Lesson plan

We Are Peacemakers

On some level, all humans want to feel peace and to feel loved. In this lesson, students will practice sending peaceful thoughts to themselves and others and discuss how these practices can support peace in their lives and community.
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Students will be able to practice sending peaceful thoughts to themselves and others and create a classroom banner that represents peace.

(10 minutes)
  • Place papers with numbers 1–5 up and separated on a few walls. (You may also place a happy face on 5, neutral face on 3 and a sad face on 1).
  • Join students together in a circle.
  • Show the class the numbered papers up on the wall.
  • Explain that you will read things aloud and if they like what is said, they will move to the number 5, if they are not sure they will move to the number 3, and if they strongly dislike it they will move tothe number 1. Tell them to move to 2 if they are feeling in between disliking and neutral, and 4 if they feel in between liking it and being neutral.
  • Model for the class and say, "Reading books."
  • Explain that you love to read books and then move to the number 5.
  • Tell students, "Now it's your turn!"
  • Say, "Ice cream," and allow students to move to a number.
  • Continue to read each phrase below and allow for students to move to each number and to look around the room.
    • "Playing outside"
    • "Dogs"
    • "Reading books"
    • "When others say mean things"
    • "To feel peaceful"
    • "P.E."
    • "Art and painting"
    • "When someone lies to you"
    • "When someone tells you the truth"
    • "When you make a mistake"
    • "When you hear encouraging words"
  • Pause and bring students back together in a circle.
  • Ask, "What did you notice? What similarities did the class have?
  • Explain that they may have noticed a friend who liked something different from them.
  • Ask, "What was that like? How does this activity affect how you view the class and people in general?"
  • Explain that they may have noticed that most of the people in class wanted peace and that they did not like when people say mean things.
  • Ask, "If we had asked a thousand more people, do you think most of them would have wanted this, as well?"
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that on some level, almost all human beings want peace, to feel loved, and to be a part of a community.
  • Ask, "If this is what most of us want, how do we practice peace? How do we offer peace to others?"
  • Ask the class to sit up tall and to close their eyes or look down on the ground.
  • Guide the class to take three full breaths into their belly.
  • Ask them to place their hand on their heart and to notice their breathing at their heart center.
  • Guide them to say in their mind to themselves, "May I feel peace...may I feel loved..."
  • Repeat this a few more times.
  • Ask them to now imagine themselves in their favorite peaceful place and to notice how they feel.
  • Invite them to imagine others, loved ones and friends, there in their peaceful place.
  • Guide them to say in their mind to these loved ones, "May you feel peace...may you feel loved..."
  • Repeat this a few more times.
  • Ask them to imagine their loved ones feeling deeply peaceful and notice how they feel. (Pause for 1–2 minutes.)
  • Ask them to take a few deep breaths and to slowly open their eyes.
  • Ask, "What did you notice? How do you feel?"
  • Ask, "If most humans want peace how can this practice of pausing, breathing, and offering peace to ourselves and others support peace in our community? How can this practice support peace in the world?"
(5 minutes)
  • Review the "We Are Peacemakers" Banner worksheet with the class.
  • Show them your model triangular piece for the banner.
  • Explain that each of their triangles will be glued to a long string to create a classroom banner that represents peace.
(15 minutes)
  • Dismiss students to go to their seats to work on their triangle.
  • Circle around the room and check in with as many students as possible to answer any questions and provide support when needed.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to reflect on what peace means to them and how mindfulness practice can support peace.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students during independent work time and provide support when needed.

(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room and check in with as many students as possible to see if they are following directions and understand how and why they should send peaceful thoughts to themselves and others.
(10 minutes)
  • Glue each student's triangle onto a long string or piece of twine.
  • Hang the banner up on a wall, low enough so that all students may see.
  • Ask students to make a line and to quietly and slowly walk past the banner and to look at each student's work.
  • Ask them to notice the details in each triangle.
  • Bring the class back together in a circle.
  • Ask, "What stood out for you in today's class? What will you think of when you see the banner?"
  • Ask, "When can you practice sending peaceful thoughts to yourself and others?"

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