Grade Level: K-1st
Prior Knowledge: The Alphabet
ABCD Method of Conflict Resolution
Instructional Objectives: to recognize the ABCD model of conflict resolution and use it to solve conflicts in simulated circumstances. (Over the course of a year, students will apply this in everyday conflicts, first with an adult’s guidance, and eventually without adult intervention. The overarching goal is for students to demonstrate methods of peacefully solving conflicts
Oh, Bother! Someone’s Fighting! by Nikki Grimes; illus. Darrell Baker. New York: Golden
Poster of ABCD problem solving song by Heather Hanson
Tape or another way to post it for all to see
Small toy in a paper bag
Tell the children: “This is something that can happen to everyone. And when it happens,
it makes us feel sad. .Often, we don’t know what to do. Today we are going to learn about what to
do if we get into a fight. To help us remember what we learn, we’ll have a story, a song, and
even a little play. The letters of the alphabet will help us remember, too.”
• “Let’s begin with the story.” Read Oh, Bother! Someone’s Fighting! up to the page right
before Pooh comes in. (The pages are not numbered.) The cue is Eeyore saying: “I wish I
knew how to make everyone happy.” Tell children, “I have some ideas for Eeyore.”
• Display the poster. Give a vocal introduction, then sing through the whole song, explaining it
line-by-line. Then return to each step of the method, relating it to the story. For example,
“The first thing to do is to ask, ‘What’s the problem?’ What is the problem in the story?
[Students offer answers.] Right; the problem is that Rabbit and Tigger are fighting about what
Eeyore should do.” Continue through the song this way.
• Finish reading the book. Compare the student’s opinions of what should be done to what
actually happens in the book. There’s a good chance it will not; use this to demonstrate that
there are many ways to solve a problem, not just one.
• Tell children, “Let’s sing this song again, to help us remember it.” Make sure to ask children,
“What might happen if we spread our arms on ‘Hooray,1 and we’re really close to each other?”
Have children offer the solution of spreading out so they don’t “conk” each other, as one
preschooler/kindergartner said! Sing through the song a few more times, adding the claps
and other “frills.”
• Choose two students to come to the front for a short “play.” Have both put their hands on the
toy. Ask, “What’s the problem?” Guide students to say, “They both want the toy.”
• Continue the review by saying, “The next step is to think, ‘What should we do?’ What
should [Bobby] and [Susan] do to solve their problem?” Continue through the steps of the
ABCD method. The poster should be easily visible for student reference. When the students
have worked out an acceptable solution for the toy dilemma, thank the actors and tell them
they can sit down. Be sure to put the toy out of eyesight (in a paper bag) to prevent
• This also serves as an evaluation; students should be telling the teacher what to do. The
teacher should just guide the conversation with questions. If group response is strong,
remove the poster and ask students to produce the steps of the method from memory. The
teacher will want to write the letters “A B C D” on the chalkboard to aid them.
• Tell students that the poster will be hung in the classroom. Just as they solved Pooh’s
problem and the students’ toy problem using this problem-solver, they can use it when they
have a problem. Offer, “Anytime you have a problem and you need help working it out, you
can come to me, and I will help you make it better. I’ll show you how to use the ABCD
problem solving song.”
Teach the children the echo parts of the ABCD problem solving song.
You gotta ask (clap)
You gotta think (clap)
You gotta choose (clap)
Have students echo and then sing together.