All new tools in your inbox: Be the first to know about new tools for learning with our e-mail notifications.



(1 ratings)
  • 1 Stars 0% (0)
  • 2 Stars 100% (1)
  • 3 Stars 0% (0)
  • 4 Stars 0% (0)
  • 5 Stars 0% (0)
(Add yours!)

A large group exercise exploring the meaning of the word conflict, aiming to clarify what we mean by conflict; to discover the range of responses within the group; and to work towards a group definition of conflict.

Description of the tool

Step-by-step description:
1.Divide a large sheet of paper into columns, each headed by a letter of the alphabet. For the purposes of this exercise choose letters A to H.
2.Ask participants individually to brainstorm conflict words. Each should try to provide at least one word for each letter (for example A-anger, B-broken…). A nominated scribe can write down the words as they are called out, or each individual participant can simply add them to the chart. There is no debate or questioning at this stage about why certain words have been chosen. (5 minutes)
3.Once the chart is completed (it’s good to have a strict time limit), people can ask each other questions about their chosen words – what certain words mean, how they are connected with conflict, and so forth. But no judgments are to be passed. (3 minutes)
4.Participants split into pairs or groups of three and select a letter from the chart. (It is best if each pair or group has a different letter). They then draft a short communication to an extraterrestrial alien who has never heard of conflict, explaining what it is. Each group should use the words listed under their letter. The communications are then shared with the whole group. (10 minutes)
5.Mixing participants into new groups of four or five, ask each group to create a brief definition of conflict in the form of a slogan. These could all start with ‘Conflict is …’. Then let each group try to think of an imaginative way to present their definition. They could use tableaux, involving everyone ins the presentation. Extra time will be needed if a presentation is to be prepared. (10 minutes)

Reflection and evaluation:
Back in the whole group, participants are invited to reflect individually on their experience of interaction between group members. How did the group draft its letter to the alien? How did the group agree upon its definition? (Were they surprised by anyone else’s definition?). Was it easy to get to a slogan on conflict? There are other questions that might be asked. Have they learnt anything about conflict from this exercise? Are they clearer now? Do they feel that any crucial aspect has been missed out?


  • as at my workshop i had around 30 participnats, while doing this exsercise i\'ve divided them into 2 groups, so they were working on \'peace\' and \'conflict\'at the same time. and the rest of group work was done in mixed groups. like this people had overview on both terms at the same time and had possibility to compare them a bit. and in general this corresponded more to the general concept of the workshop : )

    Unknown , 14 September 2004 20:21:22

If you want to comment on this tool, you need to be signed in with your MySALTO account. Sign in now

Rate this tool!

If you want to rate this tool, you have to be signed in.


SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for


and addresses

Social Inclusion, Conflict Management

Materials needed:

Large sheet of paper


35 minutes

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Unknown (on 17 March 2004)

and last modified

21 June 2010

back to top