Create a Peace Tree Circle and discuss what peace means to you and how to create a peaceful school where everyone feels included, respected and celebrated. Share similarities and our different traditions and ways of life. Share and discuss the book ‘Old Turtle and the Broken Truth’ by Douglas Wood. Discuss and implement at least three ways to promote peace and celebrate diversity in the classroom and the school through equity education.
Learn about, share and celebrate diverse festivals, including Diwali, Ramadan/Eid, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Lunar New Year. Develop a school survey to determine the activities to be undertaken by each class to promote peace, and what initiatives need to be implemented to create a peaceful school environment. For intermediate grades (Grades 7/8), research newspapers and on the Internet, and share information about the areas of conflict around the world, the root causes of the conflict, and the devastation that has occurred to children and their families as a result of hatred and war. Discuss reasons why the creation of a Peace Tree and celebrating the Peace Tree Spirit is important for classrooms and schools today. For the school Peace Tree, have parents/guardians/caregivers, family members and community members share and add their symbols to your Peace Tree. Create a wall with the definition of all the symbols on the Peace Tree.
Form a Peace Tree Club in your school, including parent involvement, with the purpose of creating innovative ways to promote peace, diversity and inclusion in the school and community. Assign various roles of responsibility including Co-Chairs, Writers, Artistic Directors, Webmasters, Publicists and Treasurers, depending on the area of the student’s interest. Ideas to implement for the Peace Tree Club could include organizing peace and diversity trivia, sharing peace quotes and anti-bullying tips during the announcements and creating a Peace Tree Centre in the school. The Peace Tree Centre focuses on the Peace Tree, with explanations of the symbols, and sections highlighting the Festival of Lights, human rights leaders like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Malala, peace news, famous peace quotes, student peace quotes, peace in different languages, a festival of lights section, peace news, inspiring kids and peace art. The Peace Tree Centre is a place where members of the school and community are welcome to explore, learn about and initiate new ways to unite communities and promote peace on a daily basis. Everyone in the school should be reflected in some way in the Peace Tree Centre. Students can take the initiative to join the Peace Tree Ambassadors’ Network and get connected with children around the world in order to share new ideas and ways to promote peace.
The Peace Tree Club can organize a Peace Tree Festival, Peace Tree Day, Peace Tree Stand, a Peace Tree Mehndi Stand or a Mini-Peace Tree Conference by inviting neighbourhood schools to share the Peace Tree Spirit! Students will research charities that assist children and families in war-torn areas in order to raise funds through any Peace Tree Initiatives, to be donated to a charity of the students’ choice.