A colleague shared the following video with me a couple years ago and I used it for the first time this year to set up skits students created to practice conflict resolution.
This music video spot from Spain depicts a man living in an apartment building in which noises– inside and out– keep him up all night. The captions in Spanish, strong visual cues and humor engaged my intermediate level students. After viewing, we brainstormed memorable sources of the noises and then wrote advice to the man about how he ought to address each problem. *grammar points: formal and informal commands, present tense subjunctive, expressions of obligation
Multiple perspectives/Interconnectedness: Students can imagine the motives of those making the noises and reflect on how our actions might affect others with or without our being aware.
Quality of life: As more people move into urban areas noise and stress are very real issues.
Conflict resolution: This simple activity, ¿Quién gana?, from Unicef’s enrédate web site can be adapted to help students think creatively about ways to resolve conflicts so that all involved (all stakeholders) have their needs met.
One assessment that I adapted from an article in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance magazine is to have students create a skit that depicts a conflict, but without resolving it. The rest of the class watches the skit and then writes advice to the various characters. The actors in the skit choose advice to follow from the audience and then improvise an ending. The skits can be silly (and I think that’s fine) or serious. To deepen their involvement I ask each participant in the skit to write a paragraph beforehand that describes their character, including the character’s motivations, wants and needs in regard to the conflict depicted. Later they can write whether or not the ending was satisfying to them and if they can suggest a better solution.