Students Study Peace

It's April, and this month in St. Johns' innovative Character Foundations program, students from age 3 through Grade 12 are learning about and putting into action peace, which is defined as proving you care more about each other than winning an argument. 

Here are some ways you can translate the learning to home and reinforce the messages your child is hearing this month.

Know It:

Parents, ask your child:

  • Have you ever heard your parents or teachers say "try to keep the peace"?
  • What does that saying mean to you?
  • Think of some times that you were able to be a peacemaker in a situation. This might have
  • happened at school with classmates or at home with siblings. Also, think of a time when you were unable to keep the peace. How did each scenario make you feel? What was the outcome in both situations?

Kids, ask a grownup:

  • Have there been times as an adult when you were unable to keep the peace? Discuss the circumstances, the people involved and the outcome.
  • Now, share a time when you were able to be the peacemaker. Discuss specific positive contrasts from the example when you weren’t able to keep the peace.

See It:

As a family, view this clip from the movie Pocahontas. This particular clip depicts Pocahontas saving John Smith. Her father states that his daughter comes with courage and understanding and he will not begin a war. Pocahontas demonstrates what it means to be a peacemaker. She is living out love and peace instead of hatred. 

Be It:

This month, focus on being a peacemaker. Find ways to de-escalate and diffuse confrontation at school, home, church, ball practice, etc. Make it a point to show others that you care more about them than winning an argument. This will require lots of patience like we learned about last month. As a result of keeping the peace, there will be much more happiness and harmony wherever you are. 

Read About It:

Here are some books for Spartans of all ages that reinforce messages about peace and peacekeeping. 

Lower School:

  • Little Cheetah’s Shadow by Marianne Dubuc (Pre-K - Kindergarten)
  • The Copy Crocs by David Bedford (Pre-K - Grade 2)
  • The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright (Pre-K - Grade 2)
  • The Peace Book by Todd Parr (Pre-K - Grade 2)
  • If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson (Pre-K - Grade 3)
  • This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
  • Llama, Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney (Kindergarten -  Grade 2)
  • Peace, Baby! by Linda Ashman (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
  • We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen (Kindergarten -  Grade 2)
  • Rita & Ralph’s Rotten Day by Carmen Deedy (Kindergarten - Grade 3)
  • Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class by Eileen Spinelli (Kindergarten - Grade 3)
  • Horace and Morris But Mostly Dolores by James Howe (Kindergarten - Grade 3)
  • Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt (Kindergarten - Grade 3)
  • Duck and Goose by Tad Hills (Kindergarten - Grade 3)
  • Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan (K-5)
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words by Donna Janell Bowman (Grades 2-5)
  • Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett (Grades 3-5)
  • Feathers and Fools by Mem Fox (Grades 3-5)


Middle & Upper School:

  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers (Grades 7-12)
  • River Secrets by Shannon Hale (Grades 6-10)
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Grades 9-12)
  • Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt (Grades 5-8)
  • Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Grades 9-12)
  • Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (Grades 6-12)
  • Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser (Grades 7-12)
  • Skellig by David Almond (Grades 5-8)
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Grades 6-12)
  • If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson (Grades 7-12)
  • Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Grades 6-12)