Setting the Stage for Conflict Resolution

Gatherings Activities

Gathering Activities are five- to ten-minute activities that set the stage for conflict resolution lessons by giving students a safe and fun way to share with each other. Gathering activities are intended to be positive, community-building experiences. Use your judgment in choosing the activities you think are most appropriate for your students. In all activities, students should have the opportunity to pass if they so desire. Many of these gathering activities were developed by and are used with the permission of New York Metro Educators for Social Responsibility and the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program.

New and Good

Have students comment on something new and good that is happening in their lives. It can be anything – a good movie, a good time with a friend or family, a new idea, finishing a project for class. Model the activity for the class by speaking first.

Something Beautiful

Ask each person to say something interesting or beautiful that he or she has seen lately and how that made them feel. Before anyone speaks, however, he or she must paraphrase what the previous student said. You can begin by modeling the activity.


A whip is a positive, incomplete statement that is completed in turn by each person in a circle. It goes quickly with each person answering in a short phrase. Some possible whips are:

  • Something I'm good at that ends with “-ing”
  • I feel good about myself when ...
  • Something I like about my cultural or ethnic background is ...
  • A hiding place I had when I was a child was ...
  • Something that usually makes me happy is ...
  • One word that describes how I feel today is ...
  • One word that describes a strength of mine is ...

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