Peace Lesson Plans

Welcome to the Teachers’ Peace Resources. The following lesson plans are available for use in the classroom. You may browse through the brief overviews or go directly to a specific grade. If you would like to see the full lesson plan click on the title and a pdf file will load for you to view/print.

A special thank you to the William Penn House and the Teachers for Peace Workshop for sharing their lesson plans to help get this page started.

If you have created your own peace lesson plans and would like them posted on our site, please contact us at



Elementary School
(1st - 5th Grade)

 Lesson Plan

Grade: 2-4
Subjects: Language Arts/Social Studies

In 1926 with tensions rising between Japan and America, 12, 739 Friendship Dolls were sent from America to Japan.  Ellen C. was one of those dolls who were assigned a mission of peace. Follow Ellen's historic journey from Wilmington, Ohio to Nagasaki, Japan and learns the ways friendship can overcome even war. Finding the Friendship Dolls shows how children can appreciate the people and culture of another country, especially at times when the two governments are unfriendly toward each other.

Explores 1927 Friendship Doll Project, Japanese Honorable Small Dolls Festival, citizenship, prejudice, rights and responsibilities. Published December 2009 by the Peace Resource Center. Purchase through the Center's bookstore for $9.95.


* Sadako Lesson Plans: See Bookstore for Sadako books, music, necklaces, pins, posters and stationary.

Sadako Project: A Peaceful Classroom
(Pre-K – 2nd Grade)
Jessie Schneider

Brief Overview: This project is intended to be used with young students at the beginning of the school year to establish a peaceful environment. This should be referenced daily throughout the school year to maintain a classroom that promotes peaceful living.

Academic Standards: Ohio Social Studies - Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities, Pre-K – 2nd.

# 3 - Demonstrate personal accountability, including making choices and taking responsibility for personal actions.
# 1 - Describe the results of cooperation in group settings and demonstrate the necessary skills.


SADAKO: Cranes for Peace
3rd - 6th Grades

Brief Overview: War has lasting effects. Long after the aggression has ceased negative effects remain. Japan is just one of numerous countries that continue to be plagued by the effects of the atomic bombs hat were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The story of Sadako Sasaki provides a starting point for this discussion on the need for peace.

Curriculum Area: Language Arts • Social Studies • Science


  • Students will begin to develop an appreciation of various ethnic groups.
  • Students will demonstrate responsible citizenship and an understanding of global interdependence.
  • Students will communicate knowledge, ideas, thoughts, feelings, concepts, opinions, and needs effectively and creatively using varied modes of expression.

Standards and Expectations:

MPS Standards Level 3 Science C.3.22
Evaluate that people can use health knowledge to care for their bodies.

MPS Standards Level 3 Science D3.3
Describe how the way people use energy has changed over time.

MPS Standards Level 4 Language Arts B.4.1
Create or produce writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
Use common figurative language to enhance writing.

Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Language Arts B.3.1
Create or produce a writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Language Arts D.4.1
Develop their vocabulary and ability to use words, phrases, idioms, and various grammatical structures as a means of improving communication.

Wisconsin’s Model for Academic Standards for Language Arts A.5.3
Read and discuss the literary and nonliterary texts in order to understand human experiences.

Hiroshima Day
3rd - 6th Grades

Brief Overview: In the process of sharing our stories of events throughout the year and focusing on Hiroshima Day, we learn more about and share feelings associated with conflict/war/loss.

Hiroshima Day Learning Activities: This lesson plan has colored art work of Sadako’s Story to print, Dream Bag Peace Project, and other activities. Teachers and leaders can adapt the following to suit their own needs. The methodology that worked best on the pilots was ‘circle time’. Teachers/leaders need to explore and be comfortable with their own identity before discussing identity with the class/group. It is important for us to accept others both for the ways in which we are different and also for the ways in which we are similar and to express our identity in ways that do not harden boundaries with others.

Suggested Success Criteria:


  • We will continue to build trust and share more with one another.
  • We will encourage active listening; empathy.
  • We will learn more about conflict/war/loss.
  • We will share feelings associated with loss.
  • We will learn more about Sadako Sasaki and her response to the Hiroshima bomb –Hiroshima Day 8th August 1945.

Famous Peacemakers: Creating a Declaration of Peace Non-violence, find peace - World Peace Society of Australia


Brief Overview: What are the attributes of a peacemaker? In this activity, children read about famous peacemakers and identify their characteristics. Each student selects a famous figure to study. To follow-up these activities, they create a Declaration of Peace, distribute it throughout the school for students' signatures, and display the signed document near the school office.

Academic Standards:

  • Read narrative, non-fiction and functional text as the primary learning strategy.
  • Organize information for a report.
  • Use five-step process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing for report.
  • Engage in historical and social issue analysis & decision-making.
  • Employ various conflict resolution strategies.

    Additional Internet Resource:

Junior High
(5th - 8th Grades)

Peace: An Introduction
(5th – 7th Grades) Elizabeth Walmsley

Brief Overview: Help students define and explore the meaning of peace. The lesson includes drawing images of peace, discussions about peace, games, guided mediation, music, and stories.

Academic and/or technical standards addressed: Art, Language, Music, Social Sciences

Diviersity~Spanish Lesson: Hay un chico mexicano
(6th Grade) By Carol Nezzo

Brief overview of lesson: Life of a Mexican boy in Mexico and as an immigrant in the U.S.A. Spanish language - vocabulary and narrative. (extension plans for comparisons with other Hispanic countries and for interviews with Hispanic students and with Hispanic seniors.)

  • This is a structured narrative lesson in Spanish for a beginning Spanish class. The narrative theme is this: a Mexican boy walks to the USA where he finds a school and friends. Follow-up activities will include comparisons with other Spanish-speaking countries; beginning Spanish students interviewing Hispanic students; beginning Spanish students interviewing Hispanic seniors.
  • This lesson is for one class period of 47 minutes. The same structured narrative should be repeated in successive class periods, adding more details to reinforce the Spanish structures and vocabulary and to add new Spanish structures and vocabulary.

Academic Standard: National Foreign Language Standards: Communication; Culture; Comparisons

Expected student outcome

  • What will students know? Spanish language structures & vocabulary; Life of a Hispanic immigrant
  • What will students be able to do? Communicate interpersonally among classmates & Hispanics.
  • What will students believe? Using Spanish is important so that we can get to know diverse persons.

Using Collage to Honor Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
(Grades 7 & 8) By Beth Gorton

Brief Overview:

This lesson is designed to be used with Art students, grades 7 & 8, class sizes 20 – 24. We have 42 minute classes once a week; I anticipate needing four weeks to complete the assignment. The general idea is to have students research their choice of Nobel Peace Prize winners, gather the information, and use symbolism to create a collage honoring their chosen laureate.

Academic Standards:

  • Have a basic understanding of the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, and a range of recipients.
  • Use the medium of collage to communicate their knowledge of and ideas about a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and where they fit in history.
  • Understand where their collage fits in the history of collage works and techniques.
  • Use symbols to communicate ideas.
  • Use elements and principles of art to create an effective design, particularly balance, emphasis, contrast and pattern.

Expected Student Outcomes:

  • Know about the Nobel prizes in general, the Nobel Peace Prize, and one recipient in depth
  • Be able to use collage to communicate their ideas about a Peace Prize winner.
  • Believe that Nobel Peace Prize winners are honored and respected members of the global community, and that collage is an effective medium to show that respect.

High School
(9th - 12th Grades)

Night Lesson Plan: Sterotypes and Scapegoats
(7th - 12th Grades, English) By Jessica Arends

The theme of this lesson is: “How do we better understand stereotypes and scapegoats.” I use this lesson when teaching Night by Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Literature discussions often allow students to think deeply about such historical atrocities. Wiesel gives a graphic account of his experience that left unexamined will puzzle and disturb the reader. This lesson allows the class to gain a deeper understanding of why the Holocaust happened, an inevitable question they all have at some point in the reading. It was designed originally for my ESL students who don’t actually learn about the Holocaust until the following year. It also serves as a spring board into our research projects where they choose a topic, including present-day genocide or other related current events.

Academic Standards: Development of vocabulary, improve listening and discussion skills, improve understanding of the causes of the Holocaust.

Expected student outcome:

What will students know?

  • Students will gain a greater understanding of what ideas, concepts and feelings.
  • Know new vocabulary words.

What will students be able to do?

  • Able to confidently discuss their own experiences with discrimination.
  • Have a vocabulary to continue this discussion with others; become positive forces in fighting discrimination.

What will students believe?

  • Students will hopefully believe in the importance of fighting discrimination as well as their own ability to combat it. This will be more possible when they realize it was not just a single person who caused Holocaust but rather people’s acceptance and promotion of certain ideas.

Slavery in My World? An Exploration
(11th - 12th Grades) By Barbara Swander Miller

Brief Overview: The unit builds on previously discussed ideas about slavery in a historical context and transfers those ideas to modern slavery. It asks students to take the Multi-Track Diplomacy lens (discussed in general to analyze historical slavery in the novels) to investigate slavery in the world today and hypothesize about how to eradicate this scourge.

Academic Standards:

Reading - Comprehension

  • Analyze and decipher structural features of informational and technical material.
  • Verify and clarify facts presented in expository texts.
  • Analyze an author’s implicit and explicit beliefs about a subject.

Writing- Organization and focus

  • Discuss ideas for writing with others.
  • Use an understanding of the elements of discourse (purpose, speaker, audience and form) when organizing writing or a presentation.
  • Use clear research questions and creative and critical research strategies.

Research and technology

  • Use systematic strategies to organize and record information.
  • Review, evaluate and revise writing for clarity, purpose, tone, voice, and style.
  • Demonstrate use of Standard English.

Listening and speaking

  • Deliver oral reports on historical investigations that use exposition, narration, description, persuasion or some combination to support a thesis.
  • Include information on relevant perspectives and consider the validity and reliability of sources.
  • Critique a speaker's use of words and language in relation to the purpose or an oral communication and their impact.

Expected student outcomes:
What will students know?

    • that slavery does exist in their world.
    • the nature and extent of slavery in modern countries.
    • how to find answers to questions using print and electronic sources

    What will students be able to do?

    • find accurate information about social justice issues.
    • present an overview of the slavery issue in a particular country to the class.
    • identify five tracks of influence on slavery in that country.
    • investigate how these tracks influence the perpetuation of slavery in this country.
    • offer suggestions as to how slavery might be eradicated by addressing five tracks of diplomacy.

    What will students believe?

    • that slavery is wrong.
    • that the eradication of modern slavery is a complicated issue that must be analyzed from a wide perspective.
    • that slavery could be eliminated in their lifetimes.
    • that problems that are analyzed stand a better chance of being solved than those that are not.

    A Peace Maker in the Aftermath of War
    (9th - 12th Grade) By Lori Badenhop, Graduate of Wilmington College Education Program.

    Brief Introduction: This lesson is geared for a 9th grade classroom but could easily be modified to fit in any classroom. The story of peace activist and peace educator Barbara Reynolds could be used in the classroom to show how peace can be obtained and to discuss the consequences of war.

    Academic Standards: Social Sciences

    1. Students will analyze the consequences of WWII including the atomic bomb.
    2. Students will analyze the consequences of WWII including civilian losses.

    Lesson Closure:
    The class will sum up what they have learned about the atomic bomb and Barbara Reynolds. How does it all connect? Is Barbara a hero or someone who breaks the law? Why?

    Evaluation Data
    1. The teacher will observe the students, when giving their oral presentations, discussing the atomic bomb and its effects.
    2. The teacher will observe the students discussing the casualties of WWII and why so many people died.

    Budgeting for Peace: Alternatives to Military Action
    (11th - 12th Grades) By Julie Okoniewski

    Brief Overview: The lesson focuses on Peace and Social Justice and discusses alternatives to military action on a global scale.

    Academic Standards:

    Reading comprehension

    • Creative reasoning

    Expected student outcome:

    What will students know?

    • Students will know about a particular world leader (Archbishop Desmond Tutu) working for peace.

    What will students be able to do?

    • Students will be able to recognize alternatives to military/aggressive action on the part of world leaders.

    What will students believe?

    • Students will believe that they, too, can play a role in achieving peaceful alternatives to conflicts at home and abroad, including by expressing their beliefs to their elected officials.

    Additional Internet Resource: War Resisters League at