Over the past few months the Orcas have been exploring the concept of peace. This began as a tool for conflict resolution. The children created stop signs that they began to use with their friends to communicate when they wanted a friend to stop doing something. Next the children created go signs which they began to use to cheer each other on while climbing on the roof, or cleaning up at the end of free play.
But the teachers wondered if a peace sign would be another valuable resource for the children to use to communicate with one another. At first the Orcas were not familiar with this symbol. So we read The Peace Book, by Todd Parr to think more about what peace means. This book has helped us to explore what peace feels like, and how people doing kind acts for one another brings peace into the world.
Todd Parr explains that, “Peace is making new friends. Peace is helping your neighbor. Peace is a growing a garden. Peace is being who you are.”
These ideas have inspired our understanding that peace is an action. As time has gone by the Orcas have been busy coloring in peace signs, and thinking deeply about how we can bring peace into our classroom.
On Tuesday, in light of our “blue Tuesday”, a day we chose to wear blue to show everyone that kindness, love, safety and respect are really important to us.
We revisited this topic and discussed what peace signs mean, and what are ways that we can help each other to feel peaceful. Here are some excerpts from that discussion.
WHAT DOES A PEACE SIGN MEAN?
Calm, like red means stop. Green means go. –Amia
WHAT DOES PEACE MEAN?
Peace is being calm. –Sylvie
WHEN DO YOU FEEL PEACEFUL?
Like maybe when I go home my brother always wakes me up and I laugh and my Mom and Dad rest with me. –Jasper
When I go to sleep my Daddy hugs me. –Alice
I like to snuggle with my Mommy. –Eli
My Mommy sits on my bed and rubs my back when I nap. –Leo
Peace is when you hug somebody. –Piper
HOW CAN YOU CREATE PEACE?
Is like when somebody did something bad to you and you say peace and then they stop. –Riad
When somebody hits you, you walk away. –Amia
HOW CAN YOU MAKE SOMEONE FEEL BETTER WHEN THEY ARE SAD?
Say can I make you feel better? Do you want a kiss? A silly face? –Clio
A hug! –Piper
If you make silly faces it makes them to feel better. –Eliza
We enlisted the help of the children to create signs for our teacher walkout on Wednesday. We asked them if they could help us to make a sign with a peace sign on it, and a sign that says the word PEACE. First we looked at a peace sign for inspiration. Next we looked at the word peace to determine what letters we would need to write.
Then the children sprang into action, collaborating to draw a large peace sign, and taking turns to write each letter in the word peace. Some of the children even reinterpreted the peace sign and created their own version of it.
The teachers were proud to carry the children’s signs of peace in the walkout on Wednesday. We will continue to explore these concepts as a class. Peace out!
Elisa Stevani and Karen Steele, Orca Teaching Team