Listening and following directions activities in any classroom can be difficult for lots of students. Actually, those skills can be difficult for some adults too! If it can be difficult for an adult to listen or follow directions, why do we EXPECT that students have these skills at school? These are skills that we need to teach. Teaching students listening and following directions skills in grades K-6 could truly impact their futures.
Teaching Listening and Following Directions Skills – Through Worksheets
There are many ways that we can teach these skills but one way is through basic practice. I created a series of listening and following directions activities that allow students to focus on following basic directive tasks. Each worksheet has a picture on the top half of the page and a list of directions on the bottom half. Some of the directions are very reasonable and some seem questionable. For example: A direction of “color the grass green”, may seem reasonable. However a direction of “color the grass pink” may seem questionable. This gets the students thinking and ensures the teacher that the students can follow directions, even if things are not as they should be.
The following worksheet versions are sold individually or as a BUNDLE:
How to Use the Listening and Following Directions Activities / Worksheets
*WHOLE GROUP: The teacher gives everyone the same paper with the directions attached or just the picture. The teacher reads aloud the directions one by one. The teacher gives the students a chance to complete the step themselves and then completes a model for the class to follow along.
*SMALL GROUP: In a group of 4-8 students, the teacher guides the students by either reading or having a student, read the directions aloud. The students will complete the worksheets with teacher guidance.
*PAIR-UP: The teacher will put students in pairs (preferably grouping students that cannot read, with students that can read). Each pair will work together to read and follow the directions to complete the worksheets.
*INDEPENDENCE: The teacher will either hand out the same worksheet to everyone or give students an option to choose a worksheet. The students will then go back to their seats to complete this worksheet independently.
Other Reasons to Use Listening and Following Directions Worksheets
SUBSTITUTES: These worksheets are great to leave for substitutes! Substitutes can often be confused by the lesson plan or leave a project incomplete. These worksheets are extremely self-explanatory and make substitute life so much easier! Not to mention, it helps make it easier for the teacher to write sub-plans!
TIME FILLER: Imagine it’s the last hour on a Friday afternoon. For most professions, maybe it’s casual Friday and the last hour is really just a discussion about what everyone has planned for the weekend. For teachers, this is survival hour! The students are getting louder. They want the weekend to start just as much as the staff does. Procrastination begins and the excuses come out: “I’ll finish it over the weekend,” “Come on…it’s Friday,” and even “Can’t we just start this next week?” This may not happen every Friday but at some point teachers may need a time filler!
If you teach your students to listen and follow directions, that’s half the battle!