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Peace Tales Lesson Plan: Using folktales to talk about peace

Peace Tales Lesson Teach Peace Now


Peace Tales Lesson

Objective: To introduce culturally different ways of thinking about peace and demonstrate ways people can make a difference.

Grade level: Kindergarten and up

Peace Tales is a marvelous collection of short folktales by Margaret Reed MacDonald, focusing on peace, collected from all over the world. The tales are organized under the following headings. War – Pathways to Fighting, Folly of Fighting, One War, the End of War and Peace -Pathways to Peace, Peacemaking Techniques, Peacemakers, The Never-Ending Work.

There are tales that are appropriate from the youngest of children all the way through to adults. All of them will leave the reader something to ponder over and lead into discussions of point of view, cultural differences, and philosophical understandings. Each tale ends with a relevant proverb or quote in its original language with its English translation.

Questions for Peace Tales

Select a tale and ask: How would this story be different if someone from my culture told it? What would change? Who would the characters be?

Activities for Peace Tales

Act them out: Most of these tales lend themselves to role plays and dramatic adaptations. Trying using masks and puppets for the ones featuring animals.

Become Storytellers: Have students retell the stories using gestures and voice changes.

Rewrite them: Have students take a tale and retell it using a familiar setting, local animals, and personal customs.

Look for the Deeper Meaning: The short thought provoking pieces in this book are ideal choices for Socratic Seminars.

Related reading:

Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz

The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper

If The World Was A Village  by David J. Smith

Related TPN activities


Peace Doves

Peace Circles

Peace Journals

Awards for Peace Tales

Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

Best Books for Teen Readers

Storytelling World Award

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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