ACTIVITY GUIDE
Peace Chain 

Peace_Chain_-_Edit.jpgOverview: This activity allows students to see how the consequences of their behavior and their community are connected. Using a simple paper chain, students will see how peaceful behavior can promote more peaceful behavior and how easily not-so-peaceful behavior can affect the whole community.

Time: 15 minutes

Grades: 2-8

Concepts: Peace, S.T.A.R. Power

Social Skills: Cooperation, Assertion

Objectives:              

  • Students will brainstorm definitions of peace.
  • Students will identify things that make them feel peaceful and ways to act peacefully.
  • Students will work together to create a classroom Peace Chain.

Materials:                 

  • Blue and green (or any two colors) construction paper, cut into 1-inch strips
    • Prepare enough paper so that every student gets one strip of each color
  • Pens or markers
  • Stapler

Directions:              

  • Ask students what they think of when you say the word “peace.” What are some things that make them feel peaceful? What are some ways they can act peacefully?
    • Remind students that acting peacefully means being nice with your words and your body, and caring about yourself and others. (See What is Peace? Lesson)
  • Make a list of students’ ideas on the board.
  • Distribute one blue strip of paper to each student.
    • Ask students to write their answer on the blue paper to complete the sentence: “One thing that makes me feel peaceful is _________.” They can choose from the list on the board, or think of something new.
  • Distribute one green strip of paper to each student.
    • Ask students to write their answer on the green paper to complete the sentence: “One way I can act peacefully is _________.” They can choose from the list on the board, or think of something new.
  • Ask students to draw a picture on the paper strips to go along with their answers.
    Peace_Chain_Strips.jpg
  • When all students are done, go around the room asking each student to stand and share with the class what they wrote on each of their paper strips.
    • After each student shares, staple their paper strips into an interlocking chain, with students’ answers facing outward. Alternate colors so that the class chain develops a blue-green-blue-green pattern. 
  • Hang the Peace Chain in a prominent place in the classroom or school.
    Peace_Chain_process.jpg

Debrief:                    

  • What would happen if one person didn’t want to add their paper strips to the chain? What would happen if one of the links in the chain was cut?
    • When even just one person chooses to act in a not-so-peaceful way, the whole class feels less whole, less peaceful.
  • What do you think our class would be like if everyone acted peacefully all the time?
    • When everyone chooses to act peacefully with each other, it creates a feeling of peace throughout the class. This helps everyone feel safe, be ready to learn, and have fun. Together, our ideas and actions form a strong Peace Chain.

Adaptations:                       

  • Peaceful behavior helps the Peace Chain grow:
    • Cut extra strips of paper and leave them in a basket in the classroom.
    • Tell students that each time they see or hear someone acting peacefully, they can write what they saw on a strip and you will add it to the chain. 

Click here for printable version

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