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Summer Learning Through Listening

Summer Learning Through Listening

Pat Hensley | Successful Teaching

I just read this article on LD Online called Crickets, Books, and Bach: Develop a Summer Listening Program by David Gordon. I know that there are a lot of summer reading programs around but what about the students who have difficulty reading? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t encourage them to read but we can also get them to learn about good literature through listening.

Mr. Gordon states,

“Parents should consider assembling a summer listening list, too. When we think of literacy, we tend to think first of reading and writing. That’s because for centuries, printed text has been the dominant means of recording and sharing information. Yet for most children, listening is really the first entry point into language—the cornerstone of learning and of cognitive development. In an age when kids are regular users of personal multimedia technologies, the importance of learning to listen and listening to learn is as great as ever.”

There are so many great things to listen to and maybe my students need a break from struggling with their reading all of the time. My husband loves audio books and podcasts because he is an auditory learner and so are many of my students.

The public library has many books on CDs that students can check out. I know that when we plan on going on a long road trip, we like to listen to books together so we can talk about them. This would be a great family activity for everyone to enjoy as well as build relationships. I really don’t have any favorites but there are some books that are easier for me to listen to rather than read. For example, I will listen to Lillian Jackson Braun books on “The Cat Who…” before I will read the book. For some reason, the voices really draw me in. There are many classics that would be fun to listen to like Treasure Island, Moby Dick or Great Expectations.

There are plenty of podcasts on Itunes that are free also depending on the individual’s interest. My husband likes to listen to science podcasts that are short but interesting. I like to listen to educational, knitting, and gardening podcasts. Of course we like to listen to Prairie Home Companion and NPR’s: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me together.

Do you like to listen to books and podcasts? If so, share your favorites.

Check out these online audio stories!

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