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Lesson Plan

The Peace Journey: Using Process Drama in the Classroom

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The Peace Journey: Using Process Drama in the Classroom

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five or six 50-minute class periods
Lesson Author

Maureen Carroll

Pleasanton, California


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Create a character that expresses a personal definition of peace

  • Work in collaborative research groups to evaluate different perspectives on peace

  • Synthesize and summarize different perspectives on peace in a visual map

  • Create and perform in a skit that represents varied perspectives on peace

  • Draw a visual representation of peace

  • Respond in writing to reflective/assessment questions

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Session 1

1. As a class, visit the following websites that offer differing perspectives on peace:
After viewing the websites, ask students to discuss how peace is defined and represented in varied ways.

2. Lead a class discussion on current events that have had an impact on peace. You may use the following questions as a guide:
  • What are the major obstacles to peace in our times?

  • What does peace look like in the resolution of different conflicts?

  • What does peace mean to the people involved in conflicts?
Encourage students to make connections between world events that impact their lives and ways to create peace in the world.

3. Tell students that they are going to do a "think-pair-share" activity. In this activity students first briefly respond to a writing prompt. They then meet in pairs to discuss their ideas for about five minutes. After the discussion, they are asked to share their ideas with the entire class. Ask each student to respond in writing to the following prompts:
  • What does peace mean to you?

  • Describe the most peaceful place you can imagine. Visualize and describe the colors you see, the sounds you hear, the mood that surrounds you, and the images you picture.
Divide the class into pairs and ask students to share their responses. After they have briefly discussed their ideas, ask for volunteers to share their thoughts with the entire class.

Homework assignment

Read the following imaginary advertisement aloud to the class:

"We are looking for a group of volunteers to go on a Peace Journey. We cannot tell you the destination, as you will be part of discovering where it is. Please describe why you think you would be a good candidate for this journey. Include your age, your strengths, your ideas on peace, and any information that will help us make a decision about whom to take on this remarkable adventure."

Ask each student to respond in writing to the advertisement to be a volunteer on the Peace Journey as a homework assignment.

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Session 2

1. Tell students that they are going to participate in a simulated Peace Journey drama that will be based on their definitions and ideas on peace. Students will create a skit that highlights their journeys to an imaginary peaceful place.

2. Divide the class into small groups of four to five students per group. Provide each group with a copy of the Peace Journey Planning Worksheet. Tell students to use the worksheet to develop their skits. The worksheet asks students to:
  • Assemble a cast of characters that reflects their individual ideas on peace

  • Describe their vision of an ideal peaceful destination

  • List the obstacles they will face in reaching their peaceful destination

  • Select tools that will be helpful in reaching their destination

  • Create a visual map using symbols to represent the varied aspects of their journey
Discuss the visual map portion of the worksheet in more detail with students. Tell students that, for example, they might represent people’s unwillingness to communicate as a wall, or the difficulties of the journey as an uphill climb.

Students can refer to the Rubric for Peace Journey Planning Worksheet to see how the assignment will be evaluated.

3. Ask each group to present its Peace Journey Planning Worksheet to the class. Encourage students to share how they made group decisions. Discuss and compare the different representations of peace the groups developed.

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Session 3

1. Ask each member of the group to write a diary entry that describes the obstacles and challenges that he or she imagines will be a part of the Peace Journey. Distribute the Rubric for Diary Entry to provide students with the assessment criteria for this writing assignment.

2. Ask group members to share their diary entries.

3. Tell students that each group is responsible for creating a segment of the Peace Journey classroom skit. Students’ diary entries can be incorporated into the skit dialogue. Provide students with the following list that describes varied components of the skit:
  • Each of you should play the role of a character.

  • Your destination should be clearly described.

  • Decide how the characters are going to interact. Show specific examples of conflicts and how they are resolved.

  • The dialogue should reflect the challenges and obstacles you face, and the ways you overcome them on your journey.

  • Use props to help tell your story.

  • You may wish to add music, lighting, or dance movements to enhance your story.

  • As you begin to write your script, do not be afraid to improvise. Try a variety of different ways to enact your journey, and be open to changing the script.

  • Your goal is to use the drama as a context to express your ideas on peace.
It may also be helpful to distribute the Rubric for Group Work and the Rubric for Peace Journey Skit. Giving students the assessment criteria in advance can help them to work more effectively toward a common goal.

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Session 4

1. Ask each group to create a visual representation of its imaginary peace-filled destination that will be used as a backdrop for their segment of the Peace Journey performance. You may wish to have students browse Visions of Peace Art Collection for ideas.

2. Provide time in class for students to rehearse their Peace Journey skits.

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Session 5

Have the class stage a performance of the Peace Journey giving each group the opportunity to perform its skit. More than one class session may be needed for the performance, unless you have a small class or limit the amount of time each group has to perform. Make sure the backdrop is in place for each group. You may choose to write a brief part for a narrator that links different aspects of all the skits or introduces each one. You may wish to invite other classes and community members to view the performance. If possible, videotape the performance.

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  • Ask students to create a public service announcement to promote peace in the world. If possible, videotape students' work. You may wish to visit Just Think: Youth Media to see examples of public service announcements created by youth on a variety of topics.

  • Have students investigate the United Nations' International Day of Peace website and answer the following questions:
  • Do you see any value in sponsoring a day like this?

  • What would you do to increase peace in the world?
  • Ask students to explore the role of artists in promoting peace at War Child and Visions of Peace Art Collection.

  • As a class, create a peace website.

  • Create a "What is Peace" journal that contains entries from students, teachers, and school staff.

  • Write the word "peace" in the center of a circle and ask the class to brainstorm a list of 50 words that describe it. Post the students' list in the classroom, and encourage them to add words to the list throughout the school year. Encourage visitors to your classroom to add words to the list.

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  • Ask students to answer the following questions to help them reflect on their learning.

    Small-Group Reflection Questions

    • How effective was our group collaboration in discussing and developing diverse perspectives on peace?

    • How clearly did our visual map express our plan, the obstacles to peace, and our final destination?

    • How effectively did our skit dialogue reflect different perspectives on peace?

    • How effective was our performance in conveying different perspectives on peace?

    • How effectively did our backdrop convey our ideas on peace?

      Individual Reflection Questions

    • How effectively did I define peace in my writing?

    • How did using drama enhance my understanding of peace?

    • How effective was my diary entry in expressing my thoughts on the obstacles to peace?

    • What did I contribute to the group's collaboration on the Peace Journey skit and backdrop?

Use the students' reflections to assess the effectiveness of the lesson and to help you learn about using process drama as a teaching tool.

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