Lesson Plans for Creating Peace Poems


We encourage sharing brief histories of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi and what we can do to promote tolerance, diversity, and an appreciation of strength through diversity as human beings and part of the natural world. 


Libby Barker

Libby Barker, 6, who began Peace Poem, wrote: "Peace means everyone loving everyone else and we're all part of one world."


 


LESSON PLAN 1, contributed by Kauai’s Hanalei Elementary teacher Brent Andrews: 

Objective: Students will be able to write original poems that promote peace and express their
thoughts and feelings about peace.

Materials:
Chart paper or whiteboard
Markers or dry-erase markers
Pencils or pens
Paper for each student
Peace-related pictures or images (optional)

Procedure:
Introduction (10 minutes)
1. Begin the lesson by engaging the students in a discussion about peace. Ask questions
such as: “What does peace mean to you?” “Why is peace important in our lives and in
our world?” “How can we promote peace in our daily lives?” Write their responses on
chart paper or on the whiteboard.
2. Show peace-related pictures or images (if available) to inspire students and help them
make connections to the concept of peace.
3. Review basic poetry elements such as stanzas, lines, and rhymes with students.
Explain that poems often use descriptive language and vivid imagery to express
emotions and ideas.
4. Discuss different types of poems, such as acrostic, haiku, or free verse, and explain that
they can choose any type of poem to express their ideas about peace.
Brainstorming (10 minutes):
5. Have students brainstorm words or phrases related to peace. Encourage them to think
creatively and use their senses to come up with descriptive words.
6. Write the students' ideas on chart paper or the whiteboard, and discuss the different
ways they can use these words in their poems.
Writing (20 minutes):
7. Distribute paper and pencils to each student.
8. Instruct the students to write a peace poem using the ideas from the brainstorming
session. Encourage them to use descriptive language and vivid imagery to express their
thoughts and feelings about peace.
9. Walk around the classroom and provide support and feedback to individual students as
they work on their poems.
Sharing and Reflection (10 minutes):
10. Once the students have finished writing their poems, allow them to share their poems
with the class. They can read their poems aloud or display them on the wall for a gallery
walk.
11. After each student has shared their poem, facilitate a discussion about the different
ways they expressed peace in their poem. Ask questions such as: “What words or
phrases did you use to describe peace?” “How did you use the imagery in your poem?”
“How did you promote peace through your poem?”
12. As a closing activity, have students reflect on the experience of writing peace poems by
sharing one thing they learned or enjoyed about the activity.
Extension (Optional):
1. Encourage students to revise and edit their poems based on feedback received during
the sharing and reflection session.
2. Create a class anthology of peace poems by collecting and compiling all the poems into
a booklet or a digital presentation to share with the school or community.
3. Invite a local poet or writer to visit the classroom and share their work, or read peace-themed poems to the class for further inspiration.
4. Collaborate with other grade levels or schools to organize a poetry reading event or a
peace-themed assembly to promote peace in the school community.


LESSON PLAN 2 by Maui teacher Rae Chin

GOAL: To inspire creativity in a peaceful way.

OBJECTIVE: To write a poem inspired by the individual's thoughts on peace.

MATERIALS: Paper and pencil or pen.

STEPS:

1) Share an example of a haiku, free verse

2) Explain the structure of a haiku (5-7-5 syllables, reference to seasons, nature), free verse (no rhyme, rhythm required, but thoughts should seek to be personal).

3) Brainstorm words or phrases as a class that is associated with "peace".  Write words on a large chart for the class to see the result of collective brainstorming.

4) Create a class poem using the words from the list. Model the process of arranging the words in a sentence or phrase until it "feels good". Add a word of your own, is not on the list. * Emphasize ideas, concepts, and phrases. Sometimes, the creative process is encouraged more when the teacher does not allow complete sentences.

5) Each student personally selects a poetic form to record on Peace Poem and writes it on paper.

6) The teacher makes editing changes to each student's poem - spelling, word usage, etc.


10) Send peace poems to Peace Poem P.O. Box 102 Lahaina, Hawaii, USA 96761 Telephone, USA, (808) 661-0517 or send in Microsoft Word or text to Attn. Peace Poetry, melindagohn@hotmail.com.


8) If a child is unable to write in his/her own handwriting, he/she may dictate his poem and sign it. We have had a 3-year-old child dictate her lines to her sister. Remember the first two lines of the Peace Poem were started by a 6-year-old child.

For further study:

Jan. 15 - Birthday of Martin Luther King (Jan. 15, 1929, USA-April 4, 1968) U.S. civil rights leader, Dr. King supported a black boycott in Montgomery, Alabama against segregated restaurants and facilities in the 1950s and 1960s. He supported non-violent resistance and organized the massive march on Washington, D.C. in 1963. Author, "Stride Toward Freedom," 1958. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. 

Oct. 2 - Birthday of Mohandas Gandhi (Oct. 2, 1869, India-Jan 30, 1948). Leader of the Indian Nationalist movement who espoused a doctrine of non-violence to achieve social and political change. Led civil disobedience demonstration in S. Africa against anti-Hindu discrimination in 1893, and successfully sought independence from Great Britain. Threatened to die by fasting to achieve social reforms.

M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence https://gandhiinstitute.org
 


The King Center: The Center for Nonviolent Social Change  https://thekingcenter.org/

Hawaii Stories of Change: Kokua Hawaii Oral History Project https://oralhistory.hawaii.edu/hawaii-stories-of-change-kokua-hawaii-oral-history-project/  Kokua Hawaii leaders in the 1970s used nonviolent methods of civil protest to help successfully halt evictions, secure a future for Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and help bring to public attention the unjust use of ceded lands once owned by the Hawaiian monarchy.

Primary Resource Material and Teacher’s Guide for Dr. King, via Library of Congress:
https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/civil-rights-movement/

Aug. 6 - Hiroshima Day. Observance of the devastation caused by the H-bomb.

Oct. 2 - Birthday of Mohandas Gandhi (Oct. 2, 1869, India-Jan 30, 1948). Leader of the Indian Nationalist movement who espoused a doctrine of non-violence to achieve social and political change. Led civil disobedience demonstration in S. Africa against anti-Hindu discrimination in 1893.  Threatened to die by fasting to achieve social reforms.

Assassinated. Jan. 15 - Birthday of Martin Luther King (Jan. 15, 1929, USA-April 4, 1968) U.S. civil rights leader, reverend. Led black boycott in Montgomery, Alabama against segregated bus lines in 1955.  Supported non-violent resistance and organized a massive march on Washington, D.C. in 1963. Author, "Stride Toward Freedom," 1958. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.  Assassinated.

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