Friday, May 16, 2008

Memorial Day Activities - Peace Education in the Montessori Classroom

Memorial Day Activities Peace Education NAMC Montessori Classroom child flag gravesWars are not acts of God. They are caused by man, by man-made institutions, by the way in which man has organized his society. What man has made, man can change.
Frederick Moore Vinson (1890-1953) Speech at Arlington National Cemetery (Memorial Day, 1945)

Established in 1968 to commemorate those who gave their lives fighting in the American Civil War, Memorial Day now represents a day to honor all those who have served in, killed, or are missing in action in all conflicts. An integral part of Montessori education is Peace Education. How, then, can we celebrate a holiday dedicated to those who fought in wars? We do so by doing activities, learning about peace and how we can create a peaceful world.

Activities for Memorial Day - Peace Education in the Montessori Classroom

Peace Studies
  • With a friend, or a group of friends, write a story titled “Peace is…”. Act out this story for your Montessori classmates or the school.
  • Learn about the PeaceKids Pledge (and learn win-win situations) by reading the PeaceKids Pledge: A PeaceKids Adventure .
  • Explore “Quotes for a Culture of Peace”. Make Peace posters to hang around your Montessori school.
  • As a group, explore what would happen if the world put aside all conflict for just one day? Together, imagine the possibilities.
  • As a group, discuss the following “You do not have the right to make others feel bad”. Then, discuss, how being angry affects everyone around them and what are some creative ways to handle anger.
  • Make a pledge on how to keep violence and bullying out of your school. Distribute copies to each child and adult, with room to sign. Recite the peace pledge each day as a group. An example might be…
Memorial Day Activities NAMC Peace Education Montessori Classroom children flower fenceI pledge to model respect to others.
I pledge to look out for those who are unable to look out for themselves.
I pledge to take care of my community.
I pledge to respect all living things.
I pledge to use my words in ways that help and not hurt.
I pledge to help others to do the same.
I pledge to say I’m sorry to those I hurt.

Learn the lyrics to “Let there be Peace on Earth” and sing it together, often:

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father,
brothers all are we,
Let me walk with my brother,
in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me,
let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment
in peace, eternally.
Let there be Peace on Earth,
and let it begin with me.
(Words and Music by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, Circa 1955)

Dr. Montessori said “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” We can celebrate and honor our veterans best by promoting non-violence and peace within our Montessori classrooms, our families, our communities, and our world.

Other NAMC Memorial Day blogs:
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, May 16, 2008.


  1. The ideas on How to start Peace Studies in the Montessori Classroom are great...... I sure they would help start peace education and could leave a peaceful impact on the studnets.

    Namita Jain
    Montessori (0-6), India
    Lower Elementary (6-9) NAMC Graduate

  2. Namita,

    Thank you for your kind comments. What kind of peace activities do you have in your classroom?


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