A Peaceful Place Is Powerful for the Mind
Overview How can schools be peaceful places? Students who follow paths to peace can build powerful places for themselves and their peers. By using real-life situations, they develop self-esteem, self-control, respect for the rights of others, and a sense of responsibility. This approach also encourages students to settle grievances and conflicts through oral and written communication without resorting to confrontation. Mentoring younger partners in the ways of peace reinforces potential conflicts and creates a new generation of non-violent practitioners.
Assessment Along with receiving marks for reading and writing assignments, students and teacher meet individually and in response groups to discuss and evaluate their progress and the progress of their peace partners.
Software or Materials Used Kids Can Cooperate A Practical Guide to Teaching Problem Solving by Elizabeth Crary. 1985: Parenting Press, Seattle WA; Teaching Peace audiotape by singer Red Grammer, 1986: Red Note Records; Shipwreck Saturday by Bill Cosby 1998: Scholastic Inc; The Day I Saw My Father Cry by Bill Cosby 2000: Scholastic Inc.: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coeur 1990: Puffin; A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Adler 1991: Holiday House; camera, boards, art supplies for poster contest
Keywords Service Learning, Literacy, Peaceful Place, Peacemaker, Conflict Resolution, Working Together, Peaceful Partnership, Peace, Acrostic Poetry, Martin Luther King, Sadako
Final Words Learning to solve personal conflicts helps students come up with tips on dealing with peer pressure. By sharing messages of peace, they begin to practice what they preach.
Teacher Tip Technology plays an important part in this project. Not only does it motivate students, but I see rewarding interaction and even healthy competition as they perform their mentoring activities.
Teacher Bio Leamon Jones is a grade 4 teacher at the Dr. Joseph P. Tynan School. Teaching for 19 years, she was an early proponent of The Writing to Read computer program. Lea is a participant in Boston's IMPACT II TeachNet and a member of her school's Instructional Leadership Team and Math Leadership Team. As a Pioneer Adapter in Boston's MetroLINC Challenge Grant, she looks for creative ways to use computers in the classroom. Lea teaches at the citywide METCO program during summers. Writing poetry is one of her preferred avenues of expression.
Subject Areas English Language Arts, Math, Technology
Grade Levels Partnerships between 4th and 2nd grade class