Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Mother, May I Communicate?

Paula Jones
Bay District Schools


This activity is an inexpensive, active way to teach positive communication of needs, wants, and feelings. Through the use of a “Mother, May I?” type game, students have the opportunity to identify problems and to demonstrate ways to react to given problems.


The student knows the various kinds of verbal and nonverbal communication (e.g., hand gestures and facial expressions).

The student knows how to use positive communication skills when expressing needs, wants, and feelings.

The student knows various ways of communicating care and consideration of others (e.g., sharing and saying `please` and `thank you`).

The student knows various ways in which to resolve conflict using positive behavior.

The student identifies healthy ways to handle feelings.


-Partner for role-play
-Chart paper
-Scenarios that require positive verbal and physical response from students
-Copies of Checklist (See associated file)


1. Prepare role-play with partner.
2. Gather charts and markers.
3. Plan space for physical activity.
4. Download and copy associated file.


Addresses Goal 5 Standards - School Safety and Environment

1. With another adult (i.e. instructional aide) or student, begin the lesson with a pre-rehearsed role-play.

2. An example role play: Have partner accidently knock your materials off your desk. In response, yell at the partner. Partner responds by yelling back or giving a very sad physical response.

3. Lead whole group discussion on how our communication (verbal and physical) affects others and the possible consequences of our actions.

4. While writing responses on a chart, have students create a list of caring words that can be used to express needs, wants, or feelings (i.e. please, thank you, I feel_____ when you do that).

5. Have students add examples of body language to the list that show care and consideration (i.e. a smile, a head nod, unfolded arms).

6. Have students come up with other options of communication to solve the beginning role play. (You may want to re-enact the role-play scenario.)

7. Review created list of positive (verbal and physical) communication options.

8. For practice, the students participate in a "Mother, May I?" type game.

9. Next, have students line up against the wall.

10. Provide given scenarios, one at a time to students (i.e. someone takes your favorite toy, or you need to go to the restroom, or you want to go to the park).

11. Students identify the problem and demonstrate appropriate verbal and physical responses.

12. Give feedback to the appropriateness of the response.

13. The student takes:
*3 steps forward for correct identification of problem, correct verbal response, and correct physical response,
*2 steps forward for correct identification of correct 2 out of 3,
*1 step forward for correct identification of 1 out of 3, and
*0 steps for 0 correct.

14. If the game is played with one winner, the winner is the one to cross the designated line first. If the game is played with all winners, play until all students cross the line.

15. As the students are playing the game, the teacher assesses students using the attached checklist.


Download the associated file and use the checklist to assess the student’s ability to identify a problem in a given situation, to verbally express needs, wants and/or feelings to a given situation, and to demonstrate appropriate body language to express needs, wants, and/or feelings in a given situation.


An alternative to students actually taking steps in game would be using game pieces or sticky place markers on the wall or board.
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