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Lesson Plan

The Solution Square: Strategies for Conflict Resolution

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five to six 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Audra Roach

Austin, Texas

Victoria Polega

Austin, Texas


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology





  • Books from Toot & Puddle series (or three books of your own choosing about friends and conflict resolution)

  • Butcher or poster paper, construction paper, and markers or precut letters

  • Sticky notes

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1. Gather three books about friendship to use for the read-alouds and discussion. Choose books that show characters taking actions that help solve interpersonal conflicts.

  • Books from the Toot & Puddle series are suggested in the Resources. These include:

    • Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie (Little, Brown, 1999)

    • Toot & Puddle: The New Friend by Holly Hobbie (Little, Brown, 2004)

    • Toot & Puddle: The One and Only by Holly Hobbie (Little, Brown, 2006)

  • Other possible books include those from the George and Martha series by James Marshall and the Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant.

  • You might also try using comics like Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes series or Charles Schulz's Peanuts series. For these texts, you can make overhead transparencies of three (or more) excerpts that depict conflict and have your students discuss and brainstorm solutions.
2. Preread your book selections, selecting places where you will pause during the reading to discuss the problems, the solutions that did or did not work, and students' connections to the texts.

3. Make a literature chart entitled "Forever Friends" for the class using a large sheet of butcher paper or construction paper (see the Sample Literature Chart for ideas). Your chart should be a colorful, inviting place to record students' talk.

4. Gather materials for making a class Solution Square (see the Sample Solution Square for ideas). You can use butcher or poster paper, construction paper, and markers or precut letters.

5. Make copies of the Student Response Sheet (one per student) and the Role-Play Planning Sheet (one for each group of three to four students).

6. Print a copy of the Role-Play Sample Criteria Chart for your own use in evaluation.

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