This unit addresses the need for violence prevention to begin in the early grades of elementary school. The unit has been designed for grades one and two but it can easily be adapted for up to grade four. Its presentation in the classroom is flexible and could easily be incorporated into a math, reading or social studies activity because many of the lessons require divergent thinking and role-playing. It has a focus on anger and violence because I have heard so many teachers comment about the angry students in their classrooms.
Children who are witnessing violence in their neighborhoods, families, or in school are often unaware that peaceful methods are an alternative. Traditional social studies curricula and even prevention programs do not fully address the anger issue or the communication skills needed to negotiate problems in today’s violent world. The rules of conflict resolution are practiced in group lessons and role-play situations. Ideally, children will see how often small conflicts occur each day and they will begin to utilize the five step plan that they have learned. It is hoped that these preventative strategies will not only combat violence but also arm children with a moral sense of right and wrong. Children who can try these skills at home and in their neighborhood will be taking a small step toward non- violent decision-making.
(Recommended for Social Studies and as part of “Project Charlie,” a drug- abuse prevention program, grades 1-3)
Conflict Resolution Debate Skills Special Education