What Listening Can Look Like

In school, listening is an idea that is both very important and a sort of banal directive. What is listening, at school, beyond paying attention and raising your hand? In committing to listening for the year, it was predictable that there would be many ways of thinking about listening between the two year old children, the school age and the adults. However, the ways themselves weren't so predictable.
Here are some of the ways that children I have worked with have encountered listening as an idea:

playing with radios, microphones, recording
Playing with turntables and vinyl records

Playing with an amplifier and microphone.
Communicating from classroom to classroom through barriers 
Building mail boxes to be able to send letters to other classes.
This one is made by Garden room children for Fourth grade.

Discovering sounds in nature, especially how trees communicate.
Listening to trees.

Creating disguises to better listen to trees. Second Grade

A gift for a special tree. Rainbow Room
Finding a way to ask the tree it's name. Rainbow Room

Experimenting with discussion formats. Fourth grade.


  1. Hello Anna

    My name is Kath Murdoch. I work in the field of inquiry based learning in schools around the world. I love your blog and often recommend it to teachers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your spirit and the beauty of your children's learning. Your posts are always thought provoking, inspiring and affirming. I just read your most recent one and was struck by the lovely images of listening to trees. I am not sure of you will be able to listen to this podcast from where you are but in the hope that you can, I am forwarding you this link...such a beautiful conversation with a man who listens to trees as his life's work. Thought you might enjoy.... http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-david-haskell/8772954
    If it doesn't work...his name is David Haskell. Thank you again for sharing your inquiring mind with teachers everywhere. Kath Murdoch

  2. Greetings from Seattle, Washington, Anna! Kath Murdoch made me aware of your blog and it really is beautiful, thoughtful, and inspiring. With your permission, I would love to share the site in my upcoming book on inquiry ("Experience Inquiry," Corwin Press). I look forward to hearing from and collaborating with you! Kimberly Mitchell


Post a Comment

Please do comment!