Briefly introduce the topic to students by asking them to identify the characteristics of active listening. Then, with a volunteer, demonstrate poor listening (looking away, interrupting, changing the subject) and then good, active listening, modeling the skills described on Student Handout A.
Ask students to tell you what they noticed. Lead them to be specific, e.g., “You were doodling” or “You were looking away.” Chart their responses in two lists, one for active listening and one for poor listening.
Have students pair off and take turns talking and listening about a non-threatening topic: “A Place I Love to Go,” or “Something I Learned To Do.” While one person speaks, the other should listen actively. Give each person a minute or less to speak. When both members have had a chance to speak, ask students to discuss the exercise.
Coyote and Road Runner have had a conflict for years…what happens when Coyote finally resolves his conflict? Watch here to find out!
Many classic cartoons are based on some conflict. Discuss some of your favorite cartoons and ways in which the conflict could be resolved. Here are some classic conflicts:
Tom & Jerry
Spongebob & Squidward
Angelica & Tommy
Charlie Brown & Lucy
Check out toonopedia for more cartoons!
Working in small groups, students will categorize coping strategies as positive, negative, neutral and time-out behaviors. Click here for the lesson plan.
Conflicts arise every day, so it’s important to know how to handle them. Use the articles at KidsHealth to research how to communicate your feelings in a positive way. Next read the scenarios on the Working It Out handout. Select two scenarios, identify the conflicts, and role-play the arguments and their resolutions. Remember that a solution does not necessarily mean that everyone agrees!
Select a conflict you see on TV and analyze how problem-solving is portrayed in that scene. What is the conflict? What strategies do the characters use to solve the problem? Are they effective strategies for solving the conflict peacefully? What strategies might the characters use instead? Finally, what effect do you think the media has on how people handle their problems?
Create a TV announcement that promotes solving conflicts in peaceful ways.
Click here for a great lesson that includes a mock peer mediation and conflict resolution scenarios.
Take a trip with Kofi Annan to experience a year in the life of his peacequest as Secretary General. Click here to take an interactive journey through conflict resolution and peace making decisions.
Use these quotes from famous individuals to facilitate student reflection on the importance of conflict resolution.
Students “tattoo” themselves with a peaceful message, e.g., see excellent photos of words like “peace” written on people’s hands. Thin, colored washable markers work well.