Teaching Guide:
Preventing Conflicts & Violence

for grades 5-9

This material is from the teaching guide
for the video
"Preventing Conflicts & Violence"
in the 12-part DVD series Big Changes, Big Choices.


Conflict is a normal part of life. We all have occasional conflicts, even with people we love. But we shouldn't let little conflicts turn into big fights, especially violent ones. Here are some rules for keeping conflicts from getting out of control.
Tell the other person what's bothering you - but do it nicely.
Don't let your emotions take control.
Listen to the other person.
Try to understand how the other person is feeling.
No name-calling or insults.
No hitting.
Don't yell or raise your voice.
Look for a compromise.

And, if all else fails, ask somebody else to help!

"Preventing Conflicts
and Violence "
The Video

This video teaches young adolescents:

 How conflicts escalate, and what they can do to prevent that from happening.

 How their attitudes and behaviors can exacerbate the problem.

 Not to tolerate violence.

 That violence is a choice, not an inevitability, and that they have the power to avoid it in most cases.

 Ways of dealing with anger.


see story synopsis . . .



"Big Changes, Big Choices"
the 12-part series
In Big Changes, Big Choices comedian/teen counselor Michael Pritchard helps young adolescents discover that they have the power and the responsibility to make the right choices for themselves.  more. . .

For more information about individual videos in this 12-part series, click on the title below.
•  The Three Rs of Growing Up
•  You and Your Values
•  Enhancing Self-Esteem
•  Setting & Achieving Goals
•  Dealing With Pressures
•  Handling Emotions
•  Preventing Conflicts & Violence
•  Saying No to Alcohol & Other Drugs
•  Speaking of Sex
•  Friendship
•  Getting Along With Parents
•  Respecting Others

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.




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To find additional teaching guides on this and related topics for K-12, click here.


If you are using the video, ask the first two questions before viewing.

1. Agree or disagree: When you get into a conflict with someone, it's okay to hit and call names.

2. Do the conflicts here at school sometimes get violent? Why? Are these things really worth getting violent over? Is it okay to get violent? What's bad about violence?

3. Have you ever gotten into a fight because you were upset about something else?
- What happened?
- How did you feel afterward?
- What did you learn from that?

4. When somebody says something insensitive to you, should you confront him/her on it? What's a good way to do that without starting a fight?

5. Have you ever said something in the heat of an argument that you regretted later? What happened?

6. Do you find it easy or difficult to apologize when you are wrong? Why is that?

7. When is it okay to hit another person?

8. Why are some people violent?

9. Why do some people get so angry when somebody says something insulting about their mother?

10. Some of the kids in the video said that violence is just something you have to get used to because it happens all the time. What do you think of that kind of an attitude? Is it a good idea to get used to violence? Why, or why not?

11. One girl in the video claimed there is nothing she can do to prevent becoming personally involved in a violent confrontation. Do you think she's right? What would you tell her if she said that to you.

12. How does it make you feel when you see people hurting each other in a fight?

13. Whose responsibility is it to prevent violence?
(Tip: It's yours, because you are the only person you have control over.)

14. Do you think there's something wrong with someone who will just walk away from a fight?

15. Some people think it's very hard to just walk away from a fight. Why do they feel that way? Do you agree? What could you do to make it easier for yourself to walk away.

16. What are the benefits of resolving conflicts in a peaceful and positive way?

17. What was most meaningful to you in this video?

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

  Other teaching guides in this series:  

  •  The Three Rs of Growing Up
•  You and Your Values
•  Enhancing Self-Esteem
•  Setting & Achieving Goals
•  Dealing With Pressures
•  Handling Emotions
•  Preventing Conflicts & Violence
•  Saying No to Alcohol & Other Drugs
•  Speaking of Sex
•  Friendship
•  Getting Along With Parents
•  Respecting Others


1. Brainstorm ways to deal with anger without fighting.

2. Role play: Take a particular conflict situation (either give it to your students or let them make it up). One person's objective is to escalate it into a fist fight. The other person's objective is to resolve it peacefully, or at least prevent a fight. After the role play, have the class analyze what each person did to satisfy his/her objective. What general principles or guidelines can be drawn from this?

3. Define what constitutes violence by discussing each item on the following list. Is this violence? Why or why not? Can you think of a case where this might or might not be a violent act?

- A big kid keeps a smaller kid from getting into the lunchroom by physically blocking the entrance.

- A boyfriend and girlfriend are having a disagreement, and when she tries to walk away he grabs her arm and won't let her go.

- Physically forcing another person to have sex.

- Shoving somebody out of your way in the hallway.

- Spitting at somebody

- Beating somebody up.

- Threatening to beat somebody up.

- A couple of kids corner another kid in the lavatory and demand that he or she give them money.

- A kid is walking to school and two or three other kids follow behind yelling nasty insults.

- Deliberately voicing any kind of hurtful insult at another person.

- Yelling angrily at another person.

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)


1. Have you ever gotten into a disagreement with a friend and it got way out of hand? What happened? Was it worth it? What did you learn from it? What would you do differently now?

2. Write about a time when you either physically hurt somebody or were, yourself, physically hurt by someone else. How did it happen? How did it make you feel? Did you change anything or make any decisions based on that experience? What did you learn from it?

3. Many people think there is too much violence on television. They say it makes us less sensitive to real violence in our homes and communities and more tolerant of it. And they say it sometimes even encourages some people to do violent things. What do you think about all this? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

4. Imagine that some day you will have a child. Write a letter of advice for that child to open when he or she reaches the age you are right now. Tell the child what you have learned and how you feel about violence and violent behavior, and how you hope he or she will deal with violence in his or her own life.


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