Murals of Peace
- Identify community leaders who promote peace and compassion, and consider the traits, values, actions, and goals that contribute to a better world
- Create, share, and view artwork submitted by students that depicts different community leaders and experiences from around the world
As students explore murals of community leaders across the world, research shows that this multicultural examination helps students appreciate universal and fundamental qualities of heroism. Educators should guide students to practice perspective taking as they think about values, actions, and goals that help foster more peace and compassion, and kindness and collaboration as they consider how they can work together to embody these characteristics and behaviors themselves.
To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
- Art materials (e.g., pens, pencils, markers, crayons, and paint)
- Engage students in a conversation about peace by asking the following questions:
• What does peace mean to you?
• When you imagine a peaceful world, what do you see? How do people feel in this world? How do they treat each other?
• Can you think of someone who has helped, or is helping, make our community a better place for everyone?
• What are some actions they have taken? What values might this person have? What are their goals or dreams?
• What traits make a good leader?
• What are our class’s values, goals, and dreams around a more peaceful, compassionate world? What will you do to become the next community leader?
To continue your discussion, consider playing this Kahoot! game.
- Using a large piece of paper, invite students to work together on a collaborative classroom mural which might include:
• Visual depictions of community leaders who promote peace and compassion (and their names)
• Words or symbols describing important values, characteristics, actions, and goals that contribute to a kinder, fairer world
• Important or inspiring quotes (e.g., spoken by the community leaders) to inspire the mural’s audience
- Take a photograph of your students' artwork and upload your classroom mural to the virtual "Peace and Kindness” art gallery below (hosted on Padlet).
- Together, browse through the other murals in the gallery, and ask the following questions to guide students’ reflection:
• What do you observe in the murals? How does the artwork make you feel?
• What can we learn about another community’s experiences, beliefs, or hopes from the murals that students created?
• What similarities do you notice between our murals? Are there any differences that you were surprised or excited to discover?
• Is there anything (or anyone) you want to research and learn more about?
• What are some ways that you will help make a positive difference in our community? What actions will you take to foster more peace or kindness?
If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...
Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call.
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.
If students in either class don’t have individual devices...
Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.