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Leaders look for teachable moments. When a child uses a prosocial skill, that the leader wishes to reinforce in others, a verbal reinforcement is given immediately. When a player lands on a teaching point in the game, the leader draws attention to it through discussion. Likewise, when interpersonal conflict arises, the leader halts the game and leads the disputants through the emotional control (as needed) and problem solving process.


Leaders may wish to orchestrate ‘mini-crises’ to create teachable moments, e.g., asking who wants to go first. Almost every child will want to go first, thus creating conflict between players. This gives the leader the opportunity to lead a problem solving discussion about fair ways of deciding who goes first. Children have a myriad of ideas how to choose the first player which would have been lost if the leader simply chose the first player. It also allows the leader to make scripted comments like ‘it doesn’t matter if you don’t go first’, ‘everyone gets a turn’, ‘I’ll just wait my turn’, etc. Leaders may call upon children who did not care if they went first thereby providing peer models of alternative responses.


Leaders may also surreptitiously stack the cards in order to direct the play… but don’t get caught!

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