Today is International Day of Peace!
If you’re like me, you can spend copious amount of time reading about peace building and then start to wonder, “But how can I get started actually doing things that help my students put these things into practice? how can I move my students and myself from receiving information and talking about it to real life changes?”
It’s hard to move from knowledge to practice without an interim step: a good, well-thought out plan.
The Hawaiian peace organization Ceeds of Peace is a great place to start for building a peace action plan. Besides offering many helpful links for organizations to partner with, peace related mulitmedia resources for students and adults, their website also provides action plan templates and toolkits with ideas to address each of the “C” word steps listed in the template. Because it is a Hawaiian organization, some of the tools in the toolkit are also culturally meaningful for Native Hawaiians, and those “slots” in the toolkit could be a good place for teachers to insert another particularly culturally meaningful tool that matches the context or backgrounds of the students in their class.
What I like most about what is offered here is that the peace action plans especially can be easily simplified (and perhaps translated!) for language learners, and are easily included in study on many different subjects: studying food words? Create a Peace Action plan with your students related to food justice issues. Learning about school words? Create a peace action plan with your students about conflict issues in the classroom. Studying about past tense? create a peace action plan related to conflict issues related to historical harms.
Where could you incorporated Ceeds of Peace Action Plans into your lessons?
What exercises/tools might you add to the toolkit that have roots in your students’ cultural background? are there peace building methods that they’ve grown up knowing about?