Lesson plan

Work It Out

In this social skills lesson, students will get to practise identifying what to do in times of conflict. Conflict resolution is an important social skill for year one students to master as they begin form new relationships with their classmates.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to describe strategies for conflict resolution.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather the class together for a read aloud.
  • Ask the students, “What happens when we don’t agree with our friends? What happens when things don’t go our way?”
  • Encourage students to think about different times when they might need help to work something out. Instruct students to turn and talk to a partner to describe a time when they have had a problem that needed to be fixed. (For example, wanting to be first in line, sitting with a certain friend at lunch, choosing which game to play, taking turns with a toy.)
  • Say, “Today we are going to come up with some strategies, or tools to use when we need to work something out with friends and classmates.”
(15 minutes)
  • Read aloud the text Talk and Work It Out (Learning to Get Along)By Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed.
  • As you read, pause to try the different strategies suggested and ask the students to think about when they could use each strategy (e.g., being a good listener, telling someone how you feel, etc.). Allow students to share ideas with their partner, then choose a student volunteer to share with the whole class.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the students to name some of the strategies they heard for working things out.
  • Record student ideas on the board as they are shared.
  • Have the class turn and talk to a partner to share how they feel when they work out a problem with a friend.
  • Write the word “respect” on the board. Say the word aloud and ask the students what they think “respect” means.
  • If needed, define respect as a way of thinking about and treating the people in our lives to show that they matter and we care about them. Explain, "One way that we show our respect is to work things out with our friends.”
(20 minutes)
  • Students will now participate in collaborative conversations to explore conflict resolution strategies. Explain that they will each work with a small group to create a poster showing a different strategy in action.
  • Demonstrate by choosing a strategy (e.g., sharing feelings) and model the steps to create a poster. Title the poster “Use Feeling Words.” Draw a child with a speech bubble saying, “I felt sad when…” Allow students to make suggestions for words and pictures that you could add to the poster.
  • Place students in small groups of no more than six students. Review the rules for group conversations by creating a poster titled "Group Work."
    1. Talk about the topic
    2. Take turns
    3. Use quiet voices
  • Tell the students that the posters will get displayed in the classroom to remind students of the different strategies they can use to work things out with classmates.
  • Label pieces of chart paper with the different strategies, and distribute one poster to each group. Remind students to think and talk about what they learned during the read aloud as they work together to create a poster that shows the strategy in action.


  • Have students create an additional poster using a different strategy. Ask students to write a longer sentence on the back of their poster explaining how to use the strategy.


  • Guide students in thinking about appropriate times to use the strategy as they work with their group to create their poster. Provide spelling and writing support as needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Circulate around the room while students work to ask them to share their strategy and explain their poster. Ask guiding questions such as, "Which strategy did your group choose? How does your group's poster show the strategy in action?"
  • Observe that students can clearly articulate the strategy and examples of ways that the strategy could be used to solve problems and resolve conflicts.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the posters on the whiteboard for students to see.
  • Ask students to share when they could use a reminder to “work it out” with a classmate. Ask students to give a thumbs up if they see a strategy that they have used on one of the posters.
  • Close by saying, “You all did amazing work thinking about how we could use these strategies in our classroom. I will put your posters around the room for all of us to use as a reminder of how to treat each other with respect and what we can do to work something out.”

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