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TPI Curriculum

TPI Curriculum

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Published by Fish Stark
TPI's original curriculum for 4th-6th grade students
TPI's original curriculum for 4th-6th grade students

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Published by: Fish Stark on Jul 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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APPROACHING LIFE FROM A NON-VIOLENT AND OPEN-MINDED PERSPECTIVE designed by Fish Stark, Kate Kirby, Patrik Kast, Jack Anthony, and Klaas Roberts executive directors Fish Stark and Kate Kirby

Our Curriculum
Our four day curriculum forces students to think about the different scales of conflict that exist in their world and offers them a new understanding of how that conflict can be dealt with peacefully. It encourages them to approach not only minor discrepancies in a non-violent manner, but also to seek such remedies for national and international issues. It allows them to reflect not only on what peace really is, but how it should and must be implemented.



Day 1 What is peace?
The goal of this day is to create a definition and understanding of peace and to introduce the general ideas that will be essential to subsequent days. Part I: The Ice Breaker (5 minutes) The icebreaker is just a chance for the ambassadors to get to know the students and make the students comfortable.  Introduce the ambassadors and briefly describe TPI and TPI’s mission  Go around the room and have each child say both their name and a favorite ice cream flavor (or vacation spot, superhero, etc. – keep the age of the children in mind) Part II: Pre-Test/Post-Test (5 minutes) This is a test given both at the very beginning of the curriculum and at the very end and is just a way to gauge how much children have actually gained from what they have been learning.  Hand out paper/pens  Introduce pretest, reminding children that it will NOT be graded in any way  As they fill out the quiz, try to engage and push the students to answer each question to the best of their abilities, explaining any part of the question they might have difficulty grasping Part III: Lecture and Discussion (12 minutes) Focused on the ideas of “peace,” “compassion,” and “truth,” this will give the children an understanding of what peace really is, a realization essential to its implementation. Defining Peace  Begin by asking the group, “What is peace?”  Write all the student responses on the board  After a few minutes of student input, write our definition on the board – “Peace is a complex idea, based on one simple thing: love” – remind children how despite this general definition, each of their ideas was correct as peace is such an overarching concept


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM Realizing and embracing our differences is essential to love and therefore to peace.  The world is a big place, full of big ideas and so many different kinds of people. What are ways we are different?  What we eat  The way we talk  What we wear  The little ways we act  Yet we are all simultaneously the same and share the same desire to improve our lives…  Describe the typical morning of a child in another part of the world and how it might be very different and yet fundamentally the same. Ex. A young girl in Afghanistan who might wear a veil and walk to school is just like us in that she shares the same desire to improve her life with an education.  Once we realize that we all share the same basic needs and desires, we can learn to love and embrace our differences.  Ask, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a lot of friends from around the world? Who knew all sorts of cool games, songs, and foods that you didn’t and could introduce them to you?”  Ask children if there are any things from foreign cultures that are important in their lives. Sushi? Pizza?  Remind children that it is crucial to realize what all humans have in common and learn to be compassionate in the face of differences, offering a quick definition of compassion. Truth is founded not on opinion, but on the basis of fact and observation.  Ask students for their definitions of “truth” and “opinion” and write their answers on the board  As they respond, suggest that since we all have such different perspectives, truth must be objective, founded on fact and observation  Offer a relatable example of a small-scale conflict in which two people have very different conceptions of what is actually going on  Why is truth important? Acting without stepping back and looking at what is really going on can result in more and more conflict, judgments, and prejudice. 3

TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM Conclusion  What have we learned?  We live in a big world full of different people.  There are many ways to look and act.  People share the fundamentally human desire to make life better.  With this in mind, we can learn to love our differences and be compassionate.  We must remember that truth is founded on fact and observation and not make assumptions about people because of their appearance or what we think we know about their origins.  Key Concepts:  Peace as a complex idea founded on love and compassion for differences.  Truth as synthesis of fact and observation. Part IV: Power-point Presentation (7 minutes) Each slide offers an image of an instance of peaceful conflict resolution in history. For each slide…  Ask the children if they know anything about the event pictured.  Offer a brief, child-friendly explanation of the event.  Ask…  What do you think went wrong here?  How were they trying to make their lives better?  How would you have felt in such an unfair situation? Would you have stood up for what you believed in?  Was this a good way to go about it? Slide I: Title Slide



Slide III: The Women’s Suffrage Movement  Emphasize the direct impact of the movement.

Slide IV: John Lennon’s Protest Against the Vietnam War  Has anyone heard of the Beatles?  Even something as simple as a song can have an impact and spread an important message.



Transition into Activity  Remind children that doing nothing is often just as bad as actively doing something wrong.  Take what you are learning here to really try to improve your life and the lives of people around you through peaceful action. Part V: Group Activity (9 minutes to work, 4 minutes to share) This activity is focused on allowing the children to use everything they have been learning about peace-making to "solve” a realworld problem. It will make the ideas we have helped them learn less abstract and easier to grasp.  Split the students into relatively equal groups and assign an ambassador to each group.  Ask the students: “if you could change one thing in the world…”  What would it be?  Why?  How would you solve it with the ideas we discussed in mind?  Have the students work together to draw their issue and solution.  After nine minutes, allow each group a minute to share their ideas with the rest of the class. Part VI: Conclusion (3 minutes) Quickly wrap up the central ideas from the day and remind the children to take home the ideas they have learned and think about how to implement them in their day-to-day lives.



Day 2
Adopting a Peaceful Attitude and Making Decisions Based on Compassion, Truth, and Observation The goal of this day is to think about applying the concepts learned on day 1 to real-like situations and understand how peacemaking can be used in our own small-scale communities. Part I: Discussion with Power-point Presentation (15 minutes, 5 minutes per section) Hold a small discussion revolving around the question raised by each slide. Encourage students to participate and share their own ideas while channeling the discussion. Slide I: Title Slide

Slide II: What is a peacemaker?  Who are the people pictured?  What did they attempt to do?  Were they peacemakers, and if so, how?  Once various ideas are heard, bring together the ideas into a central definition:  A peacemaker is a person who…  Can find peace during times of conflict  Can recognize him/herself as a citizen of the world – someone who recognizes our connections as humans while acknowledging and embracing cultural differences



Slide III: What is a peaceful attitude?  How are the people in this picture different?  How are they the same?  Once ideas are heard, bring the ideas into a central definition:  A peaceful attitude is obtained when…  Your mind is open to people of all different walks of life.  You understand that you are part of the human community.  You can step back to observe the truth, without being blinded by opinion.

Slide IV: Why is a peaceful attitude so important?  Ask for their own ideas, then bring the ideas together:  So many of the world’s problems are caused by simple misunderstandings.  Open-mindedness helps eliminate such issues.


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM  As a peacemaker, your job is not only to ensure that you yourself have a peaceful attitude, but also to aid others in acquiring one.

Slide V: A Peacemaker’s Toolbox  It is important for any peacemaker to realize that conflict is inevitable, and that it is the way that we deal with conflict that is truly important.  A peacemaker is one who is able to make resolutions with truth, compassion, and observation in mind.  Why is each of these so important?  Truth allows us to understand the realities of a situation before acting.  Compassion allows us to truly understand how an issue impacts everyone involved and why the conflict might have arisen in the first place.  Observation allows us to see what is going on and is a gateway to truth.



Part II: Group Activity (15 minutes to work, 10 minutes to share) The goal of this activity is for students to use their “peacemaker’s toolbox” to solve a conflict which they may or may not have experienced. We hope that trying this out in the classroom will help them to use such methods of peaceful resolution in real-life.  Break the class up into relatively equal groups with one ambassador assigned to each of them.  Tell the students that they are going to be creating a brief skit to illustrate a possible resolution to the conflict about to be introduced.  Introduce the conflict: “All of a sudden your best friend has become the class bully. He or she has begun to pick on other kids, calling them embarrassing names and physically harassing them. On several occasions, other students have come up to you telling you that your friend needs to stop. You want to approach your friend, but are afraid that doing so will hurt your friendship. What can you do you find a solution to this problem with your peacemaker’s toolbox?”  In each group, the following roles should be occupied:  Bully  Close friend of bully  Student who has been bullied  Other bullied students (if there are more people in the group)  Teacher (only if part of the groups resolution plan)  As the groups create their skits, help them take the situation seriously while also encouraging them to have fun and be creative.


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM  In the last ten minutes allotted to the activity, allow each group to present their plans.  After each group presents, compliment what they did well and make suggestions for other things they might have considered. Part III: Conclusion (5 minutes) Wrap up the important ideas of the day and remind children that it is important to be an active peacemaker. Encourage them to take what they learned and use it as they face conflicts at school, at home, on the sports field, etc. Perhaps suggest that if they have siblings, they could tell them a bit about what it means to have a peaceful attitude and why it is so important.



Day 3
Peace on Many Levels The goal of this day is to understand that conflict occurs on many levels, ranging from domestic life to the world at large and to realize that such conflict is often the result of different values and perspectives. This day also stresses the importance of peaceful resolution at each of these levels and the importance of compromise in the achievement of such resolutions. Part I: Introduction with Power-point Presentation (20 minutes) Each slide shows a certain level of conflict; the slides range from narrowest to broadest. With each slide, try to engage the students to respond to your questions and keep them actively listening. Slide I: Title Slide Introduce upcoming themes.  Conflict occurs on so many different levels…  At home  At school/on teams  Within our cities, counties, states, and country  Between countries in the world at large  Peaceful resolution is important at each of these levels, no matter how insignificant or unsolvable the problem may seem.  As we go through this slideshow, keep in mind the idea of compromise.  Ask children what compromise is to them and guide them toward the idea that compromise occurs when we step back, see both sides of a situation, and find a resolution that makes people on both sides happy.


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM Slides II and III: Level 1 - Home  Conflict occurs all the time at home…  How many of you have fought with your parents over eating the last piece of broccoli on your plate or with your sibling over which show to watch?  Sometimes we forget that this is an important level of conflict because we just take it for granted as part of daily life.  Peaceful conflict resolution can occur even on this level.  Ask children how they have compromised with their parents/siblings before and hear a few responses.  Think about how different opinions of a situation can make it worse.  Ex. If you and your brother each want to watch a different show, neither of you is right or wrong, you just have different preferences.  Ex. If your mom tells you to eat your vegetables, think about it from her point of view – she’s just trying to help you be healthy!


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM Slide IV: Level 2 – School, Teams, Small Communities  We spend a lot of time not only at home, but in larger communities as well…  At school  On sports teams/at dance class  At summer camp  Conflict also happens on this level as we argue with our friends, our teammates, and even our teachers.  Turn to slide and ask what is going on in the photo.  What is wrong with their actions?  How should they be acting?

Slide V: Level 3 – National  We are always hearing on the radio about the latest election, which also brings about a lot of conflict as people argue over who is the best candidate.  This is an example of national conflict, which affects our entire country.  Funnily enough, just like compromise can solve a lot of the little problems we have at home, it can also solve a lot of the bigger problems our whole country faces.


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM Slide VI: Level 4 - International  Not only do we hear and read about problems in America itself, but also about issues in other parts of the world, like the Middle East.  International conflict is often the hardest to resolve because different countries have such different cultures and different views of the world and how the world should be.  If you think about how small differences between you and your big sister or brother can create so much fighting, think about how the differences between say, America and Africa, might cause even more problems.  If different countries look at things from the other’s perspective and seek compromise, however, a lot of problems might be fixed.  Ask children if they have heard about any big conflicts between countries lately.  Are these solvable?  Is compromise always possible?

Slide VII: Sources


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM Part II: Group Activity (10 minutes for group work, 6 minutes for discussion) The goal of this activity is to give the children a chance to implement what they have just learned about broader-scale conflicts and the importance of compromise in resolving such conflicts while allowing them to have fun and be creative.  Break students up into relatively equal groups Remember these groups, as they will be the same for the day 4 activity.  Have them create and name an imaginary country.  Have them make a list of their countries values. If they have trouble with this…  Ask them what they think is important to a wellrun country.  Give them a few examples of American values to get their ideas flowing.  Bring the groups together and have them share their country, the name of their country, and their countries values.  Think about how different values could result in conflict between the two countries.  Ex. If country A thinks that spreading their religion is important, and country B thinks that religion is bad, country A and country B might have some issues.  Brainstorm possible compromises/resolutions to the conflict.  Ex. Country A could limit spreading their religion only to countries that do want it. Part III: Ending Discussion and Conclusion (9 minutes) Segue into the discussion with the results of the activity and then bring in the rest of the ideas discussed over the course of the day.  How do countries generally deal will their problems today?  Ask for different examples.  Is this what they should be doing?  What would be more effective?  What can we do, in our roles as active peacemakers, to minimize conflict in the world?  Perhaps we can start on a small scale, working to compassionate towards our family and friends.  Each little action we take towards peace has an impact.


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM  We can go out and share our knowledge and understanding of the tools of peace with others.  As the future leaders of America and the world, we may one day have the chance to directly impact our nation and the world in a positive manner.



Day 4
The Challenge On the fourth and final day of our curriculum, the students will be tasked with a fun challenge meant to provide an enjoyable way for them to utilize the skills they have developed over the course of the curriculum. This challenge is intended to last for a half hour, separated into two parts to ensure that the students do not lose focus halfway through. The challenge is intended to mimic a real world crisis with a fun comic side in order to ensure accessibility to all age groups. Part 1: The Scavenger Hunt  Make sure that about 150 lollipops/jolly ranchers are hidden outside prior to the hunt. They do not need to be well hidden – just well scattered.  Break the children back up into their countries from day three.  Bring the children outside to the location of the hidden candy.  Inform the children that a certain quantity of “resources” have been scattered and that, when given the word, each country must run out and attempt to collect as many of the “resources” as possible as the “resources” are essential to the well-being of the country.  Once this is done (it will go quickly) have the groups count up their candies and rank each group according to quantity. This will mimic the real life wealth disparity between nations and the children will assume that high resources will guarantee a win. Part 2: Alien Intervention  Have on of the facilitators approach suddenly, as if receiving a call.  Reveal to the children that it was the U.N. calling, and that aliens are coming to attack the earth and the only way to stop them is by giving them 45 pieces of candy.  Tell them that each nation will have to sacrifice some of their resources in order to save the world.  The children will be reluctant to both give up their resources in the make-believe world, and their candy in real-life.  Once the candy has been gathered, feign a second call and tell the children that the aliens are now demanding 20 more pieces of candy. 18

TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM  Once this candy has been gathered, feign one more call, telling the children that the aliens are now demanding 15 more pieces of candy.  Once the candy is gathered, calculate the percentage of candy that each group sacrificed.  Tell the children that while they may have thought that the group with the most resources would win, it is actually the group that sacrificed the highest percentage of their resources that won the game.  Ask them to consider the real-world implications of the game.  Who might the alien be in real life?  A classroom bully?  An aggressive nation?  A random circumstance?  How is working together to solve the problem the most effective? Part IV: The Post-test Identical to the pre-test, the post-test will give the facilitators a sense of what the children have learned and what ideas they may not have quite grasped.  Hand out pencils/papers  Remind children the it will NOT be graded  Like with the pre-test, have facilitators available to encourage/help any student having trouble with any of the questions.


TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE CURRICULUM THE TEACHING PEACE INITIATIVE Pre-test and Post-test Name: _____________________________ Write a sentence or two to answer each question. Do your best, but don’t worry if you don’t know the answer. Do your best to guess! There is no right or wrong. This test isn’t graded – it’s meant to judge our teaching, not you. 1. What is bullying?

2. How do you tell a friend when they’ve done something wrong?

3. What is peace?

4. What does it mean to be a citizen of the world?


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