Listening and Responding Across Subject Areas

Students listen to and discuss informational audio presentations.


S&L6: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.


Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. Use the site Listenwise opens in a new window ( to help students practice listening for information and discussing nonfiction texts. You may need to create a free teacher account. Select a topic and select a discussion question or prompt to use with students. Many of the passages on the site connect to current events, social studies, science, and English language arts subject areas.
  2. Have students review the questions before listening to set a purpose and focus for listening.
  3. Play the audio file. (Depending on the topic and questions selected, you may want to hold an informal or a more formal discussion; let the students know whether to respond in an informal or formal manner.) Have students share and discuss their responses as a class. Variations:
    • Have students discuss the questions with a partner before beginning whole class discussion.
    • Have students work in pairs with each pair at their own computer. This variation allows you to assign lower or higher level passages depending on students’ skill levels and interests. (Students can also work independently to practice listening skills.)
  4. Use a rubric such as this one from New Hampshire to evaluate students’ speaking and listening skills:opens in a new window

Workforce readiness skills

opens in a new window External Resources
ELA Activities for Level C / D / E
America’s Skilled Workers: Vocabulary
Students read opens in a new window “Filling America’s Need for Skilled Workers” Newsela article at an appropriate Lexile level and underline unknown words or new vocabulary, transitional words, and specific vocabulary words related to jobs and economics. Students then use opens in a new window Quizlet to create online vocabulary cards. Finally, students create individual resumés for Virginia job/job markets that they are interested in. Read More America’s Skilled Workers: Vocabulary
Workplace Safety Presentations
Students read and listen to texts related to workplace safety. Then, students create their own multimedia presentations synthesizing the workplace safety lessons learned. Read More Workplace Safety Presentations
Using Multimedia Strategically
Students discuss good and bad presentations and read tips for avoiding multimedia mistakes. Then, they revise one of their own presentations by adding or changing a multimedia element. Read More Using Multimedia Strategically
Summarizing Pro/Con Videos
Have students work in groups to find a persuasive speech online, use a graphic organizer to analyze the speaker’s claims, and write a summary in five sentences or less. Read More Summarizing Pro/Con Videos
Classroom Debate
Students select a debate topic, organize pro/con teams, conduct research, plan arguments, and carry out a classroom debate. Read More Classroom Debate
More Activities