Educators know that developing any kind of literacy requires practice. Building on the literacy model for reading and writing, we need to see peace as a skill set that we must work hard to master, and dedicate years to develop. And even once developed, the skills of peace making must be actively maintained, rather than passively habituated.

We are gathering ideas for group projects, assignments, in-class exercises, films, and community activities built around peace literacy themes, in order to help students develop, master, and maintain their peace-making skills.

Want to share your own ideas? We'd love to hear from you!  Contact

rubrics to accompany skills taught in lesson plan 1

college level exercises/assignments

high school level exercises/assignments

middle school and primary level exercises/assignments

  • Middle School Level In-class Activity on Animal Posturing to accompany Chappell's The End of War, prepared by Susan Radford

  • A "StoryBird" about respect to help kids doing group work in class, designed by Kim Cowperthwait.

classroom materials for educators

films featuring themes consistent with peace literacy

  • Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Mathaii's non-violent strategies for environmental advocacy are documented in Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Mathaii

  • Animals posturing

  • Humans posturing

    • With their characteristically brutal and incisive humor, comedy duo Key and Peele illustrate the human reluctance to engage in hostile aggression in “Hold Me Back” (Comedy Central)

  • Trauma and other underlying fires that cause human aggression

    • Mike Tyson Interview (HBO Real Sports)

    • With their characteristically brutal and incisive humor, comedy duo Key and Peele illustrate the vulnerable emotional life of a bully in “School Bully” (Comedy Central)

    • Children Full of Life - a documentary from Japan showing how Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying

  • Empathy building

  • Using respect in policing

  • On dehumanization

    • British comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, portraying two German SS officers, who start out, like all of us, assuming they’re on the side of good. At some point they are no longer sure: “Are We the Baddies?”

    • “Don’t be a Sucker” was made by the US War Department in 1943 and is a short (17 mins) and skillful illustration of how dehumanization works and how to resist it.

    • Four Hours at My Lai A devastating look at the massacre committed by American soldiers during the Vietnam war, the men who participated, the dehumanization of the Vietnamese women and children, and the one man who intervened.

    • The Power of Music An American World War II Veteran talks about rehumanizing German soldiers

    • A Class Divided - a 12 min. excerpt from Jane Elliot’s 1970 social experiment on dehumanization with her third grade class divided by eye-color.

  • Changing minds by appealing to worldviews

  • Strategy and discipline in the Civil Rights era protests as documented in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins.

online resources

scholarly articles by faculty who teach peace literacy

Baesler, E. J., & Lauricella, S. (2013). Reaching peace by teaching peace: Assessing instruction of the nonviolent communication and peace course. Journal of Peace Education, 10, 1-18.
Baesler, E. J. (2017). I’d rather teach peace: An autoethnographic account of the nonviolent communication and peace course. Peace Studies Journal, 10(2), 71-75.

stories from the popular press

April 2019, article in Wired magazine on the personal connections provided by virtual reality - VR responds to our need for Belonging.




peace literacy curriculum

We offer peace literacy lesson plans and study guides suitable for use in k-12 classes, higher education, and community organizations.

six outlines to get you started:

These six single-page outlines summarize the introductory frameworks and diagnostic tools we cover in our curriculum and workshops (available in English, Spanish, and French)

  1. understand human needs and the tangles of trauma

    (E) (S) (F)

  2. learn the anatomy of aggression

    (E) (S) (F)

  3. recognize the power of respect and resolve conflict

    (E) (S) (F)

  4. strengthen communities

    (E) (S) (F)

  5. rehumanize the dehumanized

    (E) (S) (F)

  6. make good decisions, take effective actions, and unlock the power of waging peace

    (E) (S) (F)peace literacy 

curriculum developers

Sharyn Clough, Ph.D. Peace Literacy
Curriculum Coordinator

Trish Beckett, B.Ed.
Stephanie Clapes, M.Ed.
Scott Griswold, M.Div.
Krista Hensley, M.A.
Abbie Jenks, M.SW., M.Ed.
Christopher Mahon, B.Ed., M.A.
Ann Mbacke, B.A.
Derek Petrey, Ph.D.
Susan Radford, B.A.
Katherine Rowell, Ph.D.
Chelsey Williams, M.A.

peace literacy workshops

We have a number of workshops coming up this year that are open to the public - check them out!

reports from the field

Teachers who’ve used our materials share their stories.

why our world needs peace literacy

A short essay for download.