Peacemaking can be taught, just like reading and math. The Peace First curriculum is designed to teach and reinforce the core social/emotional skills of communication, conflict resolution, cooperation, empathy and civic engagement through experiential lessons for each grade level. Lessons allow students to learn and practice these essential peacemaking skills and then to make an authentic, meaningful difference by applying these peacemaker skills in a community service learning project. All lessons focus on experiential learning and strengthening relationships, are relevant to diverse student populations and are developmentally appropriate.
How it Works
The Peace First Curriculum includes a scope and sequenced set of 18, one-hour lessons per grade-level (pre-k through 8) which build on the wisdom of teachers, students and families to help students acquire the skills of peacemaking: communication, conflict resolution, cooperation, empathy and civic engagement. Check out the Curriculum Overview for more information.
One Theme Per Grade Level
Each grade of the curriculum is built to help students at that level acquire the knowledge, skills, relationships and opportunities for being effective peacemakers in ways that are relevant and appropriate to their age.
The Peacemaker Skills lessons are the first 10 lessons of each grade-level curriculum and are designed to teach and reinforce the social and emotional knowledge and skills targeted in each grade-level theme through hands-on activities, games and discussions. The 8 Peacemaker Project lessons follow and are designed to help students put their peacemaker skills to work in a service learning project, called a Peacemaker Project.
Community Service Learning - The Peacemaker Project
At each grade level, students participate in a community service learning project (Peacemaker Project) that engages them and teachers in positive relationships with the community. The Peace First curriculum provides educators with eight Peacemaker Project lessons that connect the peacemaking skills from the Peacemaker Skills lessons to the Peacemaker Project. There are additional tools and resources to support educators for planning, implementing and evaluating Peacemaker Projects with students.
"We had been teaching Peace First lessons in the classroom for the entire school year. At the beginning of the year, we had an incident where a prized possession was stolen from the desk of a student during recess. As the school year was ending, George confessed to me that he had stolen the item but was scared to admit to it. He shared that after learning about problem solving in Peace First, he understood he had to tell the boy that he had stolen from him and take responsibility for his actions. We worked together to come up with a plan to apologize to the boy and return his belongings. It made me proud to know that George had learned so much as a Peace First student."
-Fourth Grade Teacher, New York City