Listening Activities                         

Aslı PEKİN, Janset Müge ALTAY, Didem BAYTAN  



Contrasting Effective and Ineffective Listening Habits..............................2

Reasons for Listening.....................................................................................4

The Listening Process....................................................................................4

·        Pre-Listening....................................................................................5

·        During Listening..............................................................................8

·        After Listening................................................................................15

Assessment of Listening.................................................................................16

·        Informal Assessment.......................................................................16

Sample Self-assessment List For Listening...................................17

Sample Listening Behavior Check List.........................................19

·        Formal Assessment..........................................................................19

Experiences From Our Training Schools.....................................................21

SAMPLE 1.......................................................................................................22

SAMPLE 2.......................................................................................................25





Listening is more than merely hearing words. Listening is an active process by which students receive, construct meaning from, and respond to spoken and or nonverbal messages (Emmert, 1994). As such, it forms an integral part of the communication process and should not be separated from the other language arts. Listening comprehension complements reading comprehension. Verbally clarifying the spoken message before, during, and after a presentation enhances listening comprehension. Writing, in turn, clarifies and documents the spoken message.

Teachers can help students become effective listeners by making them aware of the different kinds of listening, the different purposes for listening, and the qualities of good listeners. Wolvin and Coakley (1992) identify four different kinds of listening.


·           Comprehensive (Informational) Listening---Students listen for the content of the message.

        Critical (Evaluative) Listening ---Students judge the message

·           Appreciative (Aesthetic) Listening---Students listen for enjoyment.

·           Therapeutic (Empathetic) Listening---Students listen to support others but not judge them (p. 7).


Traditionally, secondary schools have concentrated on the comprehensive and critical kinds of listening. Teachers need to provide experiences in all four kinds. For example, listening to literature read, listening to radio plays, and watching films develop appreciative in addition to comprehensive and critical listening. When students provide supportive communication in collaborative groups, they are promoting therapeutic listening. For example, the listening behaviour can show understanding, acceptance, and trust, all of which facilitate communication. Students benefit from exposure to all four types of listening.

Listening is a general purpose in most learning situations. To be effective listeners, however, students need a more specific focus than just attending to what is said. See the following chart that contrasts effective and ineffective listening habits.


Contrasting Effective and Ineffective Listening Habits

Effective Listeners

Ineffective Listeners


·           Build their background knowledge on subject before listening

·           Have a specific purpose for listening and attempt to ascertain speaker's purpose

·           Tune in and attend

·           Minimize distractions

·           Start listening without thinking about subject

·           Have no specific purpose for listening   and have not considered speaker's purpose

·           Do not focus attention

·           Create or are influenced by distractions

During Listening


·           Give complete attention to listening task and demonstrate interest

·           Search for meaning

·           Constantly check their understanding of message by making connections, making and confirming predictions, making inferences, evaluating, and reflecting

·           Know whether close or cursory listening is required; adjust their listening behaviour accordingly

·           Are flexible note makers--outlining, mapping, categorizing--who sift and sort, often adding information of their own

·           Take fewer, more meaningful notes

·           Distinguish message from speaker

·           Consider the context and "colour" of words

·           Do not give necessary attention to listening task

·           Tune out that which they find uninteresting

·           Do not monitor understanding or use comprehension strategies

·           Do not distinguish whether close or cursory listening is required

·           Are rigid note takers with few note making strategies

·           Try to get every word down or do not take notes at all

·           Judge the message by the speaker's appearance or delivery

·           Accept words at face value

After Listening


·           Withhold judgement until comprehension of message is complete

·           Will follow up on presentation by reviewing notes, categorizing ideas, clarifying, reflecting, and acting upon the message

·           Jump to conclusions without reflection

·           Are content just to receive message without reflection or action



Listening requires conscious mental effort and specific purpose. The purposes for listening relate to "types" of listening:

·           Are you listening to receive information?

·           Are you listening to follow instructions?

·           Are you listening to evaluate information?

·           Are you listening for pleasure?

·           Are you listening to empathise?

Students should be able to determine what their purpose should be in any given listening situation



The listening Process

Students do not have an innate understanding of what effective listeners do; therefore, it is the responsibility of teachers to share that knowledge with them. Perhaps the most valuable way to teach listening skills is for teachers to model them themselves, creating an environment, which encourages listening. Teachers can create such an environment by positive interaction, actively listening to all students and responding in an open and appropriate manner. Teachers should avoid responding either condescendingly or sarcastically. As much as possible, they should minimize distractions and interruptions.

It is important for the teacher to provide numerous opportunities for students to practice listening skills and to become actively engaged in the listening process. The three phases of the listening process are: pre- listening, during listening, and after listening.


Pre- listening

During the pre- listening phase, teachers need to recognize that all students bring different backgrounds to the listening experience. Beliefs, attitudes, and biases of the listeners will affect the understanding of the message. In addition to being aware of these factors, teachers should show students how their backgrounds affect the messages they receive.

Before listening, students need assistance to activate what they already know about the ideas they are going to hear. Simply being told the topic is not enough. Pre- listening activities are required to establish what is already known about the topic, to build necessary background, and to set purpose(s) for listening. Students need to understand that the


... Act of listening requires not just hearing but also thinking, as well as a good deal of interest and information that both speaker and listener must have in common. Speaking and listening entail ... three components: the speaker, the listener, and the meaning to be shared; speaker, listener, and meaning form a unique triangle.
(King, 1984, p. 177)

There are several strategies that students and their teachers can use to prepare for a listening experience. They can:

1.        Activate Existing Knowledge: Students should be encouraged to ask the question: What do I already know about this topic? From this teachers and students can determine what information they need in order to get the most from the message. Students can brainstorm, discuss, read, view films or photos, and write and share journal entries.

2.        Build Prior Knowledge: Teachers can provide the appropriate background information including information about the speaker, topic of the presentation, purpose of the presentation, and the concepts and vocabulary that are likely to be embedded in the presentation. Teachers may rely upon the oral interpretation to convey the meanings of unfamiliar words, leaving the discussion of these words until after the presentation. At this stage, teachers need to point out the role that oral punctuation, body language, and tone play in an oral presentation.

3.        Review Standards for listening: Teachers should stress the importance of the audience's role in a listening situation. There is an interactive relationship between audience and speaker, each affecting the other. Teachers can outline the following considerations to students:

o         Students have to be physically prepared for listening. They need to see and hear the speaker. If notes are to be taken, they should have paper and pencil at hand.

o         Students need to be attentive. In many cultures, though not all, it is expected that the listener look directly at the speaker and indicate attention and interest by body language. The listener should never talk when a speaker is talking. Listeners should put distractions and problems aside.

o         "Listen to others as you would have them listen to you."


4.        Establish Purpose: Teachers should encourage students to ask: "Why am I listening?" "What is my purpose?" Students should be encouraged to articulate their purpose.

o         Am I listening to understand? Students should approach the speech with an open mind. If they have strong personal opinions, they should be encouraged to recognise their own biases.

o         Am I listening to remember? Students should look for the main ideas and how the speech is organised. They can fill in the secondary details later.

o         Am I listening to evaluate? Students should ask themselves if the speaker is qualified and if the message is legitimate. They should be alert to errors in the speaker's thinking processes, particularly bias, sweeping generalisations, propaganda devices, and charged words that may attempt to sway by prejudice or deceit rather than fact.

o         Am I listening to be entertained? Students should listen for those elements that make for an enjoyable experience (e.g., emotive language, imagery, mood, humour, presentation skills).

o         Am I listening to support? Students should listen closely to determine how other individuals are feeling and respond appropriately (e.g., clarify, paraphrase, sympathise, encourage).

Before a speaker's presentation, teachers also can have students formulate questions that they predict will be answered during the presentation. If the questions are not answered, students may pose the questions to the speaker. As well, students should be encouraged to jot down questions during listening.

An additional strategy is called TQLR. It consists of the following steps:

T -- Tune in
(The listener must tune in to the speaker and the subject, mentally calling up everything known about the subject and shutting out all distractions.)

Q -- Question
(The listener should mentally formulate questions. What will this speaker say about this topic? What is the speaker's background? I wonder if the speaker will talk about...?)

L -- Listen
(The listener should organize the information as it is received, anticipating what the speaker will say next and reacting mentally to everything heard.)

R -- Review
(The listener should go over what has been said, summarize, and evaluate constantly. Main ideas should be separated from subordinate ones.)



5.        Use a listening Guide: A guide may provide an overview of the presentation, its main ideas, questions to be answered while listening, a summary of the presentation, or an outline. For example, students could use a guide such as the following during a presentation in class.



o         Situation:
Speaker's name:

o         What is the general subject of this talk?

o         What is the main point or message of this talk?

o         What is the speaker's organizational plan?

o         What transitional expressions (e.g., firstly, secondly, in contrast, in conclusion) does the speaker use?

o         Does the speaker digress from the main point?

o         Write the speaker's main point in no more than three sentences.

o         What is your personal reaction to the talk?
(Based on Devine, 1982, p. 33)


During listening

Students need to understand the implications of rate in the listening process. Nichols (1948) found that people listen and think at four times the normal conversation rate. Students have to be encouraged to use the "rate gap" to actively process the message. In order to use that extra time wisely, there are several things students can be encouraged to do:

They can run a mental commentary on it; they can doubt it, talk back to it, or extend it. They can rehearse it in order to remember it; that is, they repeat interesting points back to themselves. They can formulate questions to ask the speaker ... jot down key words or key phrases ... They can wonder if what they are listening to is true, or what motives the speaker has in saying it, or whether the speaker is revealing personal feelings rather than objective assessments.
(Temple and Gillet, 1989, p. 55)

This kind of mental activity is what effective listeners do during listening.


Effective listeners:

·           Connect: make connections with people, places, situations, and ideas they know

·           Find meaning: determine what the speaker is saying about people, places, and ideas

·           Question: pay attention to those words and ideas that are unclear

·           Make and confirm predictions: try to determine what will be said next

·           Make inferences: determine speaker's intent by " listening between the lines"; infer what the speaker does not actually say

·           Reflect and evaluate: respond to what has been heard and pass judgement.

Several strategies such as the following have been developed to help teachers guide students through the listening process.

Teachers can use the Directed- listening Thinking Activity (Stauffer, 1980). A description of this activity follows.

Choose a story with clear episodes and action. Plan your stops just before important events. Two to four stops is plenty.

·           At each stop, elicit summaries of what happened so far, and predictions of "what might happen next".

·           Accept all predictions as equally probable.

·           Ask the students to explain why they made particular predictions and to use previous story information for justification.

·           Avoid "right" or "wrong"; use terms like "might happen", "possible", or "likely".

·           After reading a section, review previous predictions and let the students change their ideas.

·           . Focus on predictions, not on who offered them.

·           Involve everyone by letting the students show hands or take sides with others on predictions.

·           Keep up the pace! Do not let discussions drag; get back to the story quickly (Temple & Gillett, 1989, p. 101).


Teachers can create listening guides to focus students' attention on the content, organization, or devices used by a speaker. The following is an example:

Sample listening Guide

Name of student: ______________________________

Nature of spoken presentation: ___________________

Where heard: ________________________________

Name of speaker: _____________________________

 Speaker’s expressed purpose:

 Qualifications of speaker:

 Main Idea(s) presented:

 Noteworthy features of presentation:

 In what ways was the talk effective? Ineffective? Why?


"Comprehension is enormously improved when the speaker's schema or organizational pattern is perceived by the listener" (Devine, 1982, p. 22). Teach students the various structures (e.g., short story, essay, poetry, play), organizational patterns (e.g., logical, chronological, spatial), and transitional devices. Effective listeners can follow spoken discourse when they recognize key signal expressions such as the following:

·           Example words: for example, for instance, thus, in other words, as an illustration

Usually found in: generalization plus example (but may be found in enumeration and argumentation)

·           Time word: first, second, third, meanwhile, next, finally, at last, today, tomorrow, soon

Usually found in: narration, chronological patterns, directions (and whenever events or examples are presented in a time sequence)

·           Addition words: in addition, also, furthermore, moreover, another example

Usually found in: Enumeration, description, and sometimes-in generalization plus example

·           Result words: as a result, so, accordingly, therefore, thus

Usually found in: Cause and effect

·           Contrast words: however, but, in contrast, on the other hand, nevertheless

Usually found in: comparison and contrast (and whenever speaker makes a comparison or contrast in another pattern)(Devine, 1982, p. 24).

Most students need practice in making inferences while listening. A simple way to help students become aware that there is meaning between the lines is to read a passage from literature which describes a character's actions, appearance, or surroundings. From this information, students make inferences about the character's personality. Teachers should keep in mind that the purpose of an exercise such as this is not to elicit the exact answer, but to provide opportunities for students to make various inferences. Students also need to be aware of the inferences they can make from non-verbal cues. A speaker's tone and body language can convey a message as well.

Teachers can also encourage guided imagery when students are listening to presentations that have many visual images, details, or descriptive words. Students can form mental pictures to help them remember while listening.

Although listeners need not capture on paper everything they hear, there are times that students need to focus on the message and need to record certain words and phrases. Such note making ("listening with pen in hand") forces students to attend to the message. Devine (1982) suggests strategies such as the following:

·           Give questions in advance and remind listeners to listen for possible answers.

·           Provide a rough outline, map, chart, or graph for students to complete as they follow the lecture.

·           Have students jot down "new-to-me" items (simple lists of facts or insights that the listener has not heard before).

·           Use a formal note taking system (p. 48).

Transcribing or writing down live or recorded speech can sharpen students’ listening, spelling, and punctuation skills.

·           Teacher selects an interesting piece of writing.

·           The selection is read aloud to the class (and perhaps discussed).

·           The teacher then dictates the passage slowly to the class. The students transcribe the form and conventions (i.e., spelling, punctuation, and capitalization) as accurately as possible.

·           Students compare their transcription with distributed copies of the original.

This task is best used as a diagnostic or teaching aid.

Palmatier (1973) suggests students can benefit from the Verbatim Split-page Procedure [VSPP]. Students divide their notebook paper so that 40% of each page lies to the left and 60% to the right. Students take brief notes on the left-hand side only. The right-hand side is used listening after for reorganizing and expanding on the scribbles to the left.

Sample VSPP







Typical of Time/Culture


1.        The superhuman heroic tradition is universal and enduring.

2.        Each hero/heroine is typical of a time in history and the culture of that time.

Critical thinking plays a major role in effective listening. Listening in order to analyze and evaluate requires students to evaluate a speaker's arguments and the value of the ideas, appropriateness of the evidence, and the persuasive techniques employed. Effective listeners apply the principles of sound thinking and reasoning to the messages they hear at home, in school, in the workplace, or in the media.

Planning and structuring classroom activities to model and encourage students to listen critically is important. Students should learn to:

·           Analyse the message:

Critical listeners are concerned first with understanding accurately and completely what they hear (Brownell, 1996). Students should identify the speaker's topic, purpose, intended audience, and context. The most frequent critical listening context is persuasion. They should keep an open-minded and objective attitude as they strive to identify the main idea(s)/thesis/claim and the supporting arguments/points/anecdotes. They should ask relevant questions and restate perceptions to make sure they have understood correctly. Taking notes will enhance their listening.

·           Analyse the speaker:

Critical listeners must understand the reliability of the speaker. Is the speaker credible? Trustworthy? An expert? Dynamic?

·           Analyse the speaker's evidence:

Critical listeners must understand the nature and appropriateness of the evidence and reasoning. What evidence is used? Expert testimony? Facts? Statistics? Examples? Reasons? Opinions? Inappropriate evidence might include untrustworthy testimony; inadequate, incorrect, inappropriate, or irrelevant facts, statistics, or examples; or quotations out of context or incomplete.

·           Analyse the speaker's reasoning:

Critical listeners must understand the logic and reasoning of the speaker. Is this evidence developed in logical arguments such as deductive, inductive, causal, or analogous? Faulty reasoning might include hasty or over-inclusive generalization, either-or argument, causal fallacy (therefore, because of this), non sequtur (confusion of cause and effect), reasoning in a circle, begging or ignoring the question, false analogy, attacking the person instead of the idea, or guilt by association.

·           Analyse the speaker's emotional appeals:

Critical listeners must understand that persuaders often rely on emotional appeal as well as evidence and reasoning. Critical listeners, therefore, must recognize effective persuasive appeals and propaganda devices. A skilled critical listener identifies and discounts deceptive persuasive appeals such as powerful connotative (loaded) words, doublespeak, appeals to fears, prejudice, discontent, flattery, stereotype, or tradition. The listener must also identify and discount propaganda techniques such as bandwagon appeals, glittering generalities, inappropriate testimonials, pseudo-scientific evidence, card stacking, and name-calling.

By understanding and practicing the principles of objective thinking, students can prepare themselves to listen effectively in most situations.

Listening affects our ability to make good decisions, our appreciation of the world around us, and our personal relationships. Effective communication begins with listening and with listeners carrying 80 percent of the responsibility in the interaction (Brownell, 1996, pp. 6-7).

Whether at home, in school, or in the workplace, effective is important for the development and maintenance of healthy relationships.

After listening

Students need to act upon what they have heard to clarify meaning and extend their thinking. Well-planned post- listening activities are just as important as those before and during. Some examples follow.

·           To begin with, students can ask questions of themselves and the speaker to clarify their understanding and confirm their assumptions.

·           Hook and Evans (1982) suggest that the post-mortem is a very useful device. Students should talk about what the speaker said, question statements of opinion, amplify certain remarks, and identify parallel incidents from life and literature.

·           Students can summarize a speaker's presentation orally, in writing, or as an outline. In addition to the traditional outline format, students could use time lines, flow charts, ladders, circles, diagrams, webs, or maps.

·           Students can review their notes and add information that they did not have an opportunity to record during the speech.

·           Students can analyse and evaluate critically what they have heard.

·           Students can be given opportunities to engage activities in that build on and develop concepts acquired during an oral presentation. These may include writing (e.g., response journal, learning log, or composition), reading (e.g., further research on a topic or a contradictory viewpoint), art or drama (e.g., designing a cover jacket after a book talk or developing a mock trial concerning the topic through drama in role).

Assessment Of Listening

 Listening is one of the more difficult aspects of the language arts to assess. It cannot be easily observed and can be measured only through inference. However, there are both informal and formal strategies and instruments that teachers can use to help them in their assessments.


Informal Assessment

The most effective assessment of listening may be teachers' observations and students' self-assessments. Students initially may not be aware of how well they listen and, therefore, need teacher guidance.

Self-assessments should be followed with one-on-one discussions about student progress. Teachers can also videotape students while they are listening and follow up with discussion.

The following forms can be used or adapted for informal assessments:

  Sample Self-assessment List for Listening


Circle the appropriate column:


Learning how to listen:

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Do I pay attention?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Do noises in the room interrupt my listening?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Am I willing to judge speaker’s words without                                                                    letting my own ideas get in the way?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Do I find speaker’s personal habits distracting?


Listening for information:

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Can I mentally organize what I hear so that                                                               I can remember it?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Can I think up questions to ask the speaker                                                              about ideas that I don’t understand?    

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Do I get the meaning of unknown words from                                                                     the rest of what speaker says?


Listening Critically:

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Is the speaker expert enough to make his/her                                                                      statements?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Can I separate fact from explanations or                                                                             opinions?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Can I tell the difference between the important                                                                    and unimportant details?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Can I pick up unsupported points that a speaker                                                                 makes?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Am I able to accept points of view that differ                                                                       from my own?

Listening Creatively:

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Am I able to pick out specific words or phrases                                                                  that impresses me as I listen?

Yes      No       Sometimes                               * Do I become involved in the poem, story, essay                                                                  or play so that it seems as though the action is Y                                                                     truly taking place?

Yes No       Sometimes                               * Am I able to put what I hear into my own words                                                                 so that I can share it with others?


Sample Listening Behavior Check List

Name of student:

Listening Behavior and habits                                Dates Observed

1.      Does student get ready to listen?

2.      Does student keep attentive during oral presentation?

3.      Does student look at speaker?

4.      Does student’s behavior show interest?

5.      Does student take notes?

6.      Do comments indicate a grasp of talk?

7.      Is student polite when others talk?

8.      Does student ask questions?

(Devine, 1982, p.50.)

 Formal Assessment

More formal listening assessments can be prepared by teachers based on objectives and perceived needs. Some examples follow.

1.        Excerpts from different genres of literature (e.g., prose, poetry, play) can be used as follows:

·          Prepare a set of ten questions on the excerpt.

·          Set a purpose for the listening activity
(e.g., "Listen to determine the setting of the following passage.").

·          Have students listen to the excerpt (pre-taped or teacher-read).

·          Have students respond in writing to the prepared questions.

·          A score of 70% or better on basic recall and basic inferential questions indicates that the student has comprehended the passage.

Questions can also be designed to determine if students comprehend critically and creatively.

2.        Students can paraphrase, summarize, analyse, make notes, complete a listening guide, or write a response to a spoken or multimedia presentation. The assessment tasks can be as simple as listing significant ideas and arguments, answering a series of questions, or identifying connotative meanings of key words. They can be as challenging as formulating their own questions; identifying irrelevant details; identifying fallacies, bias, or prejudice; using the information presented and applying it to a new situation; or judging the effects of various devices the speaker may use to influence the listener or viewer.


3.        Devine (1982) gives examples of other types of listening assessments.

·          After placing ten details on the chalkboard, the teacher reads a ten-minute story aloud. After listening to the story, students are asked to jot down the four or five details that are most important to the outcome. The responses provide insights into students' listening ability.

·          Students listen to a story and, afterwards, write down three key qualities of the character and their reasons for selecting these. While listening to the story a second time, the students listen for and record details that prove their assertions about the character.

Even though listening is a difficult language strand to evaluate, assessment must take place to validate its place in a curriculum and to provide feedback to students. The feedback should be specific, concise, and as meaningful as possible. As with all evaluation, it needs to be continuous

 Experiences from our training schools

In the listening lesson of my trainee class every activity was profitable as much as it could be.

The text was chosen accordingly to the class' level: intermediate.

The content of this text was interesting and attractive for the young learners at the age of 15 or 16. As a result it was so easy to warm them up with some relevant questions to the topic as a pre listening activity. Thus teacher activated what students already know. With this aroused interest teacher required close listening so they listen very carefully.

The teacher stopped the tape recorder two times before vital points and made students predict what might happen next. She did not comment on the answers, instead after some predictions she let them listen and learn the truth. With the help of this during listening activity teacher could avoid distractions and kept students' interest high.

After listening the text for the second time without any interruption, teacher asked questions in order to clarify their understanding. Students discussed the text while answering so that they could analyse and evaluate what they heard.

At the end of the lesson every point was clear for everyone and also nobody was bored. In other words it was a really good and productive lesson. ( Didem Baytan – Semiha Şakir İstek Vakfı Okulları)

At my training school, students watch a movie rather than listening to a tape. They make use of cassette players but the teachers think that watching movies attract students’ attention more than listening to a cassette. They are also good sources for teachers to show the real usage of language (the communicational aspect) with the movies. They think, they not only hear people talking but also see their manner and culture visually.

The students have 2 hours in a week to spend in the activity room to watch a movie which is very interesting for students. They also read the scripts (if available) and role play them before they watch. So this is kind of a game for students. After the movies is finished, they are tested from the vocabulary and the plot. Most of them remember every detail as they acted like one of the characters before they watch the movie. (Aslı Pekin – MEF International Schools)




Dear Mom and Dad








Upper intermediate

Narration (story)


One man




I.                   Pre-Listening Exercises

1. In this story, a young man describes his mishaps (accidents), which occurred while he was at summer camp. Make a list of possible problems that might have happened to him before you start the listening.

II.                Listening Exercises


After listening


1. What does Brad have to do before he eats breakfast?
A. Clean his sleeping quarters
B. go down to the stream to get some water
C. feed the rooster and the other animals

2. What happened to Brad when he went fishing?
A. A tree branch fell on him.
B. He lost his fishing pole.
C. He slipped and lost one of his shoes.



3. What did he eat for dinner?
A. Steak
B. hotdogs
C. beans

4. What was Brad doing when he got lost in the forest?
A. He was running away from a bear.
B. He was searching for wood.
C. He was wondering around looking for the cabin.

5.How did Brad like summer camp?
A. He had a great time.
B. It was okay.
C. He didn't have fun.

2. Listen to the conversation again as you read the Quiz Script



III.             Post-Listening Exercises


1.      Now retell the story from several points of view in their own words (e.g., the young man, the parents, one of the counsellors at camp, etc.).


       2. The script can be given to the students with some words missing so that they                                      have to complete the sentences with the newly learned vocabulary



Dear Mom and Dad,

This is my fifth day at summer camp. Life in the great outdoors isn't exactly what I expected, but I'm not starving . . . yet . . . so don't worry about me.

I guess I should tell you about what I do everyday. First, everyone has to get up at 5:30 A.M. They have this silly old rooster named Harry who loves to wake us up. Next, we have to make our beds and tidy up the cabin before our camp counsellor, Jeff, comes to inspect the place.

Then, we have breakfast around 6:30 A.M. After that, we have some free time, so I've been going down to the nearby stream to fish for a couple of hours. But yesterday, the only thing I caught was an old shoe and a tree branch. Great catch, huh? Then when I was trying to swat a mosquito buzzing around my head, I slipped and fell in the stream and lost my fishing pole. That ended my fishing career.

Well, in the afternoon, there are different activities we can choose from like archery, horseback riding, and hiking. I thought archery would be the sport for me until I shot an arrow through Jeff's pant leg. As you can imagine, I haven't been invited back since.

In the evening, everyone is assigned a different chore to get dinner ready. Yesterday, I was in charge of cooking the hotdogs, but I accidentally dropped them in the fire, so we had to settle for beans instead. The other kids are always razzing me about it.

At night, we sit around a campfire in front of the cabin, sing songs, and tell ghost stories. That's usually fun, but one night while trying to find more sticks for the fire, I got all turned around and got lost. After about an hour of wandering aimlessly in the forest, I finally found my way back, but no one seemed to have realized what had happened, thinking that I just had gone to bed. A bear or wolf could have eaten me and no one would have known it. I was so beat I just crashed . . . out like a light.

Well, today is another day and tomorrow I go home . . . and not a bit too soon. I've learned that camping is just not for me.




Key Vocabulary

Archery (noun): the sport of shooting arrows with a bow

Beat (noun): very tired

Chore (noun): a small job

Crash (verb): to go sleep

Inspect (verb): to check

Out like a light (idiom): fall asleep very quickly, like turning off a light

Settle (verb): accept something less than you wanted

Swat (verb): to hit an insect with the purpose of killing it

Tidy up (verb): clean up or organize





Every day, Harold  _______ until 6 a.m.                      He ______when his alarm rings at 6. 






He _______ after he gets up.                                         Then he____________.






He ___________ at 7 o’clock.                              After breakfast, Harold  ____ the newspaper.




Everyday, Harold _______ work by 8 o’clock.                   He  _______ a bus to work at 8:15




He ________ the bus past University Avenue.                   When he ________ the bus, he                         

                                                                                            usually waves to the bus driver. 




Harold usually ________work by 8:30.                                  He ________all day at his desk. 




Harold ________ work everyday at 5 o'clock                      After work, he ________ the park.



At the park, Harold ________ basketball                            He finally_________ at 6:30.

with his friends.





At home, Harold ________ at 7 o'clock everyday.             Harold always ____ by 10 o'clock. 




Possible Answers

takes a shower

leaves for

goes to


goes to bed

gets home

gets dressed


eats dinner


gets off

gets to





eats breakfast

gets up



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