|Encourage your students to share ideas about the|
meaning of peace during circle time
For Montessorians, practicing peace and kindness is an important cornerstone of the method and world view. We strive every day to express the Montessori values of peace, grace, and courtesy in some way, and the International Day of Peace is the perfect time to focus on peace in the Montessori classroom. It is easy to get Montessori students excited about promoting peace and tolerance through our everyday teachings and with Peace Day being an international event, these classroom activities can help you tie Grace and Courtesy, Cultural Studies, and Cosmic Education together in celebration!
Suggested Montessori Curriculum Activities for the International Day of PeaceTo learn more about Peace Day, you can visit the international website. There are wonderful activity suggestions, peace building tools, as well as a listing of events happening worldwide.
The easiest activity — and perhaps the most profound — is The Rolling Wave of Peace. At noon, people around the world will observe a moment of silence for Peace Day. During circle time, have a discussion about peace being a cooperative effort from everyone on earth. When the clock strikes twelve in your Montessori classroom, ask the children to sit quietly for a moment. Students will love the idea of being a part of a giant “wave,” travelling around the world and involving all races and cultures!
Inspired by peace celebrations around the world, here are three Peace Day activities for your Montessori classroom or home.
- Peaceful Picnic in the Park:
Invite your Montessori students to
experience peace while eating outside
Take your lunches outside and have a quiet, peace-filled meal. Ask your students to spend a few moments in silence while they eat, so they may observe how they interact with the natural environment around them. With everyone sharing a calm, comfortable, and introspective meal, you are sure to have a wonderful discussion afterward about each child’s favorite peaceful activities.
- Peace Art Expo:
Make a few different options for creative expression available as work for the day! For younger children, create a simple dove outline for a coloring activity, and invite them to decorate it with their favorite “peaceful feeling” colours. As an individual activity, ask students to draw and color a picture of themselves and their loved ones. Later on, offer a group activity encouraging everyone to share their artwork and talk about how kindness, friendship, and love are important parts of creating peace.
|Yoga provides Montessori children with the
opportunity to find peace within themselves
- Peaceful Yoga:
Yoga is a wonderful calming and peaceful way to explore meditation, stretching, and habits that promote good health. Do not worry — while yoga can be complex and quite daunting, there are many simple poses that are perfect for Montessori students… and teachers! While working on these stretches, ask students to breathe deeply and focus on their bodies and individual space. Children love to move around, pretend to be animals, and use their bodies —and yoga gives them the opportunity to do all three. In fact, you may find that yoga becomes something that you will explore further in your classroom! You can also try “freeze yoga.” Play some music and call out a simple pose for the children to do when you stop the song. Here are a few very basic poses to try:
- Lotus Position: Sit cross-legged; the leg that is folded under stays in place, while the one that is on top is loosened so that it is stacked, without your toes tucked under. Rest your hands on your knees while breathing. Children often know this as meditating or the “ohhhhhm” pose, so it is a great way to start because it feels familiar to them.
- Child’s Pose: Kneel with a straight back and inhale. Slowly bring your body forward with your arms above your head and lie comfortably with your arms outstretched. Your forehead and arms will rest on the floor. Exhale and inhale a few times and then return to a kneeling position.
- Sun Salutation: Stand with feet touching each other. Bring your hands together, palm to palm, at the heart. Exhale. Raise your arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching your arms above your head. Relax your neck. Inhale. Exhale as you bend forward toward your toes. Do not strain or push, simply hang comfortably as you breathe out. Slowly return to the original standing position while breathing in; invite the children to imagine they are a balloon slowly filling with air, becoming whole.
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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, September 18, 2012.