Today is the International Day of Peace.
The United Nations has declared September 21 as the International Day of Peace. In a message commemorating the Day in 1995, Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali stated that "the world, once more, cries out for peace. And for the economic and social development that peace alone can assure... Let us keep our goal clear and simple... Let us work for peace."
For middle and high school students:
- Have students brainstorm a list of conflicts that are happening around the world: Israel-Palestine, Iraq, etc.
- Ask students to generate a list of reasons why people fight: religion, economics, etc.
- Have students form groups and assign each group one reason from the list they generated above. In groups, students should discuss and be ready to present possible solutions that could address the causes. It is important to emphasize that students are not trying to solve a particular world crisis, but rather are trying to identify solutions that can work in general (education, tolerance, debt relief, etc.).
- The groups could then create posters that promote their particular solution. See the lesson plan Designing Effective Poster Presentations for tips and ideas on making posters. For elementary-age students, follow the same process as above, but instead of looking at the world, ask students to focus on conflicts, reasons, and solutions in their school.
This site contains a number of links to other websites dealing with ways to become active in promoting peace around the world and in the local communities.
This site, part of the United Nations Cyberschool Bus, contains five curricular units that focus on ecology, tolerance, critical thinking, social justice, and global citizenship.
Read about the outstanding people who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the official site for the award. The site includes biographies, lectures, and additional information for all the award winners as well as educational material.