Today, my fourth graders discussed the layers of conflict in Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet. Kids worked together to find evidence in the text for conflicts involving Man vs. Man, Man vs. Self, and Man vs. Nature. (And yes, for the pedants out there, we did talk about how “Man” meant “People.” It’s all good, I promise.)
Kids gathered evidence to highlight conflicts that Brian, the main character, struggled with, and evidence demonstrating a resolution of those conflicts.
Which got me thinking.
(That’s when the fun REALLY begins.)
Here’s what I asked the kids. We have these three types of conflict. But what, exactly, does it take to RESOLVE those conflicts? To get past them, to work through them, to make things better?
The result was a brainstorming session and an incredibly insightful conversation. Here’s a picture of where our thinking went:
It gave us a chance to wrestle with some pretty tough questions:
*Must we have an apology before we can offer forgiveness?
*How is conflict with ourselves like conflict with others?
*What does it take to bridge the gap between the vision we have for ourselves, and the reality we see in ourselves?
Pretty amazing stuff, if you ask me. It’s one more reason to get up in the mornings, and just one more way the kids I work with excite, teach and inspire me.