Using "I" Statements 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 give participants the opportunity to practice “I” statements and to experience the value of direct, honest communication

Materials: One copy for each participant of the handout, I Statements; pens/pencils

Time: 15 to 20 minutes


  1. Explain the purpose of using “I” statements.  Purposes include: avoiding putting someone else down, expressing feelings honestly, taking ownership of feelings and opinions; and empowering oneself in regard to feelings and opinions.
  2. Demonstrate the difference between “you” statements and “I” statements by giving some examples and by asking participants for examples. Point out that using positive forms of communication often takes practice and frequent reminders.
  3. Distribute the handout and ask participants to work in pairs (or as a large group, if that will work better for this group).
  4. Conclude with the discussion points below.

Discussion Points:

  1. As a receiver, which kind of statements would you prefer to hear?  Can you give an example?
  2. How do you feel when someone uses the word “you” when voicing their opinion or a feeling?
  3. How do you feel when someone uses the word “I” when voicing their opinion or feeling?
  4. How will “I” statements help you communicate better?

* Used with permission of Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan.

Life Planning Education, Advocates for Youth, Updated 2009.

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