Today, September 21st is International Day of Peace, sponsored by the United Nations and observed around the world. For the past couple of weeks I have been engaging classes in the idea of peace by reading assorted books and having the students respond in various ways. I had the students record themselves, take photos of their work and video tape their classmates. I have put together a movie of all of the activities which will be shown during lunch times (which protects instructional time) on Monday so that the entire student body will be able to see the student work and think about what peace means to them and to the world.
First Grade: Todd Parr’s Peace Book
I tried activities that were new this year and they were successful for the most part. I read Todd Parr’s book, The Peace Book which is written in the pattern, “Peace is…”. After reading I had the students complete the sentence, “Peace is” and then illustrate their response. I recorded some students reading their statement.
Third Grade: Karen William’s Four Feet, Two Sandals
I shared the book, Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Williams with a third grade class and then they researched the topic of refugees in a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, almanac, and atlas. We shared the information after finding out more about refugees
Fourth Grade: Davide Cali’s The Enemy: A Book About Peace and Wordle Creation
I read The Enemy: A Book about Peace by Davide Cali to the 4th grade classes and one group summarized the book on index card using 5 words or phrases. I have been working with this grade on note-taking, summarizing, and plagiarism. I entered all the words on the cards into Wordle and created a word cloud.
Fifth Grade: John Mardsen’s “The Rabbits”
I took a risk with a 5th grade class and read the short story, “The Rabbits” by John Mardsen, which is found in the book, Lost & Found by Shaun Tan. A couple of 5th grade boys discovered this book last year and really liked it, so I thought I’d introduce it early in the year and see where it went! After reading it to the class and briefly discussing it, I had the students work in small groups and do a round robin style writing response. Each student wrote in different colored pencil and couldn’t repeat a thought that had been recorded in their group. That went pretty well and I think I’ll repeat it again using different topics. Most of our students need all the writing practice they can get.