International Day of Peace
by Judie Haynes
Celebrate the United Nations' International Day of Peace on September 21st. Join the worldwide movement to create a global ceasefire and day of peace and nonviolence. This is an occassion to help students develop respect for diverse cultures.
The United Nations' International Day of Peace was celebrated by 4000 individual groups around the world in 2006. This year add the name of your school to the list.
Resources for Teaching About Diversity
1. Start with your school and promote a bully-free environment for all students. There are great activities and videos for elementary age students at Stop Bullying Now.
2. Another online project is Across Generations. It explores intergenerational connections and celebrates the unique, special relationships that can be forged between young and old.
3. Teaching Tolerance Magazine is sponsoring an online mural. Their aim is to create the biggest online collection of pictures and words celebrating tolerance and justice. Have your students answer the question “ What does "One World" mean to you?” and add to the Mural today. Go to One World.
4. The Caring School Community Program features collaborative, non-competitive activities which promote helpfulness, inclusiveness, responsibility, service learning, and academic growth throughout the school. The That's My BuddyProgram features relationship building and collaborative learning activities involving younger and older students working together on activities.
5. Learn Globally features various projects including an on-line center dedicated to teaching children and adults the value of recognizing and respecting differences amongst people and cultures while providing opportunities to care for our neighbors and all humanity. Go to Center for Peace. There is a wealth of information and activities on this site. For a great list of activities try Creative/Language Arts.
6. Have students make friendship or remembrance bracelets which can be exchanged or worn within a school to show solidarity during a crisis or sent to students in another school. Directions for this activity can be found at About Our Kids.
7. DiscoverySchool.com has a lesson plan suited to students in Grades 6-12 although there are adaptations for younger students. Find this lesson at Understanding Stereotypes.
8. AskAsia provides lesson plans for educators about Asia. Try “Understanding Cultural Values” and “Cultural Stereotyping.” This is also a good site for basic lessons about different Asian cultures. These lessons are for students in Grade 6 and above although there are lesson on Vietnamese culture for elementary age students. Find these lessons at AskAsia
9. The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education has a web site that is a treasure trove of lesson plans on prejudice reduction for students in grades K-8. These holocaust education plans">Holocaust Education curriculum are based on literature appropriate to the different grade levels.
10. Designed to help teachers prevent bullying and become more tolerant of others, this list of lesson plan links on Education World provides a wide range of choices for different grade levels.
11. The President of the United States and the Red Cross are sponsoring a project to help Afghani children. Visit the Red Cross site at America's Fund for Afghan Children.
18.Best Teacher USA helps your students explore the many different races and cultures of the world. This site provides abundant ways to incorporate multicultural education into your student's daily studies.
12. Aid students to channel their hurt and anger appropriately. This is especially important with pre-teens and teens. Using Judith Viorst's "If I Were in Charge of the World" as a model, ask students what they would do it they were in charge. What would they change? What would they keep? Make your own frame for students to fill in. There is an example of this activity on TeachersFirst. Have younger students brainstorm ideas before writing. To teach a simplified version download from our PDF file.
13. Have teens explore YouthNOISE which is a site for teens to communicate with others and to find productive outlets for their feelings. They can e-mail the President, donate money to legitimate organizations or join an online memorial.
14. Teach your students how to say "Peace" in 144 different languages. Find this information at Peace. Scroll down to the end of the page to find this list.
15. Use folktales from different cultures to teach children about similarities between people and to encourage tolerance. Try a Turkish folktale called Eat My Fine Coat. This story is read on line. This site also has an online story maker which put your student and their friends into the story. Go to A New Friend . Great for students in grades 1-3.
16. Go to Cyber schoolbus and play the Flag Tag game. Students learn to recognize the flags from countries all over the world and learn about where these countries are located.
© 1998-2008 Judie Haynes, www.everythingESL.net