Learning Goal

Students will learn how and why they should use I-Statements to communicate about their feelings.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Understand why I-Statements make communication about feelings easier
  • Use an I-Statement
  • Transform a You-Statement into an I-Statement

Learning Summary

I-Statements are a way of expressing feelings that encourages students to focus on what they are feeling instead on what others did. I-Statements can be used to discuss both positive and negative feelings, but they are particularly useful in conflict resolution: if we just talk about our own feelings instead of assigning blame, conversations can quickly move to resolution.

This lesson starts with a discussion of the difference between emotions and feelings and the value of talking about feelings and using I-Statements. After you outline some I-Statement “traps” (ways you make them blameful or otherwise ineffective), students work on turning You-Statements into I-Statements. You close with a discussion of how to make I-Statements less robotic and whether they can help with texting. In earlier grades, students learn the first two parts (K-2), then the third (3-5). The I-Statement for this age group consists of 4 parts, with the last part relevant in only certain situations: I Feel (emotion) when (event) because (thought about event). In the future please request/hope for future________.


CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

Classroom Teaching Example