What is the best way to introduce the idea of shared values to young children? This simple lesson, based on Karen Katz's picture book Can You Say Peace? provides a simple introduction to the idea that no matter how different people from diverse cultures may look or what language they speak, underneath we are all human and we all long for peaceful lives free of fear and violence.
The following lesson is geared toward children from preschool to age eight
Written specifically for International Peace Day (September 21st) Karen Katz's Can You Say Peace, is usable for any discussion of peace. Each page of the book shows a child from a different country saying the word PEACE in their language. The illustrations are lively and show contemporary life and dress. Although this book comes across as overly simplistic from an adult viewpoint, in a creative parent or teacher's hands, this book can be a positive way to introduce the idea that although we may speak different languages we still value the same things. The following questions are a great way to get started.
Pre-Reading: Do you think peace means the same thing to every person no matter what language they speak?
Post-Reading: Ask: Why do you think all these languages have a word for peace?
Have children make their own pictures showing what peace means to them. These can be made into a class Big Book. Add the word PEACE in different languages.
Learn to say other words in the 11 languages such as HELLO, GOODBYE, and so on.
Learn to sing a song, in the native language if possible, from one or more of the countries.
Make peace flags for International Peace Day.
Find the 11 countries represented in the book on a world map.
For older children have them research each of the 11 countries and learn something about the lives of the people there.
Here are two books to read to follow up your Can You Say Peace? activities
Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
In this picture book two boys compare their everyday lives. On one side of the page we see a white American boy on the opposing page we see a dark-skinned boy from India, each doing similar things - climbing a tree, going to school, writing the alphabet.
One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley
This National Geographic publication features memorable photographs of children and families from all over the world playing, eating, learning, getting up, and going to bed.