PEACEMAKERS (for grades 3-6)
A series of classroom activities culminate in students interviewing a peacemaker in their school or community.
By Morningside Center
Students will identify everyday peacemakers.
Agenda written on chalkboard or chart paper
[Note: This lesson requires an adult who agrees to be interviewed by the class. Ideally this person would be someone the students might identify as a peacemaker. Brief the person on the type of questions that will be asked so he or she can think about the subject in advance.]
Write the following sentences on the board:
- What color is peace?
- What kind of weather is peace?
- What animal is peace?
- What sound is peace?
- What holiday is peace?
- What form of transportation?
Model the activity by choosing one of the questions and answering it. (Example: Peace is like the color green.) Go around the group asking each student to choose one of the questions about the quality of peace to answer. You can add new questions if you wish.
Go over the day's plan and ask if it seems okay.
Peacemakers in the Community
Students will interview an adult about peace and peacemakers.
A. Brainstorm a list of interviewing questions and write them on the board or on chart paper. Some possibilities are:
- What does peace mean to you?
- Describe a time when you experienced peace. Where were you? What were you doing? Who was with you?
- When was a time that you were a peacemaker? What happened? Who were the people involved? How did it come out?
- Are there some ways that you think you are not a peacemaker?
- Who are one or two other people who stand out in your mind as peacemakers? Why do you choose them?
B. Model an interview by interviewing a student. Use questions the class has brainstormed, with follow-up questions if appropriate.
C. Have the students interview an adult from the school or community whom you have invited to the class. They should use the questions they have brainstormed. Let the students know they can ask questions that are not on the board to follow up what someone has said if it seems appropriate.
What is something new we did today that you would like to do again?
Go-around. Ask, Who is someone you know whom you regard as a peacemaker?
A. Interviewing Peacemakers in the School
Discuss peacemakers in the school. What people around the school act as peacemakers? What have they done? Are school peacemakers only adults or do students sometimes act as peacemakers?
Develop a brief questionnaire with the class. Assign pairs of students to interview people around the school about times they were peacemakers. Have pairs practice interviewing each other.
B. Interviewing Older People About Peace
Have students use interview questionnaires to interview at least one person their parents' age and one person older than their parents.
C. Peace Book
Put together a class book consisting of drawings or photographs of some of the people interviewed, together with their most interesting quotations.
Suggestions for Infusion
A. Journal Writing
Have students use their journals (or create special journals) to record occasions when someone in class acted as a peacemaker or times when they noticed someone in their lives acting as a peacemaker.
B. Famous Americans as Peacemakers
The study of famous Americans is already part of the curriculum. You can infuse peace education into the study of those famous lives by asking about each, "In what ways was this person a peacemaker? In what ways was the person not a peacemaker?"
C. Biographies of Peacemakers
Check your school library for appropriate biographies of peacemakers. You may want to divide the class into a number of committees and ask each to research one peacemaker and report to the class. Or you may want to focus on one well- known peacemaker. In that case, each committee can research a particular part of the person's life and report to the class.
We welcome your thoughts and suggestions about these activities! Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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