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Week 5 – Chapter 3

By September 21, 2015February 4th, 2016No Comments

Week 5-17

Things are getting a bit competitive in Week 5. We start chapter 3 back at the school setting where all the attention is on an exciting handball tournament.  Tempers flare between the kids at Quirky Lane and among other students as well, so we take this chance to introduce conflict resolution techniques. We dive right into group dynamics and discuss managing competition, inclusion and exclusion, and social initiative.Next week we will continue to practice resolving conflict and managing our emotions, and look at group dynamics in more detail.

How to use the stories with your child at home:

  • Revise this story together with your child;
  • Discuss your own experiences in relation to similar events;
  • Ask questions about how your child would resolve some of the events described in the story;
  • Explore the emotions each participant experience with focus no empathy and how each emotion ‘looks’ like and ‘feel’ like.

The Activities

The activities in this chapter include pen & paper, art and craft, role play, and puzzle-based activities, concluding with a Fieldwork activity to be done at home in the participant’s own time.

Introductory Question

This chapter relates to group dynamics, disagreements and what can happen when one friend feels excluded. The questions presented in this activity explore the issues of competition and conflict between friends. This chapter starts with a story about a serious game of handball and introduces participants to examples of competitive behaviour and disrespect between peers in the playground. The activities encourage participants to consider how they regulate their own emotions and resolve conflict when faced with friendship issues such as these.

The main purpose of this activity to encourage participants to consider their choices when trying to resolve conflict with peers. After reflecting on their own experiences, participants are invited to share their attempts to resolve past conflicts. A further goal of this activity is to help participants develop insight into their own emotional responses and reactions to winning or losing to a friend.

The participants are developing emotional awareness by considering how they feel in particular situations and how their own emotional reactions compare to others. By reflecting on a number of different possible scenarios and their reactions to each, the participants will begin to develop an awareness for how emotions influence behaviour.

Goals for Participants

The goals for participants during this activity are:

  • to share their experiences of competing with friends
  • to consider how their own emotions impact on their behaviour
  • to learn how others deal with winning and losing
  • to practise listening, turn taking and empathising with others
  • to develop a deeper understanding of complex issues in friendships.

Role Play: How to Join a group

This activity is designed to explore the ingredients required and to ‘test run’ the skills involved in joining a group in a safe-setting. Same-aged peers can help to normalise common feelings, such as shyness and uncertainty, triggered by the dilemma of whether to join or avoid a group of established friends.

Meeting an individual is easier than meeting a whole group of people. So being able to recognise a group of people who are friendly and interested in others is the first step, followed by learning how to make an initial connection before approaching and eventually joining the group. Once these skills are accomplished, participants will be ready to start expanding their social networks without being daunted by the task.

Goals for Participants

The goals for participants during this activity are:

  • to practise recognising open and closed body language
  • to observe how their peers initiate contact with a group
  • to practise common conversation starters, e.g., “Hi. Do you mind if I join you?”
  • to practise listening to group discussions before participating
  • to practise building on topics or ideas discussed by the group
  • to remain on-topic and show interest in others by acknowledging them with friendly eye contact or a smile.

Resolving conflict: Find a word

This activity on resolving conflict is divided into Find a Word andComplete the Sentence tasks. These tasks aim to introduce the language of conflict resolution by playing word games with 15 words commonly used when seeking solutions. Participants are given an opportunity to guess the meaning of each word before the facilitator provides accurate definitions and leads into the Complete the Sentence task to give participants an example of how to use each word in context.

The purpose of this activity is to familiarise participants with words commonly used in relation to conflict resolution. The Find a Word task provides an easy starting point for participants to learn the spelling of each word before learning how the words can be used in sentences. While adults commonly use these words when seeking resolution, children are less likely to have words, such as ‘collaborate’ or ‘empathise’ in their vocabulary.

Goals for Participants

The goals for participants during this activity are:

  • to exchange ideas in relation to word meanings
  • to help each other to find words and complete sentences
  • to expand their vocabulary and knowledge of key words
  • to develop confidence with task completion
  • to learn the definition of all key words and how to use them in a sentence.

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