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A-Module 4B Normal Conflict Part 2

  • Understand and apply a strategy to solve a normal conflict.
  • Start by having students think about what they learned about normal conflict. Ask if they think a conflict is something that no one wins, everyone, wins, or only one party wins? Discuss how the answer to that question depends on how the conflict is handled. Review the definitions of aggressive, passive and assertive behavior.
  • Remind students that in the previous lesson, we learned that one of the tools an assertive person uses is an “I” Message. Today we are going to see how these messages fit in to a strategy for solving conflicts in a way where everyone wins.”
  • Ask, “ If you and a friend have a conflict, how do you solve it? What are some of the things you do? How do you figure out a solution?” As students share responses, write key words related to conflict resolution on the board.


  • Hand Out 8: Steps to Win Win Introduce the Steps to Win/Win. “In a normal conflict situation both parties can win, that is why we call the steps used in solving normal conflict the Steps to Win-Win.
    1. Cool off. Anger leads to aggressive behavior.
    2. Each person uses an “I” Message to explain how they are feeling and what they would like the other person to do.
    3. As each person speaks the other actively listens.
    4. Brainstorm and agree on a solution.
    5. Apply that solution. If you agreed to do something, live up to your part of the bargain.
  • With the class, compare the Steps to Win/Win with the student generated lists.
  • Are there similarities? Discuss.
  • We learned that aggressive behavior can escalate a problem, so we know we want to wait until everyone is calm before trying to solve the problem (Step 1).
  • We also learned that an assertive person uses an “I” Message (Step 2), but it is also important to listen to someone else’s”I” Message and respond appropriately.
  • Look at step 3 of the Steps to Win/Win.

  • Ask a student to volunteer to sit with you to answer the following question, “What is your favorite subject and why?” Sit in front of the class facing the student and model poor listening skills as the student answers. (fidget, look around, check your watch, interrupt, check your cell phone.) “Was I actively listening? How do you know?” Ask the student volunteer how it felt when you were not listening. Emphasize how actively listening is all about respecting the speaker.
  • Active listening means just that! The listener is acting in certain way. Think of someone in your life who is a good listener. What do they do that lets you know they are really listening to you?
  • Jot student responses on the board.
  • Emphasize that when you are really listening, you don’t just listen to the words, you listen to the meaning of the words.”
  • Review the Hand Out 9 – Active Listener “Active Listening Strategy Hand-out.”
  • Connect the strategy with responses students gave when they described a good listener.

Active Listening Strategy

  • Look at the person.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Nod your head.
  • Lean in to show interest.
  • Ask a question to clarify. “What do you mean when you say…”
  • Paraphrase to show you understand. “I heard you say…”
  • Don’t Interrupt

Show Clip 16 – Two actors – One telling about his/her feelings about a topic. The other is demonstrating good listening techniques and then pointing out the strategy he used.

  • Refer again to the Steps to Win/Win. Steps 4 and 5 are all about compromise. It is important to find a solution to the problem that caused the conflict so it won’t happen again.
  • In a Win/Win, both parties should be satisfied with the solution. Sometimes that means having to compromise, or meet in the middle.
  • Distribute Hand Outs Hand Out 10A – Script and Hand Out 10B – Script (two scenario scripts depicting poor use of conflict resolution skills). Ask for student volunteers to act out each conflict. The rest of the students should analyze what is going wrong.
  • Did the characters use the Steps for Win/Win? Have students explain using specific examples from each scenario. Ask students to analyze what went wrong. Emphasize the use of”I” Messages, active listening and compromising in order to find a solution.
Note: One scenario depicts students working on a collaborative project. Reinforce that using conflict resolution skills is necessary when collaborating.
  • Show Clip 17,  and Clip 18. The same scenarios will be shown and actors will use the Steps of Win/Win. As you watch the clip think about what is going right.
  • As each clip is shown ask students to analyze how the conflict was handled.


  • Give students the script from Clip 4 (Sarah and Tommy having a conflict) Hand Out 11. Recognizing that while conflict makes movies more interesting, the students should rewrite the script using dialogue that demonstrates a different way to handle the conflict.
  • Have students select one of the scenarios from Module 4A – Activity 2 – Hand Out 6 and rewrite it to include dialogue indicating how the conflict could have been handled using the Steps to Win/Win.
  • Have students work in groups to create “How-To” videos explaining one of the following Steps to Win/Win:
    1. Ways to cool off. Make sure to explain why this is important.
    2. Using an “I” Message. Include both formal and informal messages.
    3. Using the Active Listening Strategy – Include why this strategy is an important skill and how it could be helpful in not only a conflict situation, but other situations as well.
    4. Brainstorming and agreeing on a solution. Include an explanation of the idea of compromising or reaching consensus.
  • Create a silent movie with students demonstrating the Steps to a Win/Win. Two students will act out the scenario, mouthing the words of a script. Use video creating website to produce the silent movie, and insert text slides from a Powerpoint.
  • Students can create a comic strip demonstrating Active Listening, using a website like or Comic strips can be shared with younger students to teach Active Listening skills.
  1. Racing the Past by Sis Boulos Deans ©2005 Penguin (USA) Books Inc. (151 pages)When 11-year-old Ricky loses his father to a fatal accident, many in town are only too happy to remind him of his loss, and remind him of what he endured before losing his alcoholic father. He falls prey to bullies, and must find a way (other than fighting them) to overcome the biggest challenge of all- facing the bullies on the bus. He begins a quest to, literally, outrun the bus and learns much about himself while doing so.
  2. The Misfits by James Howe ©2003 Atheneum Books for Young Readers (304 pages)Using dialogue between a group of seventh grade misfits, this is a story of seeking a way in from the outside. While their methods don’t always succeed as planned, they do find a way to make themselves heard, and to make others aware of the dangers of name-calling and mindless categorization so common of kids at this age.
  3. The Way by Joseph Bruchac ©2007 Darby Creek Publishing (156 pages)Native-American Cody does not fit into his new school in any way and has a fantasy life that doesn’t help him overcome the bullying that plagues him. An unknown uncle comes to town and helps him by teaching him “The Way,” allowing him to learn to deflect the bullies in a way that honors his Native American heritage. He becomes a whistleblower, thus preventing a dangerous plot.