Listening Is {Heart} Work

Today I'm joyful because of this new Trudy Ludwig release:

I got so excited about its birth day that I drove to our Barnes & Noble 
to pick it up in person. And it was well worth the special trip.

This gem tells the story of outgoing Owen McPhee,
a talkative tyke whose mouth goes non-stop
and whose chatter simply can't be stopped
(believe me, they've tried!) 
even when his talking keeps him from listening,
even when his talking gets him in trouble,
even when his talking sends classmates running.

Nope, the only thing that can stop Owen is ... 

Okay, that's all I'm going to say, except that you will not want to miss the clever way in which this expert storyteller and her brilliant illustrator help Owen experience the gift of listening.
Really listening.
Listening to hear.
Listening to connect.
Listening to understand.
And listening to help.

After talking through the reflection questions in the back of the book, 
compare and contrast the adorable Patrice Barton illustration above
 with this eye-catching Julie Woodard dragonfly sketch.

Then, teach students this SOLER model that we learned
in our Capturing Kids Hearts training.

Finally, carve out some time for them to practice,
perhaps with an activity like this one from my archives.

And click {here} and {here} for kid-friendly activities on
listening up from Trudy Ludwig herself.

Whatever the medium,
whatever the strategy, 
whatever it takes,
your students will benefit from learning
that listening is {heart} work
with a huge payoff in
and friendships.

We just need to get quiet, like Owen, and ... 


  1. Oh.My.Word! What an amazing post! Thank you!!!!! You are a gift to school counselors everywhere!

  2. I agree with Trudy! I cannot wait to pick up this book. And I love ideas that go along with it :)


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