Communicating how we feel can be a challenge for kids and adults, especially when we’re frustrated. It’s easy to blame another person, but instead of projecting blame, it’s better to let the other person know how we feel.
Using the “I” statements worksheet below, you will teach your students to take responsibility for how they feel. As a alternative to making statements like:
- “You’re wrong”
- “You’re a bad friend”
- “It’s your fault that we lost the game”
Students will learn to reframe blame into:
“I feel hurt when people don’t pick me to be on the team. Next time, I would like to be picked.”
“I” Statements Worksheet Directions
Using the first worksheet, students will think about an situation that made the feel a big emotion: Students will write or type:
- An emotion word under I feel that describes how the situation made them feel.
- Under the When label, they will describe what caused the feeling.
- Under the and I want label, they will describe what they would like to be done instead.
In the second “I” statements worksheet, students will show their friend that they were listening, heard how they feel, and will do better next time using a similar framework: You sound…because I…next time I will…
Your students should:
- Write an emotion word under the you sound label that describes how the other person says they are feeling.
- Write an action under the because I label the describes what you did to make the other person feel that way.
- Write an action under the next time I will label that describes what you will do instead if this situation happens again.
Note: These PDF worksheets are typable/fillable, and you are free to share them in your Google Classroom or other virtual learning platform.
Lesson Extension Using Zoo U
The idea for the lesson above is taken directly from our online SEL game, Zoo U.
In the fifth communication scene in Zoo U, players are playing with a ball at recess, and their ball knocks down a classmate’s sandcastle. The classmate is obviously upset, and after receiving guidance from their teacher, players use I-statements to deescalate and resolve the situation.
- Keepsake Journal for Kids by Linda Kranz
- Anger Management Skills Workbook for Kids by Amanda Robinson