Expressing Feelings Without Blaming Activity

There can be a lot of tension when expressing feelings, especially if you or the other person lack certain communication skills. We all can have a tendency to blame the other person for causing our hurt feelings.

While this may very well be true, outright blaming a friend, colleague, or significant other for hurting your feelings can lead them to be defensive and escalate an argument. This is especially important because we can sometimes make assumptions about the other person’s intent and feelings at the time that may not be accurate.

A better strategy for our students (and us) to learn is to explain how we feel and what made us feel that way without blaming the other person.

This communication activity shows students examples of expressing feelings in an argument without blaming the other person.

expressing feelings

Recommended Grade Level: Elementary and Middle

SEL Skill(s): Communication

Duration: 30 minutes

Materials: Student worksheet

Expressing Feelings Worksheet Directions

In this worksheet, students will read the statement of one scarab beetle to their partner. They will then suggest what the scarab beetle say next from multiple choice options. The best response will convey how the beetle felt in that situation, helping him with expressing feelings without putting all of the blame on the other beetle. The situations and images on this worksheet are based on a scene in SS GRIN, which is geared towards students in grades 3-5.

Two of our Zoo U communication worksheets are great introductions to this communication strategy. I Statements give students a clear template for stating their feelings by saying “I feel”…”when you”… “and I want…” and You Statements offer a template for responding to I Statements by saying “You sound”… “because I”… “and I will…”

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