Arguments and making up

Aim: To think about ways of ending arguments and making up.
You will need: Large paper and pens (optional).
Duration: 30-45 minutes

Ask the group to close their eyes and think about a time when someone they knew argued with someone else. Ask them to think about how they felt when that person was quarrelling. Sit in a circle and pass the sentence: 'When I saw someone arguing I felt...'

Each person around the group completes the sentence. Where someone repeats something said before (which will happen) they change places with that person.

Now ask the group to think about a time when they had an argument with someone. Pass the sentence: 'When I had an argument I felt...' Repeat the same place-swapping process.

As a whole group ask people to call out the different 'feeling words' they used. You can write them on a large piece of paper. Are there similar types of words? When do we use these words? Are some of them opposite to each other?

Read out this short story: One day in Max and Daniel's class there was a new activity to do with a machine that recorded sound. Both of them wanted to use it first. They started to argue, and ended up fighting over who should go first. Max pushed Daniel who fell onto the machine and it got damaged.

Ask the group to imagine they are Max. Pass the sentence: "If I were Max I would..." Encourage them to think about saying sorry. Why is it important? Ask them to speak in pairs and tell each other a time when someone said sorry.

Discuss simple ways that people can stop big arguments (e.g. suggest you talk about it later, count to ten, keep calm, apologise). It is important to say you are sorry after you have upset someone, and show that you mean it. How can you show it? You can do this by smiling, playing with them again, saying you won't do it again, asking how they feel, hanging around with them, sharing something with them and acting normally around them.

Have you ever had to help to sort out a quarrel between your friends? How did you do this? What did you say?

Arguing or fighting between people is a personal thing but there are also times when big groups of people, and even countries argue or fight. If we want the world to be peaceful we should set an example by trying to 'keep peace' in our everyday life.

Extra options

Art: Draw a picture of two people arguing and write what the quarrel was about. Write underneath a simple piece of advice for how to make up after a quarrel.

Drama: Think of a typical argument in the playground and role play it. Talk about how it might end in a better way, with more understanding between the people, and people saying sorry when it is necessary. Do the role-play again with a better ending.