View Lesson Idea Video        
email this idea to a friend Export to pdf Export to doc

Name of Activity:

Settling Disputes in PE: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Purpose of Activity:

To provide a strategy to students in 3-5 grades to settle simple disagreements.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Cones to mark an open space, computer, LCD projector.

Description of Idea

I have open discussions with students about settling simple disputes. For example, we talk about when two people arrive in line at the same time, what usually happens? Sometimes an argument will start, maybe some pushing or shoving. Then we discuss other strategies to help solve the conflict fast one way is by playing "Rock, Paper, Scissor shoot". Then I show the video clip using a LCD projector. When the clip is over I pass out a card from a deck of cards and ask the kids to find a person with the same number.

When all kids are paired up they play "partner rock paper scissor shoot". The winner stays put, while the other person moves onto another person standing. If there is a tie they keep throwing until there is no longer a tie. After a minute or two I have all kids with their original partner line up on one side of the general space toe to toe with their partner and then they play again but this time when you win you stay on that side of the general space and the other person walks, hop, skips, gallops, slides, to the other side once over there he finds another person to play. If there is a tie both kids run to the other side.


| More

Settling Disputes in PE: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Post a Comment:

Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:

Laurie in RI

Many of the previous comments reference the video.
Unfortunately, it is not working and I'd love to watch it. Please try to resolve the technical problem or re-post it.

Bryan in KY

I use RPS also but instead of using their hands, the students use their body's. You still use the same count, "Rock, Paper, Scissors, shoot, but jump up and down each time you say it and on "shoot", students can pick rock(both feet together, paper(feet spread apart), scissors(one foot forward and one foot back). There is also an Alaskan version where the students turn their backs to each other and choose either mosquito, salmon, bear. The students enjoy it.

Marilyn in MA

This works well with pre-first, first and second graders. We use it to solve minor conflicts and in lead up games: Around the World and Head Honcho to practice!

Amy in NH

I have been using this for a few years and it saves so much time! My students use it to solve minor conflicts and it definitely helps!
Great idea!

Jean Cornwell

Awesome video and great idea!!

Mark Nash

Mrs. Thomas, while I understand your point, I do think there is value in it from the standpoint that it does send a message that simple conflicts should remain that; simple. It also sends the message that these disputes are not a big deal and should not be treated as such. I had a professor tell me, "Don't kill a fly with a cannon". From a time on task standpoint, it provides a quick resolution and students get back to the activity. Obviously, more serious disputes would require a more complex approach. But I think this lessons focus is to use it for the simple ones that come up.

Richard Brenner

Really cool video! I was already using RPS to solve conflicts but the video demonstrates it in an entertaining way. Can I use it?

Mrs. Carl Thomas

I have conflicting feelings about the authenticity of this lesson. While it’s definitely age appropriate, it’s not a valid way of resolving disputes in the real world. Students are learning a quick, light-hearted, alternative method to resolve common areas of disagreements in P.E. but I don’t see the value of the lesson outside of this controlled setting. Students are not communicating verbally, they’re not using high order thinking skills, or good citizenship techniques to resolve their problems.

Gyanendra Prajapati

Its very nice and help me how conduct proper PE activity class

Karen Sapp

Great idea. I think this could be used with younger ones as well. Thanks for sharing.

Gohar Gul

i will Try this at school tomorrow.

beth james

this idea worked very well with my students.

Peggy Henn

I have been using Rock, Paper, Scissors for years to settle disputes with my students. Also, students use it to determine who gets the ball first, serve first, etc.
They love doing it!

Luisa Meyer

I use Rock Paper Scissors all the time with my elementary students. They know that's their quick and friendly way to solve issues like those. Great idea! For those who haven't tried it, it works! It also takes a load off your back because they don't have to come to you with small issues like arriving at the same spot, who gets to be the line leader, who gets the red ball instead of the green, etc.


Just a great idea. Thanks for sharing this Shawn! Great video too!

Search for lesson ideas