Listening Responsibly

Responsible speaker + critical listener = effective communication is the equation at the heart of a responsible listening lesson about the power of words. Class members view the clip of the courtroom scene from the film A Few Good Men and analyze the words Nicholson's character uses to rationalize and justify his actions. Volunteers then act out two interviews while class members observe the candidates' words and gestures. After analyzing the interviews for examples of effective communication, class members discuss how to be diplomatic and use effective communication in various situations.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Encourage participants in the role-play activity to use some of the nonverbal  communications techniques they studied in previous lessons in the skits
  • Post the equation in the classroom
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires the clip of the courtroom scene from the film A Few Good Men
  • Copies of the "Tell Me About Yourself" activity sheet for each participant are required
  • Includes an assessment, homework assignment, and lesson extension suggestions
  • None