Whole Body Listening Larry at Home, 2nd. Edition
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 Larry’s sister Lucy, as she struggles to focus her brain, feel, mouth and other body parts during different situations throughout her day at home. Larry helps explain how she needs to use more than their ears to listen when she is around others–she needs to use her whole body! Thanks to Larry’s help, Lucy’s improved self-awareness and self-regulation help her become more connected to others. Preschool through 3rd grade kids love the antics of our characters as they teach this important concept in a very fun manner!
What is Whole Body Listening?
Whole Body Listening is more than just “hearing” with the ears. It includes:
- listening with the eyes (looking toward the speaker)
- listening with the ears (both ears ready to hear)
- listening with the mouth (quiet and waiting for your turn to talk)
- listening with the hands (quiet and kept to yourself)
- listening with the feet (quiet and still)
- listening with the body (facing toward speaker)
- listening with the brain (thinking about what is being said)
- listening with the heart (considering the speaker and others listening)
How to use This Book
Take the time to look at all the photos, and have your child think about what it means to listen with each body part. Talk about how the characters in this book feel when they are not listening or being listened to. Explore how your child feels when someone IS or IS NOT listening with their whole body to them. Finally, discuss the impression that your child may make on the speaker when your child is not using whole body listening.