Conflict Resolution: What Is It and How Can I Be a Part of It?

Goal: To learn how to identify and manage conflicts in a productive manner.

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Describe various sources of conflicts
  • List the variety of ways people choose to respond to conflict
  • Reflect on the ways in which they have chosen to respond to conflict
  • Use active listening and “I statements” to solve conflicts

Materials:  Flip Chart Paper, markers, conflict words and definitions, journaling materials, “I statement” worksheet

Time:  1 class period (30 minutes in this setting but with middle school students could take longer


Session One

  1. Icebreaker/warm up (5 min) Pass out words and definitions about conflict to tables.  Have students match words with definitions.  Table discussions about the words and definitions.
  2. Brainstorm (5 min) – Go over definitions of conflict and brainstorm sources of conflict in the lives of the students.  Then brainstorm ways to handle conflict (write positive ways in green and negative ways in red)
  3. Individual Journaling (5 minutes) – Students recall a moment in their lives when they have gotten into a conflict and are given five minutes to write about that conflict and how they handled it.
  4. Positive forms of conflict resolution (5 min) – have a few students share their conflicts and how they resolved it.  Ask students why some resolutions are red and some are green.  Ask them which strategies for conflict resolution are healthy, positive and appropriate for school?
  5. Paired Up conflict scenarios (10 minutes) – Students are put into pairs to read about a common middle school conflict and to discuss ways in which they could address this conflict and decide how to turn the conflict into a positive experience (e.g. a new solution to a problem, a better level of understanding, searching for common ground).
  6. Closing (5 minutes) Exit ticket:  (leave up posters)
    1. What are some common conflicts you get into at school?
    2. What are two strategies you can use to manage conflicts and leave feeling positive?
    3. Jasmine and Ranika are having a dance off at recess.  Their dance battle turns into a heated argument.  Jasmine says “You so ugly you look like a carved pumpkin at Halloween” Ranika retorts with another mean comment.  What strategy would you use to resolve this conflict?  Describe what you would say or do to deescalate the situation.

Download this lesson plan

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