What About Fighting?

Grade Levels: 3 - 8


  • Students will identify the potential positive and negative consequences of using violence to resolve conflicts.


  • Chalkboard and chalk


  1. Facilitate a class discussion by asking students how they would define violence. Why do they think people sometimes use violence to handle conflicts?
  2. After the students have offered a few suggestions, ask them to name everything positive they can think of about fighting or using violence to resolve conflicts.
  3. If they have trouble naming any, ask them to think about a fight they won. What feelings did they have? What positive things did the fight accomplish?
  4. List their contributions on the board. Continue the brainstorm for five to ten minutes.
  5. Next ask students to name all the potential negative consequences of fighting or using violence to deal with conflicts.
  6. Repeat the brainstorming process.
  7. If necessary, ask about specific areas of students' lives: What might be the consequences of fighting at home? At school? On the playground? The negative list will probably be significantly longer.
  8. As a way to conclude the activity discuss the following questions with your students:
    1. Which list is longer? Why?
    2. Which of these negative things is a short term consequence? Which is long term?
    3. What are some ways you could get the positive effects of fighting without fighting?
    4. If there are so many reasons not to fight, why do people fight?
    5. Where do we get our ideas about fighting?

Excerpted from Elementary Perspectives: Teaching Concepts of Peace and Conflict by William J. Kreidler.

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