Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Stop, Drop, Goal

Prudence Mason
Bay District Schools


Is tattling burning you up? Here's a good lesson for teaching students to resolve conflicts quickly and independently in the classroom by connecting putting out fights to putting out fire.


The student knows nonviolent, positive behaviors for resolving conflict (eg., peer mediation).


-Another adult for roll play
-Stop, drop, and goal procedures written on chart paper (see associated file)
-Whiteboard and markers for brainstorming


1.Find a volunteer to help you, and practice what you will say when he or she comes into the class.
2. Write stop, drop, and goal procedures on chart paper. (See attached file.)


1. Ask someone to come into your classroom with a message. Interrupt that person abruptly and say, “I'm busy, and you can just wait your turn.” Have the person reply angrily, “You are very rude. I’m going to tell the principal on you.”

2. After he/she leaves, say “I guess I burned her. Did you see her face?” Then pause and say sadly, "She had a look on her face that I get when I feel hurt."

3. Discuss hurtful expressions and have the students put on hurt faces and look around at each other. Refer to these as "flaming faces."

4. Call on students to share with the class about times when their feelings were hurt by someone in an argument.

5. Pose these questions:
·How did it make you feel?
·How long did the argument last?
·What were you doing when the argument started?
·Did the argument keep you from reaching your goal (finishing what you were doing)?
·How did the argument help you?

6. Clarify by repeating, "So, the argument hurt your feelings, wasted your time, destroyed what you were trying to do, and it did not help you in any way."

7. Say excitedly, “An argument is like fire! Raise your hand if you can tell me what we should do if we catch on fire?” Students should respond, “Stop, drop to the ground, and roll until the fire is out.” Tell them, “That’s right! Stop, drop, and roll.”

8. Tell students, “Well, guess what? We can put out a fight the same way! It just takes one person to stop, drop, and [goal] to put out a fight.”

9. Present Steps for Putting Out Fights on chart paper and discuss with the class. (See attached file.)

10. Tell the students that as soon as they see hurt feelings on a person's face, they should say, “Stop, drop, and what is our goal?”

11. Discuss the goal of the person who came into the classroom, and ways it could have been reached peacefully. (The goal was to give me a message.) (A possible compromise during the conflict would have been for both of us to apologize for hurt feelings, and take turns stating what we needed to say in order to accomplish the goal.)

12. Discuss stories that have been read in class that contained arguments, and discuss how the stop, drop, goal method could have been used to stop the argument in the story.

13. Hand out procedure sheets with checklist and have students use these to practice stopping arguments. (See attached file.) They can make up their own arguments, or take one from stories or movies they have seen.

14. Use checklists to formatively assess the students as they participate in the activity and give specific feedback.

15. Remind students that this should be done every time feelings start to get hurt. (When you see someone using this in your classroom, give that person positive feedback and allow him/her to present to the class how he/she resolved the conflicts.)


Use the attached checklist to formatively assess the students as they work with partners. Offer feedback and suggestions as needed.


1. Have the students identify conflict (bad feelings starting) in a story they are reading, stop (reading), drop (the book), identify the goal of the characters, and rewrite a peaceful ending to the story.
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