In September, our Grade 3 students inquired into conflict resolution - how to build and maintain harmonious relationships. The students worked on various activities designed to help them understand the relevant concepts and acquire problem-solving skills. They learned to recognize the location and scale of conflict, and understood that it happens within ourselves, between people, as well as between larger groups of people.
‘Why do conflicts happen?’ - The students began the unit by discussing the causes of conflict. exploring three main reasons for conflict including conflict over unmet needs, competition for resources, and differences in beliefs and values. Understanding the causes of conflict helps students to solve conflict effectively.
‘Oh my goodness! Where is my book?’
‘Ah, I moved it somewhere else because I thought it was not a good place to keep a book.’
‘Hey, I left it on the floor because I wanted to use it right now.’
The teacher’s skit introduced the importance of seeing different perspectives. Having agreed that each person has different ways of seeing things, the students discussed various responses and reactions when conflict arises. The students used some real-life scenarios to practice seeing a problem from others' perspectives. The importance of being empathetic and showing compassion was part of this.
Finally, they learned how to problem-solve, matching an effective solution to a problem. The Grade 3 students aimed to learn how to solve conflict independently where possible, and to find help when necessary. They created a list of conflicts that happen at school, and are currently producing role-plays based on real-life situations. They are planning their skits to show the cause of conflict, difference in perspectives, and their ability to make mutually acceptable and effective solutions.
In addition, third graders have been collaborating with Ms. Art and her grade 8 students, offering their learning and experiences of conflict in order for Grade 8 students to create mini plays based around particular themes and situations. These plays will be performed for Grade 3 in November.