Listen and Label

The purpose of this activity is for each individual student to demonstrate understanding while listening to words or sentences they hear in a presentation, song, short story, description, advertisement, or other resource. Students add written or typed labels to one or more images using words, phrases, and short sentences to demonstrate their comprehension. 


    1. Teacher plays the authentic resource once, instructing students to just listen, but not write anything and focus on understanding what they hear.
  1. Once the audio ends, the teacher passes out the handout (with one or more images) to students. This handout could include characters and locations from a story, a sequence of actions in a story, etc. Students label everything they can remember from the first listen.

  2. The teacher plays the audio again, allowing students to listen and then label / modify their labels based on what they understand.

  3. The teacher plays the audio a third time, this time breaking it up into short chunks to allow students time to focus on specific parts and add labels and details to their handouts.

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. Synchronous

    The teacher shares a link to the resource and instructs students to listen on their own or with a small group in a breakout room, following steps 1-4 above.  

  2. Asynchronous

    Use an app like Formative or Nearpod to structure listening repetitions.  Students listen and label (using a Google doc, Google Slide, Jamboard page, etc.) on their own.

Helpful Tips

  1. It is recommended that the teacher play the audio or repeat the presentation multiple times.

  2. Variation:  Listen, Draw & Label: Students listen to either an authentic resource or a classmate sharing information about themselves or a topic and draw and label what they have understood, using the steps above, to demonstrate comprehension.  


  1. Transform into an interpretive reading task, depending on age and proficiency level of students.  


  2. Provide a transcript of the audio after students have completed steps 1-4 above.  Allow them to find additional information in the transcript to add to their handouts.

  3. Use the drawings created during the Listen, Draw, & Label variation of this activity in a gallery walk and allow students to add feedback using sticky notes.


  1. Audio resources to listen to (or live teacher/classmate presentation)

  2. Handout with image(s) to be labeled