In a person vs. person conflict, the conflict is between two forms of like beings. This is often the protagonist versus the antagonist. The conflict may be verbal, physical, or emotional.
For elementary students, this type of conflict can be explained in simple terms such as “Sometimes, people have problems with other people. It could be someone who is mean or rude or two people who don’t agree on something. These problems can be really tough to solve, but the person has to find a way to communicate and work things out with the other person.”
Types of Conflict Organizer
Use this organizer/booklet independently or place it inside an interactive notebook. On each page, students write a definition and give examples of the type of conflict. On the final page, students summarize internal and external conflicts.
In this quiz, students read short passages from novels and answer questions related to types of conflict in literature about the passages. A link to the Google Doc version of the quiz is included in the pdf for teachers who wish to alter the quiz to meet the needs of students.
Teaching Person vs. Person Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers
Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians
Cruella is married to a furrier who she claims has never made her a fur coat from dog pelts. She becomes enemies with the Radcliffes when they refuse to sell their puppies.
Shere Khan and Kaa from The Jungle Book
A Bengal tiger named Shere Khan is the main antagonist of Disney’s 1967 animated version of The Jungle Book. Shere orders Kaa to act as an informant.
Gaston and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast
Gaston wants to marry Belle because she is the most beautiful girl in the village. He becomes upset that Belle does not show any interest in him and instead likes the Beast.
Jafar from Aladdin
Jafar is the Royal Vizier of Agrabah who plans to overtake the kingdom through the power of a genie.
Hades vs Hercules
Hades is the antagonist of Hercules in the Disney version of the story.
Captain Hook and Peter Pan
Captain Hook is a pirate who repeatedly fights Peter Pan.
Book Examples to use for Teaching Person vs. Person Conflict
- The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen
- Rumpelstiltskin by The Brothers Grimm
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by The Brothers Grimm
- Harriet and the Promised Land by Jacob Lawrence
- The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis
- Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
- Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
- The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
- A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White:
In this classic novel, Wilbur the pig must face the conflict of being sold for slaughter by the farmer, Mr. Zuckerman. However, Charlotte the spider decides to help Wilbur by weaving words into her web that describe him as a special pig. The conflict arises from Wilbur’s fear of being killed and Charlotte’s determination to save him.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter:
In this beloved children’s story, Peter Rabbit disobeys his mother’s warning to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden, which leads to a confrontation between Peter and Mr. McGregor. The conflict arises from Peter’s disobedience and Mr. McGregor’s anger at Peter for invading his garden.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
In this first book in the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series, Percy Jackson must face off against a number of characters who are trying to capture him and steal a powerful lightning bolt. These characters include Luke, the son of Hermes, who is working for the evil Titan Kronos. The conflict arises from Percy’s attempts to protect the lightning bolt and stop Luke and Kronos from causing chaos.
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl:
A conflict arises between Mr. Fox and the three farmers (Boggis, Bunce, and Bean) who are trying to catch and kill him. Mr. Fox, being a clever and resourceful character, tries to outwit the farmers at every turn and steal food from their farms to feed his family and the other animals living in the underground tunnels.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin:
The conflict is between the various heirs to the Westing fortune who are all competing to win the game and inherit the money. Each of the sixteen heirs has a secret or a motive for wanting to win, and they are constantly trying to outmaneuver each other to solve the clues and win the game.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper:
Melody, who has cerebral palsy and is nonverbal, and the people around her who underestimate her and don’t understand her intelligence cause a conflict. Melody faces many obstacles, including teachers who don’t believe in her abilities, classmates who bully her, and doctors who dismiss her complaints.
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor:
The person vs. person conflict in this novel is between the protagonist, Marty, and his neighbor, Judd Travers, who abuses his hunting dogs. Marty loves animals and wants to rescue Judd’s mistreated dog, Shiloh, but he has to navigate Judd’s hostility and violence to do so.
Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice:
A conflict takes place between Nathan, a young pioneer living in the Ohio Territory in the 1830s, and Weasel, a man who decided to take the law into his own hands.
Types of Conflict Organizer
This organizer/booklet may be used independently or placed inside an interactive notebook. On each page, students write a definition and give examples of the type of conflict. On the final page, students summarize internal and external conflicts.