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Make a Difference

"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do."  Steve Jobs

Real stories are often the most inspiring. In Paths to Peace, author  Jane Zalben has selected 16 people she thinks have made a difference in the world. For each person, she gives a quote and then a one page biography. Each retelling of the key event that inspired that person to work for change in the world is rich in well-researched details. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, resource list, and index. It is illustrated with original collages by the author.  Publisher 2006 Dutton Children's Books

Paths to Peace is suitable for Intermediate through High School students.

Paths to Peace

People in this book are: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Bunch, Mother Theresa, John Kennedy, Anwar El-Sadat, Cesar Chavez, Elie Wiesel, Martin Luther King, Anne Frank, The Dalai Lama, Wangari Mathsi, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, and Princess Diana.

Discussion Questions


What do you think a person would have to do to make a difference in the world?


Why do you think the author picked these particular people?

Can you think of other people who have created a difference in the world by affecting people's lives?


Have students make posters or a PowerPoint/digital presentation about a person in the book.

Have students write a biography of someone they thought should have been included.

Go to the Nobel Prize site http://nobelprize.org to learn about other important people who have made a difference.

Make a chart comparing and contrasting the different ways these people made a difference.

Make banners for the classroom with favorite quotes from the book or make resolution flags to start the new year.

Create skits about the life of a famous peace maker.

Start a Peace Journal

Read about Sadako and the Thousand Cranes

Essay idea: The author shows how each of the people in the book were set on the path to peace by something that happened to them in their childhoods. Write about something that has happened to you that makes you want to help other people.


Teach Peace Now
Teach Peace Now

We offer books, activities, lesson plans, and ideas that teachers, parents, and students can use to promote values, attitudes and behaviors which encourage non-violent resolution of conflict, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding and tolerance.

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