Problem Puppets Role Play a Negotiation
Objectives: Young students will practice negotiation skills using puppets to role play conflicts.
Materials: Problem solving puppets – at least two.
Margaret and Sarah were arguing over a set of blocks. Each believed that it was their turn to get the blocks. The teacher intervened, called the class together, and showed students two puppets. “These are the problem puppets, and they will help us solve the problem Margaret and Sarah are having,” the teacher says.
With younger students negotiation and mediation procedures may be taught with problem puppets. Puppets can provide young children enough distance from a conflict to discuss their behavior without feeling threatened.
1. Use the puppets to reenact the conflict.
2. Freeze the puppet role play at a critical point in the conflict. Ask the class for suggestions on ways to resolve the conflict. Incorporate one of these suggestions, and finish the puppet play.
3. Repeat the puppet play until several different suggestions for solving the conflict have been suggested. Discuss whether or not each one will work. This helps children learn to think through the consequences of their suggestions.
4. Ask the children to pick the suggestion they think will work best.
The problem puppets can then be retired.
Source: Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution
CRE Calendar Usage: 1st Edition