We Can Work It Out
Social Studies/Language Arts
Students will learn how to consider alternatives before reacting to a conflict.
What You Need
- copies of Middle School Conflicts for each group (PDF file print and copy)
- large sheets of newsprint
- colored markers
What to Do
- Set up a student discussion group about conflict. Talk about how the stress and tension people feel in conflict situations often results in impulsive, hurtful words or actions that are regretted later. A valuable conflict resolution skill, therefore, is the ability to step back from a tense situation, brainstorm a wide variety of possible alternatives, and thoughtfully select the most appropriate response.
- Distribute Middle School Conflicts for each group to read and discuss. Have each group choose one conflict they would like to solve, and then brainstorm at least 10 possible approaches to resolving that conflict. Use the large sheets of newsprint posted on the classroom wall to record the suggestions.
- When the brainstorming is completed, have students select or combine the approaches that they feel will be most useful in resolving the conflict.
- Have students read their situations and share their proposed solutions to the class, or have students role-play the conflict and their solution.
- Students may write a conflict of their own and brainstorm alternatives.
- Students may write about a time when they felt they were in a situation similar to one of the conflicts described on the Middle School Conflicts sheet.