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Classifying Conflict

IN T HIS A C T IV IT Y, the participants will demonstrate

an understanding of the causes of conflict and identify types of conflicts.



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» Newsprint and markers » Small index cards, four to six for each participant » Pens or pencils, one for each participant

Activity Steps INV IT E T H E PA RT IC IPA NT S to brainstorm the definition of the term conflict. Note their

responses on as sheet of newsprint. DIS T R IBUT E A P E N O R PENC IL and four to six index cards to each participant. Then invite

the participants to write one example of a conflict on each index card. The situations they cite can be based on personal experience, on their knowledge of conflicts at school, at home, in the community, or involving their own or another country. A S K T HE PA RT IC IPA NT S to form small groups of six and share their responses with one an-

other. Allow time for sharing and then ask them to group conflicts that have elements in common. They can give each cluster or category of conflicts a name. INV IT E T H E S M A LL GR O UPS to again form a large group. Invite each group to discuss the

categories they developed and provide an example for each one.

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W R IT E T HE W O R DS Things, Feelings, and Ideas on a sheet of newsprint. Explain to the par-

ticipants that these words represent categories for classifying conflicts. Using the following definitions, explain the terms: » Conflicts over Things occur when two or more people or parties want the same object, material, or resource and there is not enough to go around. » Conflicts over Feelings happen because of people’s needs for friendship, love, selfrespect, power, status, attention, or admiration. Every person has some of these needs; sometimes groups of people or countries have these needs as well. Conflict can arise when feelings are hurt, denied, or not considered. » Conflicts over Ideas relate to the beliefs and values that a person, a group of people, or even a country feels are most important and fundamental. They often come from religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and political systems. They may also be very personal. A S K T HE PA RT IC IPA NT S to reclassify their index cards according to the categories you have

just noted on the newsprint. Note that some conflicts will appear to fit into two or even all three categories. Some may not seem to fit into any category. US E T HE F O L L O WING Q UEST IO NS to engage the participants in a large-group discussion:

» How did this system of classifying conflicts compare with the one you developed in your group? » Which system would be most useful in helping you find a solution to a conflict? Why?

INV IT E T H E PA RT IC IPA NT S to try other ways of classifying their conflicts such as “easy

to resolve/difficult to resolve,” “violent/nonviolent,” “important/not important,” and “between people/between groups/between nations.” C O N C L UDE B Y INV IT ING the participants to join you in prayer. Pray for peace throughout

the world. Pray in particular for countries and regions that are currently experiencing conflict of war. Pray for the victims of conflict. Pray that all hearts may come to understand the need for peace in the world. (This activity was adapted from Susan Fountain. Education for Development: A Teacher’s Resource for Global Learning; London, England: Hodder and Stoughton Publishing, 1995. © 1995 by Hodder and Stoughton Publishing. All rights reserved.) Copyright © 2009 by World Vision Inc., Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716, All rights reserved.

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About World Vision W O R L D V IS IO N is a Christian humanitarian organization

dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision serves alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. We see a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. And we know this can be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. That’s how World Vision is unique: We bring 60 years of experience in three key areas needed to help children and families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. And we bring all of our skills across many areas of expertise to each community we work in, enabling us to care for children’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Partnering with World Vision provides tangible ways to honor God and put faith into action. By working, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of children and families who are struggling to overcome poverty. To find out more about how you can help, visit

About World Vision Resources E NDING GL O B A L PO V ERT Y and injustice begins with

education: understanding the magnitude and causes of poverty, its impact on human dignity, and our connection to those in need around the world. World Vision Resources is the publishing ministry of World Vision. World Vision Resources educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to respond, and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world. For more information about our resources, contact: World Vision Resources Mail Stop 321 P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 Fax: 253-815-3340

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Classifying Conflict - A Teaching Activity  
Classifying Conflict - A Teaching Activity  

In this activity, the participants demonstrate understanding of the causes of conflict and identify types of conflict.