Address conflict and misunderstandings among young people

This topic aims at improving the skills of youth workers and young people in addressing conflict and misunderstandings and taking the initiative to solve such situations

Utilise Restorative Justice values to solve conflicts

Utilising values such as balance of power and mutual respect, Restorative Justice values shall be used to resolve conflict and differences among young people

Improve negotiation and listening skills

Thus, the topic focuses on long-term improving the negotiation and listening skills of youth workers as well as of young people 

Internet connection; computer, laptop or smartphone; digital meeting platform; speakers and music; 

Please refer to the activity details to know exactly what materials are needed for them specifically.

Please refer to the activity details to know exactly what materials are needed for them specifically.


Collective Digital Drawing

Focusing on the story of Creon and Antigone, the participants get to explore different feelings and emotions, and understanding the perspective of others.

30-40 min

4-15 pers.


I want to rely on you

Building a scene and the backdrop of a scene together, the participants are slowly introduced on what influences good and bad teamwork and collaboration, as well as how important it is to be a reliable and responsible teammate to others.

min 30 min

3-10 pers.


Words and thoughts

Participants are asked to act out scenes of conflict and later receive the chance to add their inner thoughts and opinions to highlight the difference between actions and thoughts of a person.

45-60 min

max 6 pers.


Which One is Better?

Taking traditional dance styles as basis, the participants are tasked with finding arguments why they prefer one of the two and the group shall find common ground together.

20-100 min

2-15 pers.


Conflict resolution

Using the approach of creating a choreography together, this activity targets misunderstandings and conflicts with teamwork.

45 min

min 5 pers.


Music and words

This activity uses discussion on hurtful or inappropriate words with personal relatability for each participant.

90 min

8-10 pers.


Who is right?

Through role play and discussion the participants take different roles in a conflict and can experiences different perspectives and opinions.

90 min

6-12 pers.


Collective Digital Drawing

Estimated duration: 30-40 minutes – depending on the participants

Approx. number of participants: minimum 4 – maximum 15

Learning objectives:

  • Transforming conflicts into shapes and art based processes
  • Motivate participants to visualize negotiation
  • Digital creation based on drama, painting, literature and music

Needed materials: Access to Google Drive and Google Drawings; computer or laptop or mobile phone; digital platform, i.e. Zoom, Webex, MS Teams, Skype or any similar; digital material created during Topic “Stereotypes among youth” – Digital Role on the Wall

Description: Step 1 – Introduction (5 min): All the members of the group have their cameras on so that they can see each other. The facilitator asks them to share the drawings based on Creon’s and Antigone’s outlines. Group members remembers each other drawings.

Step 2- Whole Group Drama (20-25 min): The facilitator asks each group to share their own drawing and then s/he asks participants to think which are the emotions shaped in the space between the two characters. How Antigone feels for Creon? How Creon feels for Antigone? Which are the emotions between the characters, according to each group’s drawings and lines? [collage of characters’ outlines, thoughts, and emotions]. Each group presents their collage and then the whole group can express words and feelings and reflect upon each single collage.

Step 3 – Drawing Negotiation and Resolution through Drama: The facilitator creates digital rooms where she/he divides the participants. In the rooms the participants are asked to discuss and create their own drawings-collages, based on possible negotiations and resolutions between Creon’s and Antigone’s wills and rights.

Step 4 – Digital On Line Sharing (15-20 minutes): The participants return to the main group meeting area of the platform. There, they share their drawings, read the phrases and words, and analyse their creative processes. All the other members are asked to reflect upon each group’s creation.

Step 5 – Collective Digital Drawing: The facilitator asks the participants to recreate a common collage by choosing [and voting if that is needed] which are the most popular resolutions driven from Step 3 and to edit a final group collage.

Step 6 – Reflection (10 min): The facilitator asks group members to express what they keep from all the above session and stimulates reflection, by asking participants to express their feelings and thoughts, through oral speech. S/he asks how they could use this activity in conflicts among their youngsters. Then s/he sumps up the feedback and thanks the participants for their active participation. Participants are asked to keep and save the digital material as they can re-use it in other activities.

I want to rely on you

Estimated duration: Group of 5: approx. 30 minutes, longer if more groups

Approx. number of participants: min. 3, max. 10. If the group is larger, it can always be divided.

Learning objectives:

  • Punctuality
  • Reliability
  • To understand the impact of my behaviour on others
  • Develop a deeper understanding of team work
  • Develop a sense for what produces stress, and what prevents stress, for oneself and for others
  • Keeping agreements

Needed materials: Props for the scenery, audio for beat/music

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: Participants will be divided into groups of 5 and will be tasked with setting up a scenery. For this, they will receive written instructions or a picture of how the backdrop should look in the end.

Step 2: All 5 participants build the set together in 5 minutes

Step 3: Participants are asked to build the scene together again. Every minute, 1 person leaves the exercise in response to an acoustic signal until only 1 person remains alone at the end. Audio can be used to play a beat/music that becomes more and more stressful and faster to increase the stress level of the remaining participant(s).

Step 4 – Reflection: Participants reflect on step 1 and step 2 and share how they felt in each. Ideally, it should become clear why it is unfair when commitments are not kept, group members are unreliable and thus affect others.

Words and thoughts

Estimated duration: 45-60 minutes

Approx. number of participants: Up to 6, to form 2 groups

Learning objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of how conflicts work
  • Understand the relevance of words, thoughts, feelings and points of view in a conflict
  • Developing an awareness for judgement processes on each side

Needed materials: Smartphone

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: The group identifies a real or imagined ongoing conflict among 2-3 people, and write it down as a dialogue. This should not be much longer than approx. 1 minute. Alternatively, the trainer could prepare a dialogue.

Step 2: 2-3 actors are asked to play the dialogue, the other participants watch.

Step 3: The actors should find a corner for themselves where they are undisturbed and reflect on their thoughts during the dialogue. These should explicitly relate to each line or paragraph, or at least it should become very clear to which passage during the scene these thoughts belong to. E.g. The person I played the scene with said “ …”. In this moment, I thought “…”, although I might have said something completely different. (The latter is the underlying idea of the exercise). Then, they record their thoughts, e.g. on their smartphones. The recordings should not only cover bullet points such as “anger”, “frustration” etc., but should be full sentences. (“She always asks Jane in the first place. It makes me so angry. I feel left out with it.”) Afterwards, the actors will ask a participant who was watching the dialogue to play out their recordings in step 4 at exactly the right time. They should not talk about content, only about timing.

Step 4: All participants gather again. The dialogue is played again, but this time the recordings with the thoughts will be played in between the spoken dialogue.

Step 5 is optional. This depends on if the youth worker expects the thoughts to change the outcome of the scene or not: The scene will be played again, but this time, the youth worker interrupts the dialogue after each recording is played in. Dialogue partners are asked if they had answered the same in the first scene, had they known the thoughts of their dialogue partner.

Step 6 – Reflection: Actors are asked how the scene might have developed if their dialogue partner(s) had known the thoughts of each other. The other participants are also invited to say what they think.

If more than 6 participants are involved, they act as audience. Participants can then reflect on: How does it feel to be watched and maybe judged in an ongoing conflict? How does it feel to watch a conflict as a bystander?

Which One is Better?

Estimated duration: 20-30 minutes (short), 60-100 minutes (long)

Approx. number of participants: 2-15 participants

Learning objectives: Learning how to negotiate and resolve a conflict

Needed materials: A suitable device on which the videos can be played so that all the participants have a clear view. If long – a multimedia and space in a room so that all the participants can learn from the video lessons.

Description: Step 0: Initial preparation: Find 2 videos showing local (folklore) dances from your country – or world-wide popular ones that are performed in a completely different way / style. Find some tutorials for these dance styles too.

Step 1 – Introduction: Explain shortly that one dance / performance can be done in different ways / various styles (example: in different regions of Bulgaria, different styles of traditional dance are danced, which reflect the lifestyle and character of the people in the region).

Step 2: The facilitators play the 2 videos. It is good that the videos are about 4-5 minutes long and are played to the end, so participants have time to form opinions. (see Bulgarian dances linked below: from the Bulgarian Shopluk folklore region and the Thrace folklore region). The participants are instructed to watch carefully about the music, dance, choreography, costumes and to think about which performance is better and why.

The facilitators teach the participants this dance (preferably in both styles). The Bulgarian example: the Rachenitsa dance in the two different ways it’s danced – in the Shopluk and in Thrace. (Either the facilitators teach the participants themselves or by playing the videos linked below)

Step 3: Ask the young people which dance is better. Help them explain why they think one or the other is better.

Step 4 – Reflection: The facilitator should help the young people reach an understanding. In the process, they should make clear that there is a difference between fact and opinion, and that the matter of which dance is „better“ is a matter of opinion and there is not a single correct answer. This is an example how personal preferences may sometimes turn into conflict, when there is absolutely no need for it. All of us should respect other peoples’ opinions. On the other hand, facts are “something that is known to have happened or to exist, especially something for which proof exists, or about which there is information”. Facts are not subject to anyone’s opinion.

The videos may be more diverse than the two examples here.

Step 2: Dance Rachenitsa from the Shopluk region:
Dance Rachenitsa from the Tracian region
Step 2 (if long): Rachenitsa: Shopluk: Lesson:
Thrace: Lesson:

Conflict resolution

Estimated duration: 45 minutes

Approx. number of participants: minimum 5 participants

Learning objectives:

  • Solving problems with colleagues.
  • Improving teamwork and collaboration.
  • Improving mutual understanding and active listening.

Needed materials: PC, laptop, or tablet; internet

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: This activity will be done online (via Zoom, Skype…).

It consists of creating a choreography with each participant contributing different dance steps.

Step 2: Each participant will receive a number to determine the order in which each participant creates parts of the choreography.

Choose which participant will be the first to start choreographing.

This first participant should do a series of movements and the last movement they do should be the first movement performed by the next participant.

Step 3: The next participant will start their choreography by imitating the last step performed by the previous person, and so on until the last person performs their choreography.

Step 4 – Reflection: Finally, there will be a short reflection in which each participant can say how they felt during the activity (did they feel confident, embarrassed, frustrated, nervous…).

Possible questions:

  • “How did you feel choreographing for others?”
  • “How did you feel watching others choreograph?”
  • “What do you think was the challenge in this activity?”
  • “How do you think collaboration could be done easier?”

If the participants are unfamiliar with moving while being on an online call, the facilitator can decide to do multiple rounds, where they decide on specific requirements:

Round 1: The movement must include the hands or the head only.
Round 2: The movement must be an arm movement only.
And so on…

Music and words

Estimated duration: 90 minutes

Approx. number of participants: 8-10 participants

Learning objectives:

  • Improve interactions within the group
  • Improve the understanding of stereotypes
  • Improve the reflection on the meaning of words used in songs
  • Improve awareness on using specific words

Needed materials: PC, laptop, or tablet; speakers

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: songs are often the representation of the youngest world: singers are the spokesperson of a target that has difficulties in finding a voice. But are they aware about the meaning of the words used in songs? This activity is based on the analysis of songs listened by young people and on the words it contains, often repeated by them with little knowledge on their deep meaning.

Step 2: Participants are divided into two groups. They are asked to identify 2-3 episodes in which the use of a specific word had hurt them (15min). Then, they are asked to select a song in which this word is contained (10min) and play it to the others (15min).

Step 3: Organise a debate on those words (40min)

Step 4 – Reflection: was it difficult to work with material/songs that you didn’t know before (for educators)? Was it difficult to create a debate among participants on the real meaning of words? Did they understand the importance of being aware of the meaning of those words?

Who is right?

Estimated duration: 90 minutes

Approx. number of participants: 6-12 participants

Learning objectives:

  • Respect of other’s point of view
  • Development of communication skills
  • Development of negotiation skills
  • Decision making
  • Development of compromise skills
  • Development of listening skills
  • Empathy
  • Introduce Restaurative Justice

Needed materials: Profile cards, model of questions for the mediator

Description: Step 1 – Introduction: The aim of this exercise is to imagine a conflict situation.

e.g. a pupil has copied from his classmate and does not want to admit it. People will have a profile card to hand out so that they can embody the character and then follow the process and methods of Restorative Justice to be able to solve it or reach a consensus.

Step 2: Participants are divided into groups of min 3 people, max 4 per table.

Each participant is asked to choose a role between mediator, victim, offender, neutral party. Once the roles have been allocated, a profile card is given depending to the young people (the one who has copy and the one who has been copied).

The situation is then presented to the group: During a school exam, the offender copies the exam from the victim and gets a good grade. And the victim decides to report the offender to the professor who invalidates the test for both.

Step 3: The mediator asks all participants (victim, offender and neutral party) to present how the events took place. The mediator may have a sample list of questions to ask in order to be able to understand the dynamics, the story and the personal traits of the two/three parties.

The storytellers have the possibility to tell the truth, lie or conceal information. The mediator should try to reconstruct the facts and ask the participants to agree on a restorative gesture in order to resolve the conflict.

Step 4 – Reflection:

  • How did the participants feel during the conflict situation?
  • How was the conflict resolved?
  • How much did everyone’s willingness to try to listen and go to the meeting with the other weigh?
  • Have the profile cards been respected?
  • Did you recognise any stereotypes in the profile cards submitted? If yes, which ones? And in your opinion did these stereotypes help the conflict resolution?

If the participants are not cooperative, a restorative gesture of conflict may not be achieved.

If the participants identify too much with their characters, real conflict or tension may arise. In this, the role of the activity leader as supervisor of the well-being of each participant during the staging is very important.

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