World Peace Day is on September 21 and during that whole week, we celebrate Peace Week. Since it is towards the beginning of the school year, what a perfect time to highlight a great topic like peace. You can focus on bringing peace to the world, to your community, to your school or class, and/or to yourself. Peaceful behavior can include showing empathy, resolving conflicts, showing kindness, caring about others, and having tolerance for differences. Check out some ideas below of how you can celebrate.
This was an initiative started in my school district that I just loved and it went over really well with the kids and the community. We partnered with a local Starbucks who donated coffee sleeves to us. Students decorate their messages of peace on them and then we gave them back to Starbucks. During peace week, Starbucks customers would be given their coffee with a peace sleeve decorated. It was fun and spread a great message. Plus, you have to smile when your morning coffee has kids drawings on it.
Give a lesson about what peace involves by reading your students a book about Peace. My favorites are “I am Peace” by Susan Verde and “The Peace Book” by Todd Parr. Then, have a discussion about what peace means to them. Ask questions like, “What can you do to make the world more peaceful?”
After, have students sign a Peace Pledge. Here is one for FREE:
Get your students writing with a letter to a world leader. It’s so simple and all they need is a piece of paper and a pencil. Let them choose their world leader, but they may need you to guide them towards what constitutes a world leader (not just any random celebrity). In the letter, they can talk about what peace means to them and the ideas they have to bring more peace to the world.
A peace garden at your school will bring peace for a long time, it is a wonderful place for staff and students to visit and is appealing to the eye too. Adding some peace rocks to your garden will make it look even more peaceful (and colorful) and spread a good message. Have students design them by partnering with your art teacher to paint and display them. All you need is river rocks and paint. Easy Peezy!
Based on the idea of Yoko Ono’s Wish Trees that carry messages of hope from all over the world, each child creates a wish for peace that you tie to a tree. You can also make a fake tree on a bulletin board and display them there.
Find out more about the Wish Tree and templates: http://imaginepeacetower.com/yoko-onos-wish-trees/