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The Peacemaker Messages illustrate single examples of peacemaking that take place in one of three outdoor settings where children commonly interact: the backyard, the neighborhood or community, or the school yard. Using examples that are easily recognized by young children, the Messages define six principles of positive, mindful peacemaking:
Peacemakers . . . (1) respect all living things; (2) care about the Earth; (3) listen to understand; (4) work together to make things better; (5) share with others; and (6) work it out without violence.
The Messages provide a concise framework for building on the child’s capacity for goodness by raising awareness of what it means to take action for peace everyday. In this context, peacemaking becomes less a means for settling an argument or stopping a fight (peace as the absence of conflict), and more about how adults and children, alike, can live life to affect positive change for peace.
Teachers and parents can use the Messages as a springboard for discussion and activities that help children to recognize that even their smallest acts of peace resonate and inspire others to become peacemakers.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY Tell a story – Using the control cards, ask the child to choose an image and read the peacemaker message. Ask the child to tell you about the illustration . . . “What do you see in this picture?” Help the child to sequence a longer story by asking “What do you think happened before? . . . What happened after?”
Extension: Write and/or draw the story
Windows on a Peaceful World – The 6 illustrations of the Peacemaker Messages, printed on 8″ x 10″, 80lb white vellum, and ready for framing or lamination.