Educators know that developing any kind of literacy requires practice. Building on the literacy model for reading and writing, we need to see peace as a skill set that we must work hard to master, and dedicate years to develop. And even once developed, the skills of peace making must be actively maintained, rather than passively habituated.
We are gathering ideas for group projects, assignments, in-class exercises, films, and community activities built around peace literacy themes, in order to help students develop, master, and maintain their peace-making skills.
Want to share your own ideas? We'd love to hear from you! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
rubrics to accompany skills taught in lesson plan 1
college level exercises/assignments
College Level In-class Exercise for practicing the peace literacy skill of empathetic listening and reflecting on non-violence, prepared by Sharyn Clough
College Level Writing Topics based on Chappell's Road to Peace series, prepared by Krista Hensley
College Level Assignment for US History Classes using Chappell's Soldiers of Peace, prepared by Krista Hensley
College Level Assignment for English Comp using Chappell's Soldiers of Peace, prepared by Krista Hensley
College Level Writing Assignments for Eng 101 using Chappell's Soldiers of Peace, prepared by Krista Hensley
high school level exercises/assignments
High School Level Writing Assignment for English classes, using Chappell's Soldiers of Peace, prepared by Krista Hensley
High School Level Book Report Assignment/Template/Rubric for reading Chappell's Peaceful Revolution, prepared by Chris Mahon
High School Level In-class Exercise for practicing the peace literacy skill of empathetic listening and reflecting on non-violence, prepared by Sharyn Clough
High School Level Writing Topics based on Chappell's Road to Peace series, prepared by Krista Hensley
High School Level Assignment for US History Classes using Chappell's Soldiers of Peace, prepared by Krista Hensley
middle school and primary level exercises/assignments
Middle School Level In-class Activity on Animal Posturing to accompany Chappell's The End of War, prepared by Susan Radford
A "StoryBird" about respect to help kids doing group work in class, designed by Kim Cowperthwait.
classroom materials for educators
Poster: Aggression and the Fires Burning Beneath, inspired by a design from Krista Hensley.
The 4-Way Test for Transforming Conflict, pamphlet designed by Rotarian Action Group for Peace. For more on the 4-way test and other great Rotary Peace Resources, visit here: http://www.worldpeacepartners.org/resources.html
films featuring themes consistent with peace literacy
Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Mathaii's non-violent strategies for environmental advocacy are documented in Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Mathaii
With their characteristically brutal and incisive humor, comedy duo Key and Peele illustrate the human reluctance to engage in hostile aggression in “Hold Me Back” (Comedy Central)
Trauma and other underlying fires that cause human aggression
Mike Tyson Interview (HBO Real Sports)
With their characteristically brutal and incisive humor, comedy duo Key and Peele illustrate the vulnerable emotional life of a bully in “School Bully” (Comedy Central)
Children Full of Life - a documentary from Japan showing how Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying
Using respect in policing
Segment from CBS, On the Road
British comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, portraying two German SS officers, who start out, like all of us, assuming they’re on the side of good. At some point they are no longer sure: “Are We the Baddies?”
“Don’t be a Sucker” was made by the US War Department in 1943 and is a short (17 mins) and skillful illustration of how dehumanization works and how to resist it.
Four Hours at My Lai A devastating look at the massacre committed by American soldiers during the Vietnam war, the men who participated, the dehumanization of the Vietnamese women and children, and the one man who intervened.
The Power of Music An American World War II Veteran talks about rehumanizing German soldiers
A Class Divided - a 12 min. excerpt from Jane Elliot’s 1970 social experiment on dehumanization with her third grade class divided by eye-color.
Changing minds by appealing to worldviews
Talking to conservative voters about climate change
Strategy and discipline in the Civil Rights era protests as documented in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins.
The Alternatives to Violence Project https://avpusa.org/
American Friends Service Committee, www.afsc.org
Center for Nonviolent Communication https://www.cnvc.org/
Center for Teaching Peace www.peaceed.org
Christian Peacemaker Teams email@example.com
Circle of Insight, www.circleofinsight.org
Fellowship of Reconciliation, www.forusa.org
Institute for Economics and Peace, www.economicsandpeace.org
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, www.thekingcenter.org
The Nonviolent Peaceforce, www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, www.wagingpeace.org
Peacemakers Bibliography, www.peacemakers.ca/bibliography/bib37nonviolentdirect.html
The Peace People, www.peacepeople.com
Peace Talks Radio, www.goodradioshows.org/
Paul K Chappell, Peaceful Revolution, www.paulkchappell.com
Pace e Bene, www.paceebene.org/pace
Roots of Empathy: www.rootsofempathy.org
Voices for Creative Nonviolence, www.vcnv.org
Waging Nonviolence, www.wagingnonviolence.org
War Resisters League www.warresisters.org
scholarly articles by faculty who teach peace literacy
Baesler, E. J., & Lauricella, S. (2013). Reaching peace by teaching peace: Assessing instruction of the nonviolent communication and peace course. Journal of Peace Education, 10, 1-18.
Baesler, E. J. (2017). I’d rather teach peace: An autoethnographic account of the nonviolent communication and peace course. Peace Studies Journal, 10(2), 71-75.
stories from the popular press
April 2019, article in Wired magazine on the personal connections provided by virtual reality - VR responds to our need for Belonging.
peace literacy curriculum
We offer peace literacy lesson plans and study guides suitable for use in k-12 classes, higher education, and community organizations.
six outlines to get you started:
These six single-page outlines summarize the introductory frameworks and diagnostic tools we cover in our curriculum and workshops (available in English, Spanish, and French)
understand human needs and the tangles of trauma
learn the anatomy of aggression
recognize the power of respect and resolve conflict
rehumanize the dehumanized
make good decisions, take effective actions, and unlock the power of waging peace