Conflict is a part of daily life and children sometimes forget that conflicts can easily be solved. One of my Friendship Small Group lessons focuses on ways to solve friendship problems. First we start off the group by talking about a time that we had a conflict with a friend and were able to solve it in a good way. Then we discuss the different strategies that the group members used.
On the Smart Board we review several strategies by clicking on the frog, of course some may have already been mentioned. They usually know most of these strategies, but I explain Chance which means "we each have a chance to ..." by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors or playing Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum in a Dish. Then students take turns revealing social situations and picking a problem-solving strategy to work out the problem. We discuss that there can be more than one way to solve a problem. This is a great opportunity to point out that using "I" messages work in almost every situation.
Then we make problem solvers. You may remember these from when you were growing up. Yes, kids still love to make and play with them. Usually I have pre-cut these and in order to save time pre-folded them and unfolded them - just so the edges are straight folds and we don't have to waste time fixing their folds. Finally students practice on each other using the problem solvers to pick a strategy to solve a conflict.
To make the Problem Solver
1. To complete the Problem Solver cut out along the outside solid lines.
2. Place the Problem Solver paper face down on a table then fold each corner into the center.
3. Turn the paper over and again fold each corner into the center.
4. Next, fold the paper in half with the numbers on the outside. Now open and fold in half the other way.
5. Place the thumb and pointer finger of each hand under the number flaps and close so the numbers show.
6. TO USE: Pick a number. Open and close the Problem Solver that number of times. Next, pick a color. Spell out the color by opening and closing the Problem Solver for each letter. Finally, pick a color and open the flap to read the friendship problem solving strategy. If that strategy doesn't work for the problem, try again!