Perspectives on Peace

Grade Levels: 8 - 12

Excerpted lesson from:
Making Choices About Conflict, Security, and Peacemaking by Carol Miller Lieber.

PURPOSE: Students will read how writers, artists, political leaders, and citizens define and image peace.

LEARNING STRATEGIES: Critical reading and writing, class discussion

TIME: A few minutes or an entire class period

MATERIALS: Handouts - "What People Say About Peace," and "What Is Peace?"

  1. Pass out copies of "What People Say About Peace" and "What Is Peace?" or select several quotations to use separately. The quotations can be used as a springboard for the following activities:

  2. Ask students to read the quotations, selecting two or three that they like the best. Divide students into groups of five. Have students participate in "round robins," each taking a minute or two to discuss a quotation that most closely reflects his/her idea of peace.

  3. Identify several quotations that describe ideas and activities more closely associated with negative or positive concepts of peace.

  4. Make a list of the root causes – both attitudes and actions – of violence, war, and "non-peace" that are mentioned in the quotations.

  5. Choose any of the quotations to use as a premise or thesis for an extended essay that develops the ideas contained in the quotation.

  6. Read and discuss the quotations that specifically address the concept of non-violence (12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19) and explore the writings of these peacemakers.

  7. Find news clippings, cartoons, photographs, or articles that illustrate the main idea contained in the quotation.

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