What is Peace all about?
Teacher considers this question by reading a book to the whole class about peace (biography, nonfiction, short story.) Perhaps a short biography of
Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Oprah.
What does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky,
If Peace Is... by Jane Baskwill,
A Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata,
One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sudako and the Children's Peace Statue by Ishii Takayuki,
Peace Begins with You, by Katherine Scholes.
Or children (according to age levels) read short but informative stories about people of peace on their own. Then,
in small groups of 3 to 4, they discuss what they learned about peace from the biographies or stories.
Each group makes a chart or draws pictures to reflect what they have learned about peace.
Each group presents its peace work
to the whole class.
Acts of Peace Suggestions
For further inspiration, Teacher and children go to Suggestions for Acts of Peace on this website. Every child reads one Suggestion aloud and comments on it.
Acts of Peace Notebooks
Children then make their own Acts of Peace notebooks, draw and color the covers, write a starting date, and record “Yesterday’s Act(s) of Peace” that
they’ve just remembered.
The next day (and every day), children return to their journals to record
“Today’s Act(s) of Peace”…beginning with One a Day…and gradually working
up to Three a Day.
The Acts of Peace notebooks may be hung around the classroom on a sturdy string, like a clothesline, and attached by multi-colored clips, so that every day, the children pick them off the line and keep them at their desks…to record their intentional Acts of Peace at the appropriate time.
Note: In notebook journaling, Teacher may allow short phrases, incomplete
sentences – even lists with bullets – so that writing Acts of Peace is never a
burden and is age appropriate.
Acts of Peace Bracelet
In this activity, children make a Peace Bracelet they can wear – as a reminder to commit Three Acts of Peace a day.
Using heavy elastic thread, about 16-32 beads (depending on size) three special
beads slightly larger and of brighter color than the other beads, glue, and
scissors, Teacher cuts a piece of elastic thread for each child. Tie one bead to
one end of the cord to keep the other beads on while beading.
Teacher invites the children to string almost half the beads, then alternate
with the 3 special beads and then string the remaining beads onto the cord.
Untie the end bead; tie the elastic ends together after fitting on the child’s wrist. Put a dot of glue in the knot to keep it from untying. Trim ends after glue has dried.
Children can see that the three special beads are Acts of Peace are easily intermingled with everything else they do all day long!
Acts of Peace Sharing
Since it takes people to create conflict, it takes people to resolve it.
If two or more children have a
disagreement or generally just don't get along, Teacher suggests that they resolve their conflict by talking it through – as an Act of Peace – rather than staying angry, physically fighting, or shutting each other out.
If children realize how they have hurt or
offended one another, either by word
or action, they can be encouraged
to say they’re sorry as an Act of Peace.
Then, when they have committed a mutual Act of Peace, they can share
food together. (Teacher has on hand juice and pretzels. The children
involved serve each other the pretzels and juice, as a sign of mutual healing.)
Acts of Peace Art Projects
This may be an individual or a small group project to decorate the
Children design, draw, and color Peace posters -- as reminders to commit daily Acts of Peace.
PEACE. Three Times a Day
PEACE: That’s All and That’s Everything
Make PEACE a Habit
TAP for Peace. A little Peace goes a long, long way.
Children may also create Advertising Posters for Peace, based on TV commercials or print ads they’ve seen.
GET YOUR FREE PEACE RIGHT
HERE! We’re giving it away!
NEW and IMPROVED Peace:
Acts a lot nicer!
Give PEACE away: Three times a
FEEL BETTER FAST: Do something
Hey, Give PEACE a chance: I’m only a kid!
And here's a wonderful poster idea
developed for the Menno Simons Christian School in Calgary,
The word “PEACEMAKERS”
is an acronym:
What are Acts of Peace?
Teacher has an open discussion with children about Acts of Peace; together they brainstorm ideas on chart paper asking:
What do Acts of Peace LOOK like?
What do Acts of Peace SOUND like?
What do Acts of Peace FEEL like?
What do Acts of Peace TASTE like?
What do Acts of Peace SMELL like? (Great fun!)
In other words, children discuss
and share how to recognize an Act of Peace when they see or hear or feel
One Thousand Acts of Peace Website
After a few days or a week of journaling daily Acts of Peace, Children view this website: www.onethousandactsofpeace.org
Teacher and children take turns reading and discussing the Home Page aloud (as much as is appropriate for the age level).
Teacher encourages children to write longer, more detailed Acts of Peace stories which they wish to submit online through Your Peace Message.
When children have been practicing Acts of Peace on a daily basis, Teacher goes to the Peace Commitment link on www.onethousandactsofpeace.org and reads it through with the class.
Teacher and children discuss what a personal Peace Commitment involves:
How it is a way of thinking before they act,
a way of feeling about themselves and other people,
a way of choosing how to act in each situation.
Teacher and children also consider how we all sometimes forget to do three Acts of Peace a day, or do them but then neglect to journal them . . .
We simply renew our Acts of Peace Commitment and start again.
For further inspiration, Teacher and children go to Suggestions for Acts of Peace on this website. Each child reads one Suggestion aloud and comments on it.
Acts of Peace Commitment
When children have been practicing
Acts of Peace on a daily basis, Teacher goes to the Peace Commitment link on www.onethousandactsofpeace.org
and reads it through with the class.
Teacher and children discuss what a personal Peace Commitment involves:
How it is a way of thinking before they act; a way of feeling about themselves and other people, a way of choosing
how to act in each situation.
Teacher and children also consider how we all sometimes forget to do three Acts of Peace a day, or do them but then neglect to journal them . . .We simply renew our Acts of Peace Commitment and start again.
Acts of Peace Poems
In this creative project, children are guided in writing the experience of
committing an Act of Peace in a poem (or song)– and then saying (or singing) it to the class.
Teacher reads a short poem about peace to the class.Teacher suggests the class create its own poem about peace and writes the first line on the blackboard – each child supplying the next line which Teacher adds for all to see. Teacher encourages the use of simile, metaphor, comparison, and contrast. Each line of the poem might start with: Peace is like...Or Peace is the same as…or Peace is …or Peace is not…Or Peace is different from…etc.
Children might continue writing short poems every day to describe their own
personal experience of Acts of Peace; either doing something peaceful or
feeling peaceful or receiving peace from someone else.
If children sing or play musical instruments, they might be encouraged to put their poems to music – and accompany themselves (or each other) as they recite or sing their poem for the class. And the rest of the class can Tap for Peace in rhythm.
Acts of Peace Dramas
In these short, unscripted skits or improvisations, children can experience doing Acts of Peace in imaginary circumstances with made-up conflicts, before they try them out in real life.
Teacher may ask after each improvisation: How does it make you feel to TAP (Thousand Acts of Peace) or be TAPPED?
EX: Child drops a pile of books off the desk, and another child comes over to help pick them up. The first child asks: “Is that a TAP?” And the second child
acknowledges: “Yeah, sure.”
EX: Child is leaning over the desk, head in hands. Another child comes up and asks: “You okay?” First child shakes head. Second child sits down and asks:
“What’s up?” First child tells what the imaginary problem is . . . and the two talk it over, making up the words and acting out an Act of Peace.
EX: First child struggles to do something physical. Second child comes up and offers to help. First child asks: “Are you TAPPING me?”
EX: Several children stand in line. Another child comes running in late . . . really needs to get ahead. Someone in line objects. Another child lets the late child into the line . . . with a secret Peace sign.
EX: One child gets "teased" by another. A third child walks by, hears it, and stands up for the first child. After the three talk it over, they all give each other a Peace Sign.
EX: Two children "argue" over how to do something. A third child steps in to suggest another way to do it or to work together to solve the problem. All three find a means of turning a disagreement into an act of peaceful co-operation.
EX: One child is "very angry" and wants to "get back" at someone for being unfair. Second child tells the first child why anger or revenge will only make more trouble . . . for everybody. Together they find a more peaceful way to turn the anger into a positive activity that will redirect the anger and resolve the conflict.
Soon, children will want to suggest their own ideas for improvisations – often
based on “real life” dramas they have experienced or conflicts they want to "act out," in order to discover more peaceful solutions. This form of conflict-resolution through drama is a powerful means of giving children coping methods for life situations.
What’s an Intentional Act of Peace?
Children discuss the difference between
committing an intentional Act of Peace and simply staying out of trouble.
Children are encouraged to think of and talk about an Act of Peace that they’ve already done: either yesterday, or some time in the past -- for a parent or grandparent, a sibling, a friend, a
Teacher and children may also consider what the difference is between a
deliberate Act of Peace or kindness or consideration or honesty or
thoughtfulness or forgiveness on the one hand, and a deliberate act of anger, jealousy, blaming, gossip, lying, revenge, hatred . . . or even war, on the other.
What are the consequences of these various acts?
How might little acts of anger or hatred or revenge lead to bigger and bigger acts of war?
How might little Acts of Peace lead to bigger and bigger Acts of Peace?
Acts of Peace Math
In this demonstration, children can get a sense of how their three Acts of Peace a day will accumulate to over one thousand in a year.
Teacher takes 1,000 pennies or pompoms or colored beads or small stones -- or other small object with some mass.
Teacher shows the children what a thousand looks like. Then Teacher takes three beads or pennies and shows the children that if they collect just three a day for a year, by the end of the year, they would have more than 1,000 of them.
Introduce the idea that three Acts of Peace – some kindness, forgiveness,
service, sharing, thoughtfulness done to another – per day also would add up to
more than One Thousand Acts of Peace per year.
In order for the children to remind themselves to do these three Acts of Peace every day, they can make Acts of Peace Bracelets.
Acts of Peace Walk
In this class outing, children are encouraged to be more peaceful moving within the world around them.
Class takes a Peace Walk together, through a public park, a country lane,
up a hill, or into the woods. Walk quietly and slowly.
Teacher alerts children to try to be quiet and peaceful, aware and very
mindful of the things around them that they would normally miss because they
are usually talking, or distracted, or listening to music, or checking their
For example: the look and touch of moss growing on a rock, the sound of water trickling, the smell of green grass or fresh flowers, the feel of the bark of a
tree or a delicate leaf, the sight and movement of a bird or butterfly, an ant
or squirrel, the sensation of a breeze or stiff wind, heat or cold on one’s face, the silence of the clouds moving overhead.
When the group returns to the classroom, children list or draw some things that looked or sounded or smelled or felt like PEACE to them on their walk.
Even in a noisy, crowded city, suggest that children take a Peace Walk whenever possible . . .and spread a little more intentional peace to the people they pass, with every step.
Acts of Peace Signs
This is a group project that helps children be on the alert for Acts of Peace and makes Acts of Peace a very cool thing to do.
Children form small groups (not cliques!) and create a very specific sign or gesture that will remind them to do Acts of Peace toward each other as a group –
or alert each other (in sign language) that a particular situation is an
immediate opportunity for an Act of Peace –
or simply to give each other a
spontaneous Act of Peace, like slapping “high fives”.
Teacher allows ten minutes for each group to create and practice its secret Acts of Peace sign or gesture…
Throughout the week, children from each group try to “spot” the Acts of Peace signs and gestures of the other groups. The group that spots the most Peace Signs wins a prize.
Acts of Peace Circle
This is a beautiful way to create a sense of community in the classroom and to
demonstrate what the world could look like.
One child stands in the middle of the classroom and stretches out both hands. Two other children come and take both hands of the first child, on either side, and stretch out their hands.
If the class is studying geography, each child might choose a country to
represent as he or she joins the Acts of Peace Circle.
EX: “I am Iraq" . . . “I am Iran” . . . “I am Afghanistan” . . . “I am Israel” . . . “I am Palestine” . . .“I am Egypt" . . ."I am North Korea” . . . “I am South Korea” . . . "I am China" . . ."I am Japan" . . .“I am the Sudan” . . . “I am South Africa," etc. all around the globe.
And so it continues, until every child is included in the Acts of Peace Circle.
Teacher may then step in and close the Circle. Class sings a peace song (We are the world) and sways back and forth, holding hands.
Teacher and children finish in silence by closing their eyes and imagining their
hands encircling the whole globe for a minute or two of mindful awareness . . . in Peace.
Acts of Peace Links
Here's a link from TES in London that teachers may find helpful.
Also available at:
It includes a charming video showing the multiplying effects of one child's Three Acts of Peace a day, as well
as lesson plans for teaching Acts of Peace, children's worksheets, and sample journals.
Please email your family and friends about this website and keep Acts of Peace flying around the world.
The text is available in four more languages: Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese (see MORE above).
If you would like to translate it into another language, please contact us. What an Act of Peace that would be!
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