Do you have students that have a hard time playing with others?

Do you keep having to settle conflicts at recess or free time?

Are you tired of saying, “Just play nice.”

When students start school, it is often their first experience with having to get along with others. Unfortunately, many students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade need additional instruction in how to do this. We have created a great resource to use with the popular Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Williams.

This unit uses popular children’s books to teach social emotional skills. This program can easily be incorporated into times you may already have in your schedule like morning meeting, read aloud time, book buddy time, etc. This program can also be used by specialists or in small groups to help reinforce skills they may be struggling with.

Click here to our own copy of the unit

Unit Features

  • Each lesson has a TEACHER SCRIPT to assist you in introducing concepts and discussions with students. The lesson can range from 30-45 minutes depending on how much time you want to spend on each section.
  • Lessons are designed to follow the Second Step® Curriculum. It can be used by classroom teacher or specialists like, social workers, counselors, or psychologists, to reteach the Second Step® Curriculum concepts in small groups or individual sessions.
  • The work has been done for you! Each lesson has connections to social emotional/common core standards, lesson worksheets, and individual practice pages. Just click print and deliver the instruction!
  • Having these books on your bookshelf is the easiest way to deliver these lessons. However, there are many ways that you can obtain the books without buying them. You librarian at school or library can help you get all these books. Many of the lessons also include links to an online reading of the book. This is perfect for students who like to listen to the book numerous times. It is also great for sending home the link to parents.

Social Problem Solving Unit Introduction

Social Problem Solving is the ability to resolve conflict in your social settings. The ability for students to do this in the classroom is essential for students to be successful in the classroom. This unit was created to help teachers of Preschool to 2nd grade students learn appropriate conflict resolution skills. The behaviors that are essential to classroom success are:

  • Using Words to Say the Problem
  • Inviting Others to Play
  • Sharing with Friends
  • Compromising with Friends
  • Assertiveness with Friends

Why is this Unit Important?

Every classroom has conflict. Some more than others. When students are able to calmly communicate what the problem is and think of a few solutions, they are more likely to be good problem solvers and reduce conflict in the classroom. All students require specific teaching in how to do this respectfully. Working on these skills will help you to create a safe and supportive classroom where all children are active participants in figuring out how to get along. This allows the teachers to be the facilitators and remind students the steps to take to resolve conflicts that arise in the classroom.

In this unit, students will learn and practice the skills needed to be a problem solver in many social situations that arise at school. The lessons include fun games, activities, and practice of the key components of each of the skill being taught. Students love the interaction and teachers love the easy to use format.

Printable Resources and Activities

1. Scripted Lesson Plans

Each lesson includes a 2 page lesson plan to guide you. Easy to follow directions makes the prep for each lesson simple. It is suggested to review the lesson ahead of time so that you can modify any of the activities to fit your classroom or group.

2. Vocabulary Cards

These vocabulary cards provide a visual of the main concepts presented in each lesson. Visual vocabulary helps students to understand abstract concepts. Students who have difficulty learning some of the social emotional concepts can benefit from these visuals to help them process the information in each lesson. Each lesson contains clip art versions. They also contain photos to help with more realistic visuals of the concepts.

3. Teaching Guides

Each lesson comes with teaching guides to give a visual for the concepts being described. You can use the guide with a small group or display the visual on screen. You can also use the visual as a guide for creating anchor charts with the group. This is a great way to have students help you come up with their own language and structure for the concepts.

4. Activity Visuals

Some of the lessons include activities that are enhanced with visuals. The no-prep nature of the lessons means that all you need to do is print the visuals to help with the lessons. You can also project the visuals on screen to reduce the amount of printing you need to do.

5. Student Worksheets

Each lesson includes a paper and pencil worksheet for students to complete. Teachers can use these for assessment of learning, homework, or independent seatwork. The worksheets are also ADAPTED to two levels that you can use with groups of students.

Lessons Included In This Unit:

#1 Using Words to Say the Problem – I Love My New Toy! by Mo Williems

This resource uses the Elephant and Piggie book, I Love My New Toy to teach about problem solving. This is a great story to illustrate how to solve a problem that often gets students in trouble. Piggie has a new toy and is happy to share it with Gerald. As they play with it, Gerald drops it and the toy breaks in two. Piggie gets very angry. Another friend, Squirrel, helps them to see that it is a break-and-snap toy. Piggie is embarrassed. Then Gerald gets mad because he thinks the toy is more important than their friendship. This story is a great way to help students to learn about friendship and how to solve problems together.

Includes 14 Pages:

Problem and Blame Vocabulary Cards (Clipart or Photo)

My Favorite Toy Worksheet (2 adapted levels: PreK-K or K-2)

Problem Solving Teaching Guides (3 Formats)

Say the Problem Worksheet (3 adapted levels: PreK-K, K-2, or 1-3)

#2 Sharing with Friends – Should I Share My Ice Cream by Mo Williems

This resource uses the Elephant and Piggie book, Should I Share My Ice Cream to teach about problem solving. This is a great story to help children learn how to problem solve when playing with others. In this book, Elephant and Piggie are playing catch when a friend, Snake, asks if he can play too. At first, Elephant and Piggie are reluctant because their friend does not have arms and they do not know what to say. Snake feels that they don’t like him. Elephant and Piggie try several solutions to include Snake in the game of catch. However, they all fail. Refusing to give up, they find a new solution that where all three can play and have fun. This book is a great way to teach about friendship, problem solving, and communication.

Includes 17 Pages:

Share Vocabulary Card (Clipart or Photo)

Problem Solving Steps Teaching Guides (3 Formats)

Ways to Ask to Share Teaching Guide

Sharing Words Teaching Guide (Printed and Blank)

Ice Cream Cone Activity

I Can Share! Worksheet (2 adapted levels: PreK-K or K-2)

#3 Inviting Others to Play –Can I Play Too? by Mo Williems

This resource uses the Elephant and Piggie book, Can I Play Too to teach about problem solving. This is a great story to help children learn how to problem solve when playing with others. In this book, Elephant and Piggie are playing catch when a friend, Snake, asks if he can play too. At first, Elephant and Piggie are reluctant because their friend does not have arms and they do not know what to say. Snake feels that they don’t like him. Elephant and Piggie try several solutions to include Snake in the game of catch. However, they all fail. Refusing to give up, they find a new solution that where all 3 can play and have fun. This book is a great way to teach about friendship, problem solving, and communication.

Includes 13 Pages:

Invited and Excluded Vocabulary Cards (Clipart or Photo)

Invitations for Anticipatory Set

Problem Solving Steps Teaching Guides (3 Formats)

Problem Solving Steps Worksheet (2 Formats)

Ways to Include Others Teaching Guide (Printed and Blank)

Inviting Others Role Play Cards (8 Cards)

Inviting Others to Play Worksheet

#4 Compromising with Friends – Are You Ready to Play Outside by Mo Williems

This resource uses the Elephant and Piggie book, Are You Ready to Play Outside to teach about problem solving. In this book Gerald and Piggie are excited to go outside but a rainy day seems to ruin all the fun. Gerald and Piggie have to think of what they can do to have fun even though it is raining. The characters provide facial and body expressions for many emotions, which most students can relate to. This book is also a great way to teach problem solving and compromising by showing there is often a solution that is not exactly what we want but close enough that everyone can have fun. This lesson plan walks students through how to think of and select compromises when we are playing with our friends.

Includes 15 Pages:

Game cards

Compromise Vocabulary Cards (Clipart or Photo)

Problem Solving Steps Teaching Guides (4 Formats)

Finding a Compromise Teaching Guide

Activity Role Play Cards (12 Cards)

Compromising with Friends Worksheet (2 adapted levels: PreK-K or K-2)

#5 Assertiveness with Friends- A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Williems

This resource uses the Elephant and Piggie book, A Big Guy Took My Ball to teach about problem solving. In this book Piggie is upset when a big guy takes her ball. Gerald doesn’t think that is right and tries to get the ball back until he sees how big the guy is. However, they are able to overlook their sizes and find a way that they all can have fun. This book is a great way to teach problem solving when something is taken away. Gerald and Piggie’s expressions are an added bonus for teaching about how we feel and how we can solve our problems in a safe way, even if we are angry. This lesson plan walks students through what words they could use when something they want to play with is taken away.

Includes 15 Pages:

Cards with different situations

Assertiveness Vocabulary Card (Clipart or Photo)

Problem Solving Steps Teaching Guides (5 Pages)

Use Your Words to Solve a Problem Teaching Guide

Problem Solving Example-Having Something Taken Away

Problem Solving Steps Worksheet

Using Words with Friends (2 adapted levels: PreK-K or K-2)

 

Looking for More? The Teach with Books series contains many other lessons. Buy individual lessons or get the bundle and save!

Ready to Learn Bundle

Learning to Listen

Focusing Attention

Following Directions

Self-Control

Assertiveness

Emotion Management Bundle

Feelings in Our Bodies

Managing Frustration

Calming Down Strong Feelings

Handling Waiting

Handling Anger

Managing Disappointment

Handling Being Knocked Down

Feelings/Empathy Bundle

Beginning Emotions

Lots of Feelings

Anger

Same and Different Feelings

Apologizing

Compassion

Problem Solving Bundle

Using Words to Say the Problem

Inviting Others to Play

Sharing with Friends

Compromising With Friends

Assertiveness with Friends

Name Calling

 

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