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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - A LITTLE PEACE
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A Little Peace
Written by Barbara Kerley
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Book
ISBN-13: 978-1426300868
Ages: all ages

Peace—a simple word that packs a lot of wallop. For me peace is a comfortable place, a quiet space, the absence of car motors, the hum of air conditioners, or the whir of the refrigerator. Peace is being curled up by the fireplace with a good book or lying in the sand at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California. Peace is feeling the warmth of the sun or marveling at the millions of stars twinkling in the night sky of Taos, New Mexico. Peace is stilling my mind.

For many war-torn countries, peace is an illusion, a memory of times gone by. Fighter planes fill their skies, landmines explode with an unexpected step, bombs whistle by night or day. The heart can’t find peace when the mind is filled with fear. In the mid sixties, Jackie De Shannon sang “What the World Needs Now.” She sang of love. She could have been singing of peace. And, the world does need peace! It saddens and horrifies me to know of all the children born under the bomb, who have never known peace in their lives.

Peace, so hard to achieve and so illusive can start with just a smile, a nod, a wave of the hand, says Barbara Kerley in her new book entitled, A Little Peace. Signs of peace can be found anywhere . . . in the marketplace, at the beach, at school or at play. The pictures from around the world . . . Albuquerque, New Mexico, Fengdu, China, and Kabul, Afghanistan were some of the more touching photos depicting peace. My favorite was the four-year-old girl with face uplifted in song from a neighbor state of Ohio.

Give a smile. Get a smile. Wave a wave. Reach out and spread a little PEACE!

Look for a complete review of this book at Smartwriters
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“I like this book,” said Abby.

“It doesn’t have a lot of words, but I think it has a really good message,” said Pritka.

 Abby nodded. “It talks all about peace,” she said.

“Peace is when you do something nice,” said Andreo.

“Peace is giving help or a hand,” said Jewel.

“You can help others,” said Johnny.

“You can help a friend,” said Callie smiling at her friend, Abby.

“When you help someone,” said Melia, “You are giving peace to the world.”

“It’s very easy,” said Mikaela.

“Just a smile can spread peace,” said Ethan . . . with a smile.

Jewel looked contemplative. “Making peace is like stopping the war . . .,” she said. “ . . . like, two captains of each continent or country call their troops and sign a peace treaty. That would stop the war . . . and make peace!”

“I would be scared if I were in a war,” said Timmy, “because I could get shot or bombed. But if I were in peace, I would have a better time of staying alive.”

“If everyone was peaceful in the world, there would be no war or fighting,” explained Ethan.

“Right,” said Andreo. “Peace is the opposite of war.”

“It doesn’t even have to be world peace, Ethan,” said Pritka.  “It can just be peace in your own town. Be friendly to others and accept everybody and don’t discriminate.”

“. . . just kindness and prosperity and peace,” said Ethan.

“Hey, I say, just smile or show the peace sign to someone,” said Timmy. “It’s all about peace!”


PEACE TRAIN: Language Arts/Social Studies

Make the world a better place . . . EVERY DAY!
Hop on the Peace Train!

1. Read A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley.
2. Discuss the meaning of peace with your class.
3. Then have them make suggestions of what peace means to them.

  • when my little sister sleeps over at her friend’s house
  • when granny sends me a kiss over the phone
  • when I share my favorite toy with my friend 
  • when my papa gives me a great big hug
4. Give each child a pre-cut train engine or have each make his own using the train template at DLTK’s Growing Together site.
5. Direct him to draw a picture on the car of what
    peace means to him.
6. Label the picture.
7. Hang the completed train in the hallway to remind everyone that it’s time to hop on the
   Peace Train.

A PIECE OF PEACE: Language Arts/Reading/ Homonyms

We all need a piece of peace from thyme to time—I mean from time to time. Challenge your class with this game of homonyms.

1. Write the following words on the board or chart paper:

2. Ask – What do you notice about these words?
3. Guide class to the realization that these words sound alike, though they have different spellings and different meanings.
4. Then have the class make suggestions for more homonyms and make a LONG list on the board.
5. Write each word on a 2” x 4” card. (Laminate for durability)
6. Have the class sit in a circle and give each child a card.
7. Choose one child to begin the game.
8. That child holds his card for all to see and says, ” I have peace. Who has piece?” The partner holds up his card and answers, “I have piece.”
9. The next child asks the same question with his homonym and the play continues until all the cards have been matched.
10.This game can be stored in a basket in a Center Area. Children can also play this as a Concentration/Memory Game.

Note: A good resource for homonyms is Alan Cooper’s Homonym List.
Manatee County Curriculum Kaleidoscope Word Study Skills: Homophones.

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

Talking With Barbara Kerley
Make Peace Ribbons
International Peace Dictionary

Talk Peace written by Sam Williams, illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
What Does Peace Feel Like? written by V. Radunsky and children
Acting With Kindness written by Pam Scheunemann
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All contents copyright (c) 2002. Donna O'Donnell Figurski.
No content may be copied or reproduced in any way without the express permission of the creator.
Clip Art courtesy of GraphicGarden.com

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