Yesterday afternoon, I said a word that is sure to elicit excited responses from the children: "Tribes!" They quickly got into their tribal "families" and waited for their assignment.
Each tribe got to draw a "social situation" from a bag. (Even this takes conversation and compromise. Who will get to draw the slip of paper? Who will read it?) After reading the paper, they then had to work together to act it out in two different ways - a positive way and a negative way. For instance, one of the slips said, "You and your friend are trying to work out a problem, but your friend covers his/her ears instead of listening." Another one said, "There is a child visiting the school, and she/he isn't playing with anyone at recess. You are already involved in a game with your own friends."
After the tribes acted the situations out (both positive and negative), we talked about the solutions presented, as well as other possible answers.
This was such a fun experience that one of the groups took the slips of paper out to recess so they could act them all out again. It was also a valuable activity for a couple of reasons - the assignment itself had many opportunities for talking, compromising and teamwork. Plus, we got to visit many of the social situations that actually happen in the classroom and at recess, and talk about various ways to handle those tricky problems that occur in a young child's life.