TESL Button Return to Lesson Plan Index Return to Ling. 577 Syllabus TESL Button

Listening Lesson Plan

"A Magic Trick" (Understanding Verbal Directions)

Teacher: Connie Glissmeyer
Date of Presentation: October 15, l996
Proficiency Level: Intermediate to advanced Age Level: Teen-agers - adults
Estimated Time of the Lesson: 20 - 30 minutes



Learning/Teaching Activities:

Warm-up: Using the flash cards, the teacher will preview key vocabulary words to set the tone of the lesson, (string, ring, thumbs,left hand, right hand, fingers, loop, magic, trick)

Introduction: Hold up string circle threaded through a ring and looped over the thumbs and ask, "How many of you think I can take this ring off the string without taking the string off my thumbs?"

Inst. Input: Model the ring trick, using a partner. Next bring a student up and guide him through the ring trick using only verbal instructions. Make students aware of the importance of listening because they will get mixed up if they don't. Ask students if they would like to do it. Divide group into pairs, Give each pair a string, and make sure they have a ring. Guide students through trick process using only verbal instructions:

  1. Put the ring on the string and put the string on your partner's thumbs. Make sure the string is not twisted.
  2. Hold the back left string with the left hand fingers. Holdthe front left string with the right hand fingers.
  3. Pull back string in left hand forward over the front string. Lift the front string over the back string and loop over partner's right thumb. Let go with the right hand.
  4. Take the right front string with the right hand and loop it over the right thumb, also. Left hand still keeps hold of back string.
  5. Right hand lets go of string. Grab ring with the right hand and pull it loose while letting go if the string with the left hand. Voila! Magic!!
Let students do it on their own. They are to trade places, and the partner is to do it. They are to give the instructions verbally to each other. Teacher is to monitor students to help, if needed. Closure: Review the steps to the ring trick. Talk about the students' successful completion of the activity.

Evaluation of Learning:

Each pair of students will have taught each other the ring trick through verbal instruction. If they have explained it correctly to each other, they will be able to do the trick.


Explain the ring trick to a friend or a member of your family. Return tomorrow with feedback of your experience.

Contingency Plan:

Teach the ring trick to a fellow teacher in case you are absent. Have the instructions written in detail so that a novice could read the directions, understand them and implement the lesson without you, the teacher.


In re-thinking this listening activity, the students were trying to complete the task by using visual in-put instead of listening to the verbal instructions. Then, they decided it wasn't a listening activity when actually they were using the wrong modality for the task. The intent of the activity was listening skills in following instructions.

In doing it again, the activity would be demonstrated visually, just once. Then, the students would be required to do it only from verbal (listening) instructions. It would be very easy to demonstrate how effectively they were or were not listening and the importance of listening carefully step by step.

More detail has been added to the listening instructions to help remove any ambiguity.

TESL Button Return to Lesson Plan Index Return to Ling. 577 Syllabus TESL Button

Time & Place | Instructor | Textbook & Materials | Course Objectives | Basic Principles | Major Learning Activities | Course Requirements & Grading Scheme | Students with Disabilities | Course Calendar

1997 © Dr. Lynn E. Henrichsen
Department of Linguistics
Brigham Young University
Last Updated: Saturday, June 7, 1997