what is said with the ears. It is important to break down ALL of the components of listening for the children. Many children hear various statements like, “Show me good listening” or “I need you to listen”; however, we often forget to talk about what that means.

The Whole Body Listening poster is on display in the classroom and we will be referring to it to remind students to listen with their entire bodies during group lessons on the carpet.

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