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How Well Do You
Follow Directions?



  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

This easy-to-use activity teaches valuable lessons about the importance of listening and following directions.


Students will listen carefully and follow directions attentively.


following directions, listening

Materials Needed

  • sheet of paper and a pencil

Lesson Plan

This simple lesson in following directions can be used at any time during the school year. As a matter of fact, you can drive home the importance of listening and following directions by using this lesson as a model for creating similar activities throughout the year.

Provide students with a small sheet of writing paper. Then let them know that the activity you are about to do will prove how well they listen and follow directions. Let them know that you will state each instruction, then pause, then repeat the instruction. Add, But I will not repeat any instruction a third time, so you must listen very carefully. Proceed to give students the instructions below.

  1. Write your name first name on the last line of the paper at the left-hand margin.
  2. On the first line on the paper write the numbers 1 through 9. Start at the left and print the numbers. Leave a space between each number.
  3. Circle the number 6.
  4. Draw a star in the upper left-hand corner of the page.
  5. Fold your paper in half the long way.
  6. Open up your paper, then fold it the opposite way.
  7. Use the tip of your pencil to poke a hole in the center of the paper (the place where the two folds meet).
  8. Draw a heart around the hole you made in your paper.
  9. Write the first initial of your last name in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  10. On the last line on the page, write the word done near the right margin.

This is not a difficult assignment, but it does require listening. You might be surprise at how many students fail.


  • You might let this "following directions quiz" serve as a simple exercise to drive home a point about the importance of listening and following directions.
  • Alternatively, if student report cards have a spot where you grade students in "listening skills" or "following directions," you might use this as a graded activity.
  • Repeat this activity once a month or so. Give a grade for each quiz. Do students grow in their ability to follow directions over the course of the school year?
  • Or you might give students a following-directions quiz like this one, grade the number correct out of ten, and let students use their score as bonus points on the next test or quiz. For example, 10 correct = 10 bonus points, 9 correct = 9 bonus points...

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards 

NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

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Updated: 01/19/2015