How often do you find yourself using phrases with children such as, “pay attention” or “listen carefully”? When we make these requests, we may not realize that we’re giving kids an unspoken expectation that we want them to stop whatever they are doing and show us they are listening with their whole body (look at us, keep still, think about what we said, etc.). However, do we ever really teach them this expectation? And then what happens when the child doesn’t show those behaviors? We feel frustrated and assume they aren’t listening, don’t want to comply, etc.
In this charming and colorfully illustrated storybook, authors Sautter and Wilson explore and expand upon the original whole body listening concept created by Susanne Poulette Truesdale (1990). While our WBL Larry books are designed to help all children understand that we listen with more than our ears, these books are also helpful for students with social learning challenges as we explicitly describe implicit expectations about what it means to “listen”.
The rhyming poem describes two siblings, Leah and Luka, as they struggle to focus their brains and bodies during different situations throughout their school day. Larry, a classmate, helps explain how they need to use more than their ears to listen when they are around others. This awareness not only helps them access the information being taught in school, but helps them learn how to work, play, and converse as part of a group. Preschool through 3rd grade students love the antics of our characters as they teach this important concept in a very fun manner!
Elizabeth Sautter Kristen Wilson
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