Healthy Communication Skills for Teens

High School Social Emotional Learning Activity

Teen SEL activity- communication skills online worksheet

Communicating with Respect in an Online World


Students will improve skills for communicating with respect and kindness in a digital world. Activity encourages teens to pause, evaluate the situation, and consider consequences before communicating online.

Grade Level

High School, Middle School

Health / Social Emotional Topics

  • Positive interpersonal relationships
  • Conflict resolution
  • Setting boundaries
  • Communication skills


Quotes and Teaching Notes

  • Quote: "There's the easy way and the right way." Teaching Notes
  • Alternate Quote: "In any conflict, make sure you know what you really want, and if what you are doing will actually help you get it." Teaching Notes




Use the quote “There’s the easy way and the right way.” (see full teaching notes for this quote) to lead a discussion about healthy ways of communicating online.

1. What does the quote mean in terms of communication style? What are some ways that someone might do what is “easy” in a discussion or conflict? What are some healthier or "right" skills for communication?

  • Easy: make snap judgments without having full information, make personal insults, vent your anger, hear what you want to hear, interrupt, get emotional, say things online you wouldn't say in person
  • Right: Calm down, get full information, stick to the issue, listen to other perspectives, speak with respect even when opinions differ
  • Get some ideas from this article on 5 tips for civic dialogue in an online world or use our Conflict Resolution Skills activity to work on communicating in a conflict.

2. Think about consequences of "easy" online communication. What is likely to happen if you react the "easy" way? How would you feel if someone treated you the "easy" way as compared to showing you respect?

3. Communication Skills in Action
Discuss the scenarios below or download the Easy vs Right Healthy Communication Worksheet to compare easy vs right online responses.

Download Worksheet PDF
  • Scenario 1: Aliyah sees a post online about a local company doing something unbelievably awful. She is so upset that a company in her community would do this. She needs to say or do something.
  • Scenario 2: Morris and Grady have been friends for a long time, but Morris hears from a friend, who heard it from his sister’s friend, that Grady was seen being a little too friendly with Morris’ girlfriend.
  • Scenario 3: Isabella can’t believe her friend posted that pic, in that dress, with the caption “So much better than Isabella’s.”