Leading up to this year's conflict project, the students studied conflict through reading Suzanne Collins's book, The Hunger Games. No doubt you've heard of it by now.
Students from all three class periods who owned the book temporarily donated their copy to the classroom, so that each period had enough copies for all of the students to follow along and take turns reading aloud.
Throughout the reading, each class participated in their own version of the Hunger Games. Each period had a designated paper "arena" on the wall, and tributes (students drawn from a hat) moved around the arena seeking food, water, and shelter. When tributes encountered each other, those students had to battle it out with Minute to Win It style games. Non-tributes played the roles of mentors and stylists, and advised their tributes on winning strategies.
As each class finished reading the book, they then had one week to complete a project, proving that they understood the nature of conflict between various characters in the novel. The project could take any format, and below are some examples of the students' work (click any picture to enlarge).
Some other board games appeared in the mix. The students finished reading the book and creating these projects before the movie debuted in theaters, but images of the characters were already readily available, and the students took advantage of them.
Dioramas were also a popular medium for showing the various conflicts involved in the story. Each project, regardless of medium, involved some sort of write-up, to demonstrate full comprehension of the concepts. Some write-ups were attached to the projects themselves, as in the diorama on the left.
Students took advantage of the open-ended nature of the assignment and played to their individual strengths. Shown below, left to right and top to bottom: a poster, a brochure, another poster, an essay, a student finishing up the cover of her fan-fiction piece, students playing a student-designed Hunger Games themed computer game, a complicated diagram showing the interrelationships of the story.
Overall, the projects were quite impressive, and the fictional conflicts were a good starting point for studying real historical conflicts in the future.