Saturday, November 17, 2012

17th November World Peace Day

I struggle to see exactly what the difference is between this day and International Day of Peace which is held on 21st September, but I guess it really doesn't matter how many Peace Days there are, it is something we should be thinking about on a daily basis. World Peace Day requests that each person take a moment to fold a couple of paper cranes and mail them to a world leader or hang them in a place that is visible to the public. One of the Kindergarten classes at school did this just this week. One of the students had learned to make origami cranes and she taught her peers to do it. The teacher took the opportunity to send to the library for the picture book version of Sadako by Eleanorr Coerr and Ed Young She read it to the class and of course it is a lot for six year olds to take on board, but there were plenty of questions and because of the paper folding they will remember the story.

When I read the poemPeaceguy's Prayer by Don Morris that is posted on websites about World Peace Day I can't help but think about how powerful these lines from the beginning of the poem are.

May the people on this planet be changed
Changed from hatred to love,
Changed from greed to giving,
Changed from selfishness to selflessness,
Changed from apathy to action,
Changed from jealousy to joy over someone's accomplishments,
Changed from intolerance to acceptance,
Changed from being destructive to being constructive,
Changed from fighting to peace,
Changed from killing to protecting life,
Changed form censorship to freedom,
Changed from ignorance to education,
Changed from fearing our differences to rejoicing our variety.

Of course there are many picture books that you could choose to illustrate the ideas presented here, but immediately I thought of these. They may not be easy to buy, but search them out in the library because you will not be disappointed. Lessons planned with these and class discussions on these are always rewarding.

* Feathers and Fools  by Mem Fox. This wonderful book about a fight among birds allows children to step back initially because the protagonists are not people, but they are quick to draw parallels after the story is finished. (Please note if you are in Australia this book may have a different illustrator. It has a blue cover.)

* Milo and the Mysterious Island by Marcus Pfister. This story is the sequel to Milo and the Magical Stones, but this time the cliff mice sail off on a raft  to explore a tropical island. Here they meet a tribe of striped mice. Like its predecessor this book also has two endings offering two resolutions to the  conflict between the mice.

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