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Peacemaking Activities for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching students to make and keep peace among themselves, as well as in communities and in the world, is such an important task. This lesson offers some activities that help teach peacemaking.

Why Peacemaking Activities?

Have you ever thought about what you could do to help your students be independent, respectful, and responsible citizens? Maybe you are tired of micromanaging conflicts that come up within the classroom, or maybe you are interested in thinking about how your students might help make the world a better place. One approach to all of these issues is to think in terms of peacemaking.

Teaching peacemaking to students can have a profound impact on their lives. Students who know how to make peace can see themselves as leaders and important members of their communities. Making peace is a skill that students can transfer into all different parts of life. Yet peacemaking is not something that can be taught in one lecture or through one simple lesson. Instead, you want to teach your students peacemaking as a habit and a way of life, and this takes time and practice.

A great way to help your students become peacemakers is to do activities that encourage them to take responsibility for their own growth and learning. The activities in this lesson are designed to be hands-on and really make students think about what peace is and why it is important. You can adapt these activities to meet the needs and abilities of children in your class.

Peacemaking Activities

  • Quilt of Peace

This activity will appeal to the artists and visual learners in your class. Ask your students to work together to make a quilt of peace. Give each student a square of fabric and instruct them to draw or write about a situation that felt conflicted to them. It might be a personal argument, or it might be a scenario they know of in the world. Then, have each student swap fabric squares with another student. Give students fresh squares as well, and on their fresh squares, instruct them to draw a scenario that represents peace getting made in their partner's conflict.

Finally, have your students work as a class to glue the conflict and peace squares into a large quilt. As they work, they will have to collaborate thoughtfully to construct a quilt that makes visual sense.

  • Improvisation Role Plays

This activity is great for kinesthetic learners as well as those with a dramatic flare. Have your class sit in a circle, and choose two or three students to come to the middle of the circle. Instruct them to improvise a conflict scenario. Students may act out scenes that feel familiar from school, home or recess, or they may act out scenes from current events. You can determine whether students should come up with the scenarios themselves or whether you should assign them.

After the students have acted out the conflict, have them freeze. Choose volunteers to offer suggestions for how to make peace in that conflict. Have the actors play out different possible scenarios, and give your class a chance to talk about the different outcomes, their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Peacemaker Biographies

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