Objective: To learn that many people have had the courage to stand up for what they believe and bring change in the world.
Grade Level: Grade 3 and up
Go to Better World Peace Calendar. Open each month and select people for the class to research. Make a list with each person's birth date. If possible, collect biographies and articles about the selected people.
Ask students to name people they know of who have contributed to making the world a more peaceful place by standing up for peace and justice . They might think of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Robert Kennedy, for example. If you wish, read a book about one of these people. Some suggestions for younger readers: My Brother Martin by Christine King, A Picture Book of Rosa Parks by David Adler or If a Bus Could Talk by Faith Ringgold. For older readers try: Have You Ever Heard of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland? by Loki Mulholland, and Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World by Jane Breskin Zalben
Identify the personal characteristics that these people had. Ask: How were these people ordinary? How were these people extraordinary? Create a list of personality traits and life experiences and compare and contrast how these people were the same and how they were different.
Explain that they will be researching a person who has contributed to world peace.Either assign students a person or have them choose one. Have students go to Better World Peace Calendar and find their person using the birth date you give them. They can use the links to find out more about the person or go to the library and take out biographies to read.
Have students complete their research and then write their biographies. Use your own approach for teaching how to write a biography or use the TPN Biography Graphic Organizer.
Share them in one of the following ways:
Bind all the biographies together to make a class book. Share the book by displaying it in the library.
Create a website and have each student create a page about their person.
Have each student create a PowerPoint or Prezi or other digital presentation.
Go to another class, pair up, and then read the biography to the partner.
Make posters featuring the person they researched.
Write short plays illustrating a key moment in that person's life