Students with disabilities often have difficulty managing anger. One strategy that is effective is to teach students to use "I Statements." When we are angry, it is all too tempting to name call, or use bad language. It makes the person we are angry with feel they need to defend themselves.
By focusing on their own feelings, and what makes them angry, your students will help the other person know what they need in order to change their anger into a more positive feeling. The "I statement" follows this pattern: "I feel angry when you _____ (fill in here.)" If the student can add a "because," i.e. "Because that's my favorite toy." or "Because I feel that you are making fun of me," it is even more effective.
- View pictures of people who are angry. See emotional literacy for some ideas. Ask the students why the people in the pictures might be angry. What are they arguing about?
- Brainstorm and list the things that make them feel angry.
- View the "I Statement" model cartoon together.
- Make a new "I statement" cartoon strip, using the blank template. Use a scenario you generate from students, or use one of scenarios I provide below.
- A friend borrowed your PSP player and hasn't brought it back. You want to have it back, and he keeps forgetting to bring it to your house.
- Your little brother went into your room and broke one of your favorite toys.
- Your big brother invited his friends over and they made fun of you, teasing you that you are a baby.
- Your friend had a birthday party and didn't invite you.
You can probably think of some scenarios of your own!