Thursday, November 8, 2007

Go With Peace

Go With Peace is an activity book with exercises for pre-school and elementary aged children. The book provides a framework for creating "peace clubs" or after school programs that build children's peacemaking skills. These activities could easily be used in school or in already-formed clubs, like scouts.

The author (Kelly Guinan) frames the book with a 4-step model : Peace For Me, Peace For Us, Peace For Everyone, and Peace for the Planet. This model works well in two ways. First, children learn skills for emotional literacy and inner peace which will be important if they engage in peacemaking in the world. Second, it helps children develop empathy because they are starting from a very local, personal place.

The book includes some wonderful drawings and somewhat reproducible hand-outs. My favorite is a finger-spiral. Some seem a bit simplistic (peace word-find for example for a book that clearly recognizes that peacemaking cannot be learned through worksheets.

My favorite activity is the "squishy" as a way to create a tactile experience while talking about feelings.

Although not every activity resonated with me -- and I worried that some of the "peace for everyone" activities made assumptions about who would be in or not in the group -- the resource is definitely worth the $20 -- especially as it supports the nonprofit PeaceQuest.

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