There are plenty of occasions in the Thornton Burgess books where the creatures need or portray the character trait of attentiveness.  These are woodland animals we’re talking about and they certainly have to be wary of predators!

Being attentive means to pay close attention to your surroundings: looking and listening carefully; being observant; showing concern for others and their needs.  A few examples of this trait include:

  • The Adventures of Reddy Fox (Chapter 5): Reddy forgets to watch for danger
  • The Adventures of Grandfather Frog (Chapter 14): Grandfather Frog ignores the warnings from Danny Meadow Mouse
  • Old Mother West Wind (Chapter 3): Johnny Chuck wanders too far from home

Teaching attentiveness to children is important.  This trait trains kids to be good listeners at home and in the classroom.  It helps develop the skill of following directions.  Being attentive encourages kids to use caution in unfamiliar situations and when making decisions.  It also promotes a healthy awareness and consideration to others’ emotional and/or physical needs.

Teacher and parent resources and activities for the character trait of attentiveness as taught in the classic literature stories of Thornton W. Burgess*This post contains affiliate links.  We receive a small commission when you purchase items through our site.  This helps support the website and enables us to continue providing you quality information and product recommendations.  Please read our disclosure policy for more information.


Below we’ve listed activities, links, and books that will help teach the character trait of attentiveness. We’ve also included several books as teacher/parent helps on this subject (some are activity books to promote focus).



  • Attentiveness curriculum: free downloads and videos
  • Blindfold your child and have him identify various sounds (whispers, keyboard typing, water running, traffic sounds, birds singing, door closing, footsteps, etc.). This game can be played for smell, touch and taste, too.
  • Play the telephone game: have students sit in a circle and whisper a word or phrase that is passed around to each child.  The last child to hear the phrase tells everyone what they heard.  Is it the same or different from what it was at the start?
  • Ways to build attentiveness
  • Take a car ride to an unfamiliar location.  Tell your kids to pay attention to signs and/or landscape markers and see if they can guide the car back home again.
  • Hide an object that makes noise.  Have kids follow the sound to find it.
  • An in-depth look at what attentiveness is (listening with our heart)
  • Listen to different music genres and have children identify them when played back.
  • Cover one eye and try tossing a ball into a basket.  Try again with both eyes and see what difference it makes.  This helps show the importance of depth perception.
  • Attentiveness unit study for preK and kindergarten
  • Study and identify animal tracks
  • Research local birds and listen to their calls.  See if your child can identify the calls of the birds when outside.
  • Have children create maps for each other.  Hide an object that can be found only with the use of the map.  See how well children follow directions.
  • Command 3 attentiveness game
  • Attentiveness: Lessons, crafts, Bible stories
  • Study/research the behavior patterns of your dog or cat.  See if your child can identify what mood the animal is in by its behavior.  What kinds of behavior should we be very attentive to?
  • Discuss animals and how they use camouflage for protection. Look at photos to see animals in disguise.
  • Decide on a “simple” recipe to make in the kitchen and discuss the importance of following directions.