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Supporting Conflict Resolution through Structured Dramatic Play

by Rekha S. Rajan
May/June 2014
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/supporting-conflict-resolution-through-structured-dramatic-play/5021768/


At the beginning of circle time, Lily, a five-year-old girl in my class, shares with us her experience in the park yesterday:

Lily recalls how she wanted to pretend to play in a music band and she was playing drums (using sticks) while her sister was being a singer. Another boy asked to join their band and said that he was going to be the band leader, but that Lily could not be the drummer in the band because “girls don’t play drums.”

I ask Lily to share how she felt, and she described feeling ‘sad’ and ‘even a little angry’ because she wanted to be the drummer. As the children and I are seated in a circle, I address my class, asking them to consider, “What would you do if you were the band leader?”


The preschoolers and I then devote 20 minutes of class time to their sharing stories from their lives �" things that make them happy, sad, upset, angry, or excited. Based on these experiences, I create a scenario where we take turns acting, and by doing so, the children solve a ‘problem’ or ‘conflict’ through structured dramatic play. Acting out specific, pre-determined scenarios �" or engaging in structured ...

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