Coming to a Consensus
Conflict Resolution Activity: Coming to a Consensus
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Point of View The Elephant Story

A major cause of conflict between people and groups is misunderstanding each other. There are many reasons for this. Each of us has our own unique upbringing and belief system. We may speak different languages and have different value systems. We may even have different ideas about what makes something true.

By understanding more about the person or group we are in conflict with, the more able we are to come to a peaceful agreement and avoid violence.

point of view eyesActivity: Everyone Has a Point of View

Objective: To help students identify a point of view.

Level: Upper elementary, middle school, and high school

Preparation: Download or memorize the Story of the Six Blind Men.

 

Procedure:

Explain what a fable is - a story with a moral or lesson. Read or retell the story of the “Six Blind Men and the Elephant.” Then make a chart or pass out the Worksheet Everyone Has a Point of View .

Post-Reading Discussion

After reading or retelling the story, ask your students what the men could have done differently to discover what an elephant is really like. What did the story teach us? Discuss the importance of listening to different points of view other than your own. We don’t have to accept everything we hear, but we need to listen with an open mind.

Follow up Activity

Brainstorm a list of all the physical and social differences that shape our points of view. Post these so they can use them to fill in the sheet.

Some ideas:

age                  religion                    family loyalty          neighborhood/school
race                politics                     attitudes                  strengths
gender            peer group               experiences             disabilities
nationality      social class              emotional state        personality

 

Follow Up Discussion QuestionsEveryone is Bob

  • Ask students why people might have different points of view.
  • What would the world be like if everyone thought exactly the same thing? Read the book Everyone is Bob by T.A.H. Markou

Extension

Make it personal: Choose a topic that your class has differing points of views about, - such as the type of music they would like played in the classroom during writing time, and make a chart showing where they stand. Extend the activity by discussing the meaning of compromise and consensus. How could they solve the music choice?

History: Brainstorm a list of historical personages who held opposing points of view on a selected issue.

Related Reading

Hey Little Ant In this story, a ant tries to convince a boy not to step on him.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs  In this version of the fairy tale, the wolf tells his side of the story.

 


Did you try this activity?

We welcome your thoughts and comments.

Teach Peace Now
Teach Peace Now
We offer books, activities, lesson plans, and ideas that teachers, parents, and students can use to promote values, attitudes and behaviors which encourage non-violent resolution of conflict, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding and tolerance.

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