Lesson NINE - How to Fix a Wrinkled Heart

 

Upper Primary

 

Negotiating and Resolving Conflict

 


SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL COMPETENCY: Social-Management

 

LEARNING INTENT

Students will:

  • Identify helpful and unhelpful ways to resolve conflict

  • Learn how to make positive and responsible decisions

 

 

KEY VOCABULARY: Conflict resolution, problem-solving, win-win, win-lose, compromise, collaborate, give in, stubborn, negotiate, resolve, avoid, cooperate.

Resources

 

Background Information

Disagreements between friends are bound to happen. Teaching children conflict resolutions skills can have a positive impact on their relationships, self-esteem and learning.  Children who have effective conflict resolution skills are happier, have better friendships and are better learners at school.  Playground disagreements can distract students from their learning and have a negative effect on academic outcomes.

​Today’s lesson prepares students for negotiating and resolving conflict.  Conflict resolution skills are not innate, they need to be learned and practised. There are many friendly solutions to help friendships during conflict.  Today’s lesson will look at helpful ways and unhelpful ways to resolve disagreements.

 

Unhelpful ways to resolve conflict involve a lose-lose or a win-lose outcome.  When conflicts are thought of as a competition where one person wins and the either loses, the disagreement may only be resolved short-term.  Often a win-lose outcome will create a new set of problems, such as feelings of resentment or fear in the child who loses and may encourage the child who wins to use intimidation to get what they want.  Unhelpful ways to resolve conflict include force, avoidance and accommodation (giving in).

​Helpful ways to resolve conflict involve win-win outcomes where both parties work together to find a solution where everyone wins.  Helpful ways to resolve conflict involve compromise and collaboration.

Children require a combination of well-developed social and emotional skills to manage conflicts and disagreements.  Throughout the program, many of the skills needed for conflict resolution have been taught, such as managing emotions (in particular anger), communicating effectively, empathising (understanding other people’s emotions) and listening even when you disagree. 

 

Students will then be introduced to 5 different ways to manage conflict using different animals to explain the different conflict styles.  Students will also practise resolving conflicts following Owl’s three steps to resolve conflict.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

1.    Introduce Lesson and Review Previous Lesson

Review previous session by asking students to remember what was covered in the last session. Shape students’ responses to reflect the learning intent from the previous lesson. Revise Group guidelines.

Welcome back.  Last week learned more about making friendships work. We looked at how to win and lose gracefully, how to stay friends over different opinions and the importance of being honest.  In today’s lesson we will look at helpful ways and unhelpful ways to resolve disagreements.

2.    A Gratitude Attitude (5 minutes)

Sit in a circle. Ask each student to share something that they are grateful for or something positive that has happened to them this week. This simple activity is training students to be positive and to have a gratitude attitude.

A gratitude attitude focuses on the NOW!  Try to pay attention and be thankful for what you already have and not worry about what you don’t have.  People with a gratitude attitude are positive, resilient and happy.

3.    Activity 1: Introducing Conflict Styles (10 minutes)

​Disagreements are bound to happen in every friendship.  No matter how old you are!  Disagreements tend to happen more when you’re a kid, because you and your friends are still learning the skills to fix problems when you are playing together. Today we are going to learn helpful ways and unhelpful ways to resolve conflicts.  I’m going to introduce to you 5 different animals who represent the 5 different ways to take on a conflict, not all of them are helpful in solving a disagreement. 

The first animal is Crocodile.

​Crocodile

Never smile at a crocodile because crocodiles snap!   Crocodiles are unfriendly and unhappy.  If you want to solve a disagreement like a crocodile, there will be yelling, arguing and no one will win and no-one will be happy. This is an unhelpful way to solve a disagreement.

​Puppy dog

Puppy dog tries to make everyone happy so will give in.  If you want to solve a disagreement like a puppy dog, one person will be happy and will get want they want.  But the other person who gives in to make everyone else happy does not get what they want.  This is an unhelpful way to solve a disagreement. It will solve the disagreement but only one person gets what they want.

​Turtle​

The third animal is turtle.  Turtle hides from an argument.  Turtle doesn’t like to argue so avoids disagreements by hiding.  This is an unhelpful way to solve a disagreement, because again only one person gets what they want and is happy.  Sometimes, walking away is a good option because if your emotions are high, it can give you time to cool down.

Rabbit

Rabbit likes to compromise so that both people in the conflict are happy.  Rabbit hops back and forth.  Both friends give up something. This is a helpful way to solve a disagreement because everyone gets what they want.

​Old wise owl 

Owl tries to sort out the problem.  If you want to solve a disagreement like an owl, both people in the argument will work out the problem so both people are happy.

4.     Activity 2: Helpful and unhelpful ways to solve a conflict (15 minutes)

​We are going to watch 4 short movies now.  While you are watching the movie, I want you to think about which animal it reminds you of.

​Conflict Style 1 – Force (Crocodile)

​If no internet connection, ask for two volunteers to act out Conflict Style 1 role-play OR watch Dr Suess ‘The Zax’.

 

​ Pose questions

-    What were the Zaxs’ arguing about?

-    Did they resolve the conflict?

-    What happened?

-    How do you think they felt?

-    Which animal does it remind you of?

 

The conflict was not resolved, and both Zax’s were unhappy. We call this a lose-lose approach where no one gets what they want.  Let’s think of some words that describe how croc approaches a conflict.

Write answers on board.  Possible answers: snaps, argues, yells, intimidates, is stubborn, unfriendly, unhelpful

shutterstock_567872182.jpg

Conflict Style 2 – Collaboration  (Old Wise Owl)

​If no Internet connection, ask for two volunteers to act out Conflict Style 2 role-play OR watch the Squirrel and Raccoon. 

​** If video is not showing type into google "Bridge" by Ting Chian Tey

Pose questions

-    What happened?

-    Did they resolve the conflict?

-    How did rabbit and squirrel solve the problem?

-    How do you think they felt?

-    Which animal does it remind you of?

 

The conflict was solved, and both were happy.  We call this a win-win approach where everyone gets what they want and is happy.  Let’s think of some words to describe  how old wise owl approaches a conflict.

Write answers on board. Possible answers: solves problem, work together, cooperate, collaborate, happy, friendly.

Conflict Style 3 – Avoidance (turtle)

​If no internet connection , ask for two volunteers to act out Conflict Style 3 role-play or watch Shrek and Donkey – stop at 40 seconds.

Pose questions:

-    What happened?

-    Did they resolve the conflict?

-    How do you think donkey was feeling?

-    How do you think Shrek was feeling?

-    Which animal does it remind you of?

 

The conflict wasn’t solved.  Shrek avoided the conflict by walking away.   Shrek was angry and needed to calm down.  Sometimes, walking away allows you to cool down.  However, it doesn’t solve the problem.  The turtle avoids conflict by hiding or walking away.  Let’s think of some words to describe how turtle approaches a conflict.

Write student responses on white board. Possible answers: avoids, walks away, hides, cools down, calms down, ignore

​Conflict Style 4 – Compromise (rabbit)

​If no Internet connection, ask for two volunteers to act out Conflict Style 4 role-play or watch Olive Branch.

Pose Questions:

-    What happened?

-    Did they resolve the conflict?

-    How did they resolve the conflict?

-    Which animal does it remind you of?

The conflict was solved, and both were happy.  We call this a win-win approach where everyone gets what they want and is happy.  Let’s think of some words to describe how rabbit approaches a conflict.

Write student answers on white board.  Possible answers: compromise, sharing, taking turns, respect

Conflict Style 5 – Giving In/Accommodating (puppy dog)

​Ask for two volunteers to act out Conflict Style 5 role-play.

​Sometimes one person may get what they want but the other person doesn’t.  We call this a win-lose outcomes.  One person wins and one person loses. If you or a friend gives in often, it isn’t fair.  It’s OK to give in to a friend sometimes, but it isn’t fair if you have to give in ALL the time. Let's thinks of some words to describe how puppy dog approaches a conflict.

​Write student answers on board. 

 

Possible answers: giving in, accommodating, taking turns, cooperating.

5.    Activity 3: Resolving a Disagreement (20 minutes)

We are going to learn how to solve a conflict like wise old owl and rabbit. Remember owl tackles a disagreement by solving the problem and rabbit tackles a disagreement by compromising.

Let's look at the 3 steps for resolving a disagreement.

Step 1:

Cool Off Ask yourself, ‘Am I ready to solve this problem?’ If you are too angry or upset, give yourself a chance to calm and cool down. You may need to walk away or take a few deep breaths before coming back to solve the problem. I want you to think back to Lesson 2. If you are too angry or too upset, what could you do to calm your anger? Remember our deep breathing exercises? Let’s practise deep breathing together.

Step 2:

Listen and Talk it out. Being a good listener is a really important friendship skill and it is especially important when it comes to resolving conflicts.  Taking turns to listen and talk will help you solve the disagreement.

There are 3 important things to learn in Step 2 which we are going to practise now. In step 2 you must first listen to your friend tell their side of the story. Secondly, let your friend know that you understood what they were saying by telling them what you heard. Start with, ‘I heard you say…’ The third important point is using I messages. Each person experiences conflict from their own point of view, it’s OK to disagree! Don’t fall into the trap of arguing about who is right! Solving a conflict like an owl and rabbit is about listening and solving the problem together.  Let's now learn more about using what's called reflective listening.

 

Reflective Listening

Being a good listener is a really important friendship skill and it is especially important when it comes to resolving conflicts.  One way we can show we are listening to our friends is by telling them what we heard them say.  This is called ‘reflective listening’. 

There's a simple formula which you can find on page 136 in your journal.  Write the formula on the whiteboard.

Start with, ‘I heard you say…’ before telling them what you heard. I heard you say (insert friend’s request) that you feel (insert friend’s feelings) when I (insert your behaviour). You would like me to (insert friend’s request).

Who would like to have a turn? I want you to listen very carefully to what I say and then I’m going to ask you to tell me what you heard me say.  Remember to start with, ‘I heard you say…

Encourage each student to have a go reflecting the following examples. Read out the example and the student repeats using the formula. For example: Teacher reads out: I felt angry when you said I couldn’t join your game.  Could you please include me? Student reflects: I heard you say you felt angry when I said you couldn't join in our game. You would like me to let you join in.

Examples:

1. I felt angry when you said I couldn’t join your game.  Could you please include me?

2. I feel frustrated when you keep talking over me.  Could you please listen to me?

3. I feel sad when you take my things without asking me. Could you please ask me first?

4. I feel angry when you call me names.  Could you please stop calling me names?

5.  I feel annoyed when you don’t follow the rules.  Could you please play by the rules?

6. I feel sad when you run away from me.  Could you please stop running away from me?

 

I Messages

When you are solving a problem with your friend it is important to try to start with  ‘I’ by telling them just how you felt and what you would like them to do.

Which one do you think is a more peaceful way to talk to someone in our group who keeps talking. “Why are you always talking during my lessons? You’re driving me crazy kid!” Or “I feel frustrated when you talk while I’m teaching because then your classmates can’t hear me. Could you please save your talking for a better time?”

Do you think the first way is more peaceful or the second way? Let’s practise this.

Read a scenario to each student and ask them to follow the formula: I feel (insert feeling) when you (insert behaviour). I would like you to (insert request)

  • Someone keeps taking your stuff without asking

  • Your friend sends you a mean note

  • Someone says to you that you are not good enough to play football/netball with them.

  • Your friend isn't following the rules to your game

  • Someone kicks your ball over the fence

  • Someone won't let you play in their game

 

Step 3: Solve

Talk about many possible solutions until you find a compromise like Kangaroo or a solution like Owl If you are having trouble solving the problem, ask an adult for help.

Write on board - What Can You Do?

  • Ignore

  • Talk it out

  • Wait and cool off

  • Walk away and go to another game

  • Tell them to stop

 

 I’m now going to read out scenarios and I want you to think of a solution to the problem.  For example, there will be times when your friend doesn’t cooperate with you.  In that case, you may need to walk away and go to another game. 

Scenarios – What could you do?

 1. You get the wrong answer in class and a classmate laughs at you.

2. Someone is making a noise on purpose to annoy you.

3. A friend keeps pulling your arm and trying to make you go where they want you to go.

 4. Someone is bragging about getting a high grade on their test

5. Someone told you that your friend was talking about you at lunch time

6. Someone laughed at you when you tripped and fell.

7. Your brother or sister keeps coming into your room and taking your things without asking

 

7.    Concluding Discussion (5 minutes)

Disagreements between friends are bound to happen.  Next time, when you are having a disagreement with a friend, say to them, ‘Let’s talk this out’.  Listen to your friend’s side of the story and what they want.  Tell your friend your side of the story and what you want.  Remember to try and use ‘I’ messages. Solving a conflict like an owl or like a rabbit will mean that the argument has been solved fairly and both parties feel happy.

Close session: Thank the group for their participation throughout the session.  Encourage them to practice the new skills they learned during the week.  Share with the group an exciting activity that they will do during the next GRIT lesson.

 

Additional Activity - Role play scenarios (10 minutes)

​We are going to practise resolving a conflict.  Does anyone have a real life conflict that they would like to practice solving with the group? 

Ask for 2 volunteers to role-play the following scenarios.

​Scenarios

1. It is lunch time. Your friend wants to play a game of soccer, but you want to play in the sand pit.

2. You and your friend are playing handball.  The ball bounces twice in your square.  Your friend calls, ‘You’re out?’ You argue that your rules are different and the ball is allowed to bounce twice.

3. Your friend takes your pencil without asking.

4. Your friend wants to play in the library, but you want to run outside.  The library is only open on this day.