Problem Solving Lesson: Finding Out What Others Want Grade: k personal/Social Domain Standard A

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Davenport Elementary School Counseling Program

Problem Solving Lesson: Finding Out What Others Want

Grade: K
Personal/Social Domain Standard A:

Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and interpersonal skills to help them understand and respect self and others.

Competency: A2: Acquire Interpersonal Skills (A2.2, A2.6, A2.7, A2.8)
Personal/Social Domain Standard B:

Students will make decisions, set goals, and take necessary action to achieve goals.

Competency: B1: Self-Knowledge Application (B1.1, B1.3, B1.6)


  • To practice identifying a problem

  • To use asking questions as a way to find out others’ perspectives and feelings

  • To understand you may need to try more than one solution to solve a problem

Materials: Two Puppets (you may also tell the story without puppets); Puppet

Second Step Posters


  1. Introduce (or review) idea that when we work and play together we might have problems with each other that we need to solve. Reference the previous lesson about problem-solving or any recent work the class has done with Second Step problem-solving lessons.
  2. Show Second Step problem-solving poster and review steps. Ask class, “Have you ever thought someone was mad at you but you didn’t know why?” Give a personal example if needed. Discuss that sometimes it is not easy to know how someone is feeling or what the problem is (steps 1 and 2 on poster).

  3. Tell class you are going to tell a story (with or without puppets). Let them know they are going to have to help you with the story.

  4. During the story you will stop and refer to the Second Step problem solving poster.

  5. After puppet story review:

  1. Usually the best way to find out how people are feeling or what is bothering them is to ask them.

  2. People need to be able to ask questions and talk to each other to solve problems with each other

  3. If your first try doesn’t help solve the problem, keep trying. Find out what the other person thinks will help.

Puppet Story Script
Chester: Hey DeeDee, c’mon, it’s time to line up for recess!

DeeDee: (arms crossed, angry voice) Hmmph!

Chester: (to the class) I think maybe she’s sad.

DeeDee: No! I’m not sad!

Chester: (to the class) Maybe she is just tired.

DeeDee: I’m not tired either!

Chester: I know. I bet she hurt herself.

DeeDee: Wrong Chester!

Chester: (to the class) How could we find out how DeeDee is feeling? She is not sad

Or tired or hurt.

[We could ask her]

Counselor: Who can think of a question we could ask DeeDee to find out how she is


[How are you feeling? Are you mad? What’s wrong?, etc. Allow a student

to ask puppet the question]

DeeDee: I’m angry!

Counselor: Oh, DeeDee is not tired or sad. She is angry. Sometimes we can see

with our eyes how someone looks, and hear with our ears what they sound

like and guess how they feel. DeeDee’s voice was grumbly and her arms

were crossed. Chester thought she was feeling sad, but he was wrong. How

is she feeling? [angry, mad] How can we find out for sure how someone is

feeling? [we can ask them]. I wonder why DeeDee is angry.

Chester: She probably got in trouble or something and now she can’t go out for

Recess. I bet that’s why she’s mad.

DeeDee: No, Chester! I didn’t get in trouble. Quit saying that!

Chester: Oh. She’s really mad. I wonder what her problem is.

Counselor: Does Chester know why DeeDee is angry? [No]. How could we find

out? [We could ask her. Have a student ask DeeDee why she is angry]

DeeDee: Chester played dog catcher with Andrew and Leena at first recess and not

with me. So I’m not playing with him any more! I’m not even gonna be his


Counselor: Sometimes when we find out someone is angry or upset about

something we might not be sure what the problem is. The only way we can

find out for sure is to ask the person. People need to be able to talk together

and ask questions to be able to solve problems. We just found out why Dee

Dee is mad. What is she angry about? [Chester didn’t play with her at first


Chester: Well I still like to play with DeeDee. I want her to be my friend. I just

wanted to play with other friends at first recess. I wasn’t trying to make

DeeDee mad.

(to DeeDee) DeeDee do you want to play jump rope with us this recess?

DeeDee: No. I don’t like jump rope and I’m still mad at you!

Chester: (to the class) I guess she’s not my friend any more.

Counselor: Do you think Chester and DeeDee can’t be friends any more? Do you

think they could solve this problem? Sometimes you might try one thing to

try to solve a problem, but it doesn’t work. Chester tried to ask DeeDee to

play jump rope with him this recess, but she didn’t want to. Don’t give up if

your first try doesn’t work. Keep working at it. You might have to ask a

question to find out what the other person wants. Who can think of a

question we could ask DeeDee? [What do you want to play at recess, What

would make you feel better] (Have a student ask DeeDee the question)

DeeDee: I still want to play dog catchers!

Counselor: So the problem is DeeDee would still like to play dog catchers and

Chester and his friends would like to play jump rope this recess.
Referring to the Second Step problem solving poster have the class come up with

Solutions to the problem. Pick a solution that students think would work for

Everyone. Finish story with puppets agreeing to try that solution (e.g. we

will play jump rope today and play dog catchers again at first recess

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