I-Statements

GRADES K-2

Learning Goal

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

Learning Objectives

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

  • Identify the difference between an I-Statement and a You-Statement
  • Understand why I-Statement make communication about feelings easier
  • Use an I-Statement

Learning Summary

I-Statements are a way of expressing feelings that encourages students to focus on what they are feeling instead of 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.

The lesson starts with a Munchy & Jumpy story that has them stumble into I-Statements: they become allergic to the word “you” and find that conflict resolution is easier when they talk only about their own feelings. You then will outline the parts of I-Statement, which for lower elementary students consists of 2 parts: I Feel (emotion) when (event) . Students will practice crafting I-Statements in pairs or whole class Finally, students reflect by drawing themselves making an I-Statement.

computer icon    Online Teaching Tips for I-Statements

This lesson is a great opportunity to use puppets. You can model a conversation that includes I-Statements.

See lesson one on Mindfulness for some general teaching recommendations about doing live online or recorded social-emotional lessons.

The Tic-Toc mindful moment is a lot of fun! Consider having the students off camera the first time and then have them on camera – it’s fun to see a whole class of kids rocking on camera.  

Using the read aloud as an anchor, after you teach the form of an I-Statement, have students come up with an I-Statement for a character. If you have time to hear each one, great. If not, you deliver a few and have students guess which character. You can have them use signals to show which character (e.g., jump up and down for Jumpy, pretend to eat a carrot for Munchy).

You also can invite students to grab a pair of stuffed animals (or draw two characters) and act out delivering I-Statements.

When modeling creating and delivering I-Statements, provide a short story for the I-Statement you model. Can you incorporate any props from your home?

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

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