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What's So Bad or Good About Conflict?

Students discuss the meaning of the word "conflict" and give examples of positive and negative situations they have experienced. This lesson will help you develop students' interpersonal skills and create a bulletin board about conflict for School Safety Month (October).
Grades
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Objectives

  • Students will explore how conflict can be negative and positive.
  • Students will create a bulletin board about conflict.

Materials

  • Chalkboard and chalk (or chart paper and markers)
  • White paper
  • Crayons

Procedures

  1. Write "conflict" on the board and ask the class for a definition. (If they need help with a definition, explain that a conflict is a disagreement between two or more people, and give a few examples.)
  2. Ask the class: What do you think of when you hear the word "conflict"?
  3. Have the class brainstorm all the associations they have with the word "conflict".
  4. List their ideas on the board or create a web chart.
  5. Conduct a class discussion using the following questions:
    1. Which words are negative? Which are positive? Which are neutral?
    2. Why do you think there are more negative words about conflict than positive or neutral ones?
    3. Describe a conflict you've had. Would you say it was positive or negative?
    4. Can anyone describe a conflict that ended in a positive way (where everyone involved felt good at the end or things changed for the better as a result)?
  6. After the discussion, ask students to write a sentence about conflict and illustrate it for a What's So Bad or Good About Conflict? bulletin board.

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