Try the no-prep way to teach Compromising

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GO BACK All Goal Posters THIS SKILL Problem Solving THIS GOAL Compromising


The idea of giving up some of what you want in order to give someone some of what they want is a skill that incorporates empathy, collaboration, and most importantly, the knowledge that having a cooperative spirit is more important than attaining all of our own wants.

Preview an SEL skills lesson: Compromising

1 Show the video to your students

[INTRODUCTION – animated scene]

Narrator: Everyone has different ideas and wants, which can lead to disagreements. 

Girl 1: What should we do after school today?

(Girl 2 thought bubble shows playing video games and pizza icons. Girl 1 thought bubble shows watching TV and hamburger icons.)

Narrator: When people disagree, we can compromise. This solves the problem quickly. Compromising is giving up part of what you want to let someone have part of what they want. 

Girl 2: I want to play video games and eat pizza.

Narrator: How do we do this? The first step is knowing what to expect. Expect to get what you want some of the time, but not all of the time. This is just a natural part of being with other people. We do this because it’s more important to keep people happy than it is to get what we want. Next, decide what you’re giving up and what’s important for you to keep. Then, tell the other person your new suggestion; what you’ll give up and what you’ll keep. We do this politely and kindly. We suggest our idea by saying phrases like: Why don’t we..; How about if we..; What if we…

For example, “How about if we eat hamburgers, then we can play video games.” 

Girl 2: How about we eat hamburgers, then play video games?



Narrator: To compromise (compromising icon appears)? Expect to get what you want some of the time, but not all of the time when you’re with people: Figure out what part of your plan you’re giving up and what part you’re getting; Suggest a compromise with words like: Why don’t we…; How about if we…; What if we… 

Let’s see what Compromising looks like. 


[SCENE 1 Classroom]

Maya: Okay guys, we need a group captain, a researcher, and someone doing graphics.

Natalie: I can help with the graphics. 

Niko: Can I be captain? 

Maya: Actually, I was kind of hoping to be group captain. I haven’t been captain on any of these projects.

Niko: Oh, then you can be captain. 

Natalie: Totally fine with me.

Maya: Thanks, guys.

Niko: That leaves me with researcher, then. (Research icon goes to boy 1’s head.)

Maya: The thing is researcher is the biggest job, so if you want, I can help you.

Niko: Sounds good to me.

Natalie: Great!

Maya: (internal thought) It was really nice that Niko let me be captain. I would work with him again.

Natalie: (internal thought) It was fun working with this group. We all compromised and made a plan together.

Niko: (internal thought) I gave up being captain for the good of the group. We can’t always get what we want. It felt better to work together.



Niko: (voiceover) When I work with a group, it’s important to compromise. I know I’m going to get some of what I want and give up some things, too. It wasn’t a big deal for me not to be captain. But it would be a big deal if our group started arguing. 



Narrator: Niko helped his group work together because he suggested a good compromise that made everyone happy. 


Narrator: So, what did we learn? To compromise: Expect to get what you want some of the time but not all of the time when you’re with people; Figure out what part of your plan you’re giving up; Suggest a compromise with words like: Why don’t we…; How about if we…; What if we…



1. APPLY: When is a time you had to compromise in your life?

2. INFER: How would the group have felt about Niko if he didn’t give up being the captain?

3. ROLE-PLAY: You want to go to a water park this weekend, but your brother and sister both want to go to the beach.

2 Review with the Companion Worksheet
3 Apply new skills with activities & games!

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Other SEL materials on Compromising
Compromising Over Time Video
Compromising Over Time

Pre-k and K

Compromising with Others Activity
Compromising with Others

Elementary School

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