Objective: Practice listening skills; allow the more quiet students to have a voice

# of participants: Unlimited

Space: Any space

Estimated time: Minimum 20 minutes

Facilitation:

Ask the students to find a partner. Let the students know they will each have 2 minutes to answer the following question or prompt. One student will volunteer to answer the question and the other student will actively listen and not make any comments. You will stop them at two minutes. The listener will then respond with a summary of what the speaker said, starting with the phrase, “What I heard you say is….”. The speaker will either confirm that the listener fully understood them or the speaker will clarify anything important that they believe the listener didn’t understand or missed. Then the other partner will have 2 minutes to answer the same question or prompt and the first person will listen without commenting and then share with the second person what they heard. Again, if it was not understood completely the student will clarify. Have the students find a new partner. Then ask another question. I would prepare 3-4 questions that get progressively more challenging to answer and might be more controversial. Switch partners for each question.

Debrief:

What was it like to be the person answering the question? What was interesting, surprising?

What was it like to be the listener? What was challenging, surprising?

What was interesting about this activity? What did you learn about communication?