Communication Skills Print

A Lesson Plan from Life Planning Education: A Youth Development Program (Chapter Three)

NOTE:  Life Planning Education (LPE) is currently being revised. The printed/for-sale version includes an older version of this lesson plan. Please make sure you have looked at the PDF of Life Planning Education before purchasing - that is the version that is available to buy.  

To get more practice in understanding the difference between passive, aggressive, and assertive communication and to practice assertive communication skills

One copy for each participant of the handout, Communication Skills and the worksheet, Communication Skills

Time: 30 minutes


  1. Pass out the handout, Communication Skills, or write out each of the three ways to communicate on a piece of newsprint. Say that everyone communicates in one of three ways in any situation: passively, aggressively, or assertively.
  2. Ask the group which way they think is the best way to communicate and why?  Write their answers on newsprint.
  3. Pass out the worksheet, Communication Skills, and have participants complete it on their own or working in pairs.
  4. Go around the room and ask each adolescent or pair of adolescents to give the answers to different scenarios.
    Answers to Worksheet:
    1. a. P        b. *        c. A
    2. a. A        b. P        c. *
    3. a. P        b. A        c. *
    4. a. A        b. P        c. *
    5. a. A        b. *        c. P
    6. a. A        b. *        c. P
    7. a. A        b. *        c. P
    8. a. P        b. A        c. *
  5. Conclude with the discussion points below.

Optional Activity:

  1. Use the scenarios from the worksheet, Communication Skills, for role-plays.
  2. Divide participants up into pairs and assign them a scenario.
  3. Give participants a few minutes to work out their scenarios and ask them to demonstrate the different forms of communication.
  4. Conclude with the discussion points below.

Discussion Points:

  1. Which form of communication felt most comfortable to you?  Was it always the same form of communication?  When was it different?
  2. Could you see scenarios where you would feel more comfortable responding one way but would benefit more from responding a different way?  Which scenarios struck you this way?
  3. What would make it easier for you to communicate assertively in most situations?  Are there some situations in which you might need support to communicate assertively?  How could you get that support?
  4. Are there situations in which it would not be in your best interest to communicate assertively?

*Adapted with permission from Elizabeth Reis. 7/8 F.L.A.S.H.: Family Life and Sexual Health and from 9/10 F.L.A.S.H. Seattle, WA: Seattle-King County Dept. of Public Health, 1986.

Life Planning Education, Advocates for Youth, Updated 2009.

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