STARsteps: Conflict Resolution Strategies for Students
Running Time: 4-10 minute videos
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Combining entertaining video dramas with lesson plans, student activities, overheads and a teacher’s resource book, this series of four videos and print curriculum helps students learn all-important interpersonal conflict resolution skills.
Focusing on the proven technique that students learn more by exercising their own critical thinking skills, this series puts the students themselves in control of the process. Based on the STAR problem-solving steps of Stop, Talk, Act, Reflect the four dramas showcase different resolutions to common school conflicts that students will identify with. After trying out the four steps students identify the conflict resolution strategies known as APE - Active listening, Problem solving and Emotional awareness.
After watching the videos and participating in the learning activities your students will:
- Recognize that people can work together to resolve conflicts
- Recognize that there are different perspectives in a conflict that could be right or wrong
- Gain confidence that each person is a potential mediator of conflicts
- Understand that conflicts are learning opportunities
Part One: Rat Fink
Two best friends are discussing an upcoming test when it is revealed that one of the girls is aware that a classmate has stolen the test and is selling copies of it to other students. The conflict explodes when the girls disagree about their responsibility to report this violation of school rules and the repercussions of their actions.
Part Two: Freaks
A conflict arises between four students over the use of a public space. It begins with two students at a table studying for a chemistry test. Two other students arrive with a boom box to listen to their music which disturbs the studying students. The cultural differences between the two groups inflame the conflict when they begin name-calling.
Part Three: Party Time
Two good friends are in disagreement about their plans for Saturday night. Jordan thinks it will be fun to go to an un-chaperoned party at another student’s house. Stephanie rejects this idea because she has heard that these other students are into smoking and drinking. Jordan claims that she has no evidence of this and that she is prejudiced against these students because of where they live.
Part Four: Frick and Frack
Stepbrothers Kurt and Chuck argue about issues of intellectual property. Chuck is very excited about the approval of his science project until Kurt accuses Chuck of stealing the idea from him. Chuck claims that the two of them came up with the idea together, Kurt decided not to do it, and, therefore, Chuck had the right to do it on his own.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts in digital format
These videos are the centerpiece of a 10-day lesson plan. Each video depicts a different school related scenario and conflict resolution strategies. They include cheating on a test (Rat Fink), stereotyping by appearance (Freaks), deciding whether to attend an unchaperoned party (Party Time), and two step-brothers arguing over a science fair project idea (Frick and Frack). The two most effective scenarios are Freaks and Party Time, both of which cover topics sure to hit home with middle school students. After viewers use STARsteps (Stop, Talk, Act, Reflect) to come up with their own resolutions, the videos show three different approaches to solving the problems: third-party mediation, group mediation, and self-mediation. The teen actors are an ethnically-diverse group of males and females, several of whom are wearing braces. An older male and female narrator remind viewers about the STARsteps. These videos could be viewed independently, but will have more impact if they are shown as part of the comprehensive two-week lesson outlined in the teacher's guide.
- David Bilmes, Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford, CT
SAMPLE RESOURCES FROM THE TEACHER'S RESOURCE BOOK