Activity – 8th – Philo

Locked Door Conundrum

*Prior to the lesson, print two copies of the Locked Door Conundrum Line Up Clues. Keep one intact for yourself and cut the other into individual strips for each clue to be passed out to students.*


  1. Review Problem Solving from Mini-Lesson 1.
  2. Review Philo’s Five Ways to Resolve a Conflict and “I” Messages.
  3. Have all of the students stand up and form a circle around the room.
  4. Inform the students that they will each be given a clue to a problem and they need to determine the order in which everything happened at a party so they can determine who locked the door. (If you have more clues than students, some students can hold more than one clue once they are in their correct line-up of what happened. If you have less clues than students, two students can share a clue and stand together.)
  5. Read students the following situation: “There was a House Party and the door was accidently locked behind the last person to enter the house. The lock on the front door is broken and if the door closes it locks and is unable to be unlocked. If the door gets locked, they will need to call the locksmith, or a person who makes and repairs locks. The party host has an appointment on Tuesday to get it fixed and asks some of the attendees to not lock the door so she doesn’t have to pay the locksmith again. The party is the Saturday before her Tuesday appointment. You need to read all of the clues aloud and form a line in the order of what happened to figure out who locked the door.”
  6. Pass out the Locked Door Conundrum Line-up Clues.
  7. Instruct students to go around and read all of their clues.
  8. Once students are finished reading all of their clues say, “Now line up in the correct order.” Don’t give them any additional prompting. You want to see how they problem solve.
  9. Once everyone has finished ask them to go around and read their clues in order. Follow along on your sheet to confirm if they are correct.

Discussion Questions and Conflict Connection:

  1. Who was the last person in the house/the person who locked the door in this scenario?
  2. How did you work together as a TEAM to figure out this problem?
  3. What was your process for solving the problem?
  4. Did you use prioritizing when solving this problem? How?
  5. What was challenging about this activity? What was easy?
  6. How did you use creative and logical thinking?
  7. The answer is that Gema was the last person in the door and she did not put the stopper up so it locked. Maya is frustrated because she now has to call the locksmith. Read this aloud to the students, “Maya approaches Gema, raises her voice, and says, ‘You were supposed to put the stopper in the door so it didn’t lock, Gema! The lock is broken. Now I have to call the locksmith come out and fix it. Thanks a lot!’ Gema responds ‘I did not know. I am so sorry.’”
  8. Ask the students, “Was Gema telling the truth?” Allow a student to answer.
  9. Respond with, “Yes, she was telling the truth. She had not arrived yet when Maya told everyone about the lock being broken.” Now ask, so did Gema have context of this situation?” Allow a student to answer. Tell the students, “The answer is no. Gema did not know all of the circumstances.”
  10. Now ask, “Did Maya have context of the situation?” Allow a student to answer. Say to the students, “Maya forgot or did not realize that Gema was not there yet when she told everyone about the broken lock. Instead of taking a moment to think about the situation, she responded with anger. Using what you know about Philo’s 5 Ways to Resolve a Conflict, how could Gema respond to Maya? How might Maya respond back to Gema?”

Facilitator Connection

Help the students to recognize here that when we don’t have the full context of a situation we can act without processing, respond negatively, place blame, or assume things that are not true. Good communication, understanding context and acting with respect is often helpful in most situations.

Making Foundation Connections

  1. How do you use Resiliency when completing group Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution?
  2. Why is Positive Change important when working through conflicts?
  3. How does having context Help Others to see someone else’s point of view?
  4. How are you acting as a Leader if you try to communicate well and have context in the situations you are in?