Minds On

Let’s practice paying attention

Two children on two separate screens waving at each other in a video call.

Student Success

Think-Pair-Share

Let me introduce myself

If possible, work with a partner and take turns introducing yourselves. Your first step is to create your introduction.

Start by sharing your name. Then, add other details to your introduction such as your interests, hobbies, languages that you speak, or favourite things. You have one minute to share anything you like, and you can record your introduction using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.

You can use the following sentence stems to build your introduction:

  • Hello! My name is…
  • In my free time, I like to… because…
  • My favourite food is… because…
  • My favourite subject is… because…

Once you have created your one-minute introduction, if possible, introduce yourself to a partner.

Note to teachers: See your teacher guide for collaboration tools, ideas and suggestions.

The objective here is to pay close attention to the information your partner shares with you.

As another option, explore the following video entitled “Welcome to OddTube Season Two” in which Orla from Odd Squad introduces herself. Keep track of the details Orla mentions about herself. How would you introduce Orla to someone? What information would you include?

Record your thoughts using a method of your choice.


Action

What does it mean to pay attention?

What do you think it is like to introduce someone else? What strategies help you to pay attention and keep track of the information that your partner might have shared with you?

We naturally pay attention when we’re interested in a discussion or subject matter. But other times, it can take a little more effort to pay attention. For example, it can be hard to attend to what someone is sharing when we’re not interested or distracted by something else.

It is, however, possible to develop the ability to pay attention. For example, we can limit the distractions that we can control. We can also practice being understanding and supportive.

Let’s explore strategies we can use to pay attention.

Student Success

Think-Pair-Share

If possible, work with a partner to explore the strategies below. These include non-verbal and verbal strategies, as well as comprehension strategies.

Your task is to identify if you would use the strategy to pay attention to others, or to pay attention to an oral text. Sort the strategies in the Venn Diagram in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document. You can also use any method of your choice.

Please note, strategies that could be used in both situations (i.e., interacting with others and oral texts) go in the middle where the two circles overlap.

Label for left circle: Interacting with others

Label for right circle: Interacting with oral texts.

Strategies for paying attention:

  • focus on the speaker and their message
  • use non-verbal cues and/or mirror your facial expressions with emoticons
  • use verbal or text-based affirmations such as: yes, tell me more, I understand, say that again, please
  • ask specific questions to clarify your understanding
  • wait for your turn to share your thoughts and ideas
  • pay attention to understand, and respond constructively to the ideas expressed
  • build on the ideas of others
  • focus on the purpose of the oral text
  • generate questions to identify main ideas and key details
  • summarize or retell new information and ideas to deepen understanding
  • make connections between new information and things we already know
  • reflect on new information and/or ideas (e.g., I used to think…, now I think…)
  • use self-questioning and predict questions that might be asked to monitor understanding

Press the ‘Activity’ button to access the Venn Diagram.

Note to teachers: See your teacher guide for collaboration tools, ideas and suggestions.

Friend Send project

Let’s practice paying attention to an oral text.

Explore the following episode of TVOK News entitled “Friend Send” to learn about a kindness project called the Friend Send that mails cards all over Ontario and Canada. Let’s learn more about this amazing project and the people behind it!

Once you have explored the video, share what happened in the episode using the Sequence of Events Template in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document. You can also record your thoughts using a method of your choice. What happened first? What happened next? What happened in the end? How do you check to be sure you understand the sequence of events in the episode?

Sequence of Events Template Press the ‘Activity’ button to access the Sequence of Events Template. Activity (Open PDF in a new window)

Consolidation

What strategies help you pay attention?

Student Success

Think-Pair-Share

If possible, share your thoughts with a partner. Select a strategy that helped you understand the TVOK News segment about Friend Send. You will then explain how and why it helps you.

Then, reflect on a strategy you would like to use and/or use more often to deepen your understanding.

Finally, consider and respond to two of the following questions. Record your responses using a method of your choice.

  • How do you decide when to contribute and when to pay attention?
  • How do you monitor your understanding during an interaction with another person?
  • How do you monitor your understanding as you explore an oral text?
  • What steps can you take to clarify something that you do not understand?
  • How might you follow a discussion that involves more than one person?
  • What strategies do you use when you need to recall important points after a discussion?

Note to teachers: See your teacher guide for collaboration tools, ideas and suggestions.

Reflection

As you read through these descriptions, which sentence best describes how you are feeling about your understanding of this learning activity? Press the button that is beside this sentence.

I feel…

Now, record your ideas using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.