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Monday, April 11, 2011

How to Encourage Reading through Author Studies

If you've ever considered tackling an author study but wondered Is it worth the time? Is it worth the energy?or What can my students really get out of it? then I encourage you to check out a recent post at my How to Teach a Novel site titled Born to Write: What Students Can Learn through Author Study.

In addition to providing answers to all the questions above, I've also provided dozens of links to author study resources, as well as a review of Charis Cotter's Born to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Make Language an Adventure: Learning Grammar with Picture Books

Or, How I Learned to Love Grammar 

I am a former grammar hater, certainly as a student, but even as a beginning teacher. I simply didn't see the need to learn about past imperfect participial possessives (I know there's no such thing) and I dreaded the fat grammar book from which we dutifully copied every sentence, underlining or circling the grammar du jour. Why in Math could we do odd or even numbered problems, but never in grammar?

As I continued to teach, however, the need for grammar instruction became apparent. The fact is, teachers and students require a common lexicon when discussing the components of reading and writing.

Questions such as these require that students possess a solid foundation in grammar:
  • What part of speech does the author rely upon to describe how his characters speak?
  • How would you describe Maria when we first meet her? What adjectives describe her by the story's end?
  • If your writing uses the same nouns over and over, which synonyms could you substitute for those words in order to create greater sentence variety?  
  • "The eggs were eaten by the snake" is written in the passive voice; how could we revise this sentence to create active voice?
  • This paragraph tells the reader that Sam completes all the chores her grandfather assigns, but what do the adverbs tell us about how she completed them?
In their own conversations with peers, students who understand grammatical terms are more likely to suggest and implement recommendations stated in a common language. The comment, "You need to move your participial phrase closer to the noun it describes," is certainly a greater help than, "This sentence sounds weird."

So for some time I tried teaching grammar solely in context of reading and writing, with no discrete lessons or practice at all. I would occasionally pull a Ruth Heller book off the shelf and share that as well, but this approach was hit and miss at best, regardless of the awesomeness of Ruth Heller's books.

In later years I would attempt to drag students though a formal "diet" of grammar, beginning with nouns, moving on to verbs, then adjectives, and so on, but I noticed a real disconnect. Employing some Brian Cleary titles to liven things up certainly helped, and my students would even go back to those books as a reference source. And that's when it hit me: my students were much more apt to care about, and even seek, grammar help when they immediately needed it.

I therefore decided to radically change my approach to grammar, and create learning situations which required that students know grammatical concepts in order to be successful. Whereas I once believed I could sit by the pool all summer, eating Bon-bons and planning out grammar units for the entire year, I now realized I would need language instruction to be much more reflexive and reflective, based upon student needs for both remediation and growth.

In essence, then, I was jumping back to my original desire to teach grammar within context of authentic reading and writing, with the realization that discrete, focused lessons with immediate, dedicated practice were a "necessary evil." But even these lessons became enjoyable and immensely productive for both the teacher and students because they were rooted in our needs as writers and readers. We wanted to learn how authors used language to achieve their goals, and how we could do the same.

One new tool in my grammar arsenal is a series of fantastic grammar picture books by Rick Walton. The Language Adventures series, published by Gibbs Smith, is an incredibly funny, well-illustrated collection that includes the following titles:
I discovered these just recently, and how I had never seen them before, I do not know. Like Heller's and Cleary's books, these titles provide ample examples in context, so they can serve as a handy reference for students. Unlike those other two series, however, Walton's books are absolutely narrative in nature, which is to say, they are story driven. They provide an enjoyable, purposeful context for the use of the grammatical conventions.

If you don't believe me, how about the expert recommendation of a voracious picture book reader? Mackenzie, my seven year-old, loves to take books to bed. One night she called down, "Hey, Dad! This book is really good! It's funny!" She was referring to Why the Banana Split, which I hadn't even read yet.

The following day she couldn't find it, so she read the other seven books instead! Did she know she was getting a lesson in grammar? No. For her, these colorful, easy to read books were purely story.

But as she reread in the car a day later, she began to make observations about the text. In speaking about Around the House the Fox Chased the Mouse, for example, she said, "Do you know that every page tells you where the fox and mouse ran? There's always a word that's bigger than the rest, and then the picture helps you figure out the other words if you can't read them." Wow. This kid should do a commercial.

So while it's difficult to give the books higher praise than that, I will point out that the illustrations are fabulous. What's interesting is that Gibbs Smith selected several artists, rather than just one, to illustrate the series. At first that bugged me, but as I checked out the styles of Jim Bradshaw, Mike and Carl Gordon, Jimmy Holder, Chris McAllister, Greg Hally, and Julie Olson, I began to appreciate that each artist brought a unique vision to the title they illustrated. I can't picture anyone but Jim Bradshaw creating such funky, animated critters for Around the House the Fox Chased the Mouse, or Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon for the tongue-in-cheek humor of Just Me and 6,000 Rats.

I should also point out that the newly revised paperback editions of this series are labeled as "New Educational Editions," and each contains learning activities, definitions, and a reproducible related to the book's topics (earlier hardcover library editions may not contain these). Answer keys and additional activities can be accessed at author Rick Walton's website. Rick offers some wonderful language learning activities there (your lesson plan for next week might be waiting for you there), as well as an amazing assortment of ideas for using his picture books (over fifty in print!).

When I shared this series of "stealth" grammar books with the ELL teachers at the NJTESOL Annual Conference here in New Jersey, they were genuinely impressed by the combination of images, narrative, and practical applications of grammar.

Check them out for yourself, and I think you'll feel the same way!

Grammar Explorations Online

It wouldn't be one of my marathon posts if I didn't recommend some terrific online extensions for the picture books I discussed. Below are just a few of the sites I've used in the classroom; do share others you've enjoyed as well!


These games provide excellent review of all parts of speech. Students shouldn't worry if they miss a few; some are intended to be tough!


Road to Grammar
Not as fun-looking as Grammaropolis, but better organized. Here you can choose which grammar or usage practice you'd like to focus upon. The Notes section of each quiz provides excellent feedback and additional information about the grammar concepts being assessed.


Grammar Ninja
Throw your deadly ninja stars at the chosen parts of speech.


Grammar Blast
Grammar Blast from Houghton Mifflin English provides short, self-checking exercises for grades 2 through 5. Nice for quick checks! You can also access Grammar Blast for grades 6-8.


Wacky Web Tales
Students love Mad Libs, and this is a cool, interactive version of that game. In order or students to be successful, however, they'll need some knowledge of parts of speech.


Grammar Bytes 
Grammar Bytes provides online interactive practice, plus handouts which can be downloaded. Teachers will need to explore this site before unleashing students.


English-Zone.com
This site isn't pretty, but it does contain some solid, focused GUM (grammar, usage, mechanics) exercises. Some are available only to subscribed members.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Picture Books: Alive and Well

Some time ago I read a post titled Rescuing Picture Books from Extinction. In that post Kim Yaris expresses dismay that picture book sales are seeing a decline, but she goes on to explore why, and also provides a personal anecdote.

I, too, have heard that picture books will fall at the feet of e-readers and that the era of the printed picture book is dead. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, "Reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated."

Want proof that picture books are alive and well? Check out some of the latest Scholastic titles to hit the shelves. These are the types of books that beg to be read in their original large-size format. These are also the types of books that prove that the language of picture books is just as challenging as equivalent-grade (or higher!) chapter books.

In the tradition of The Steadfast Toy Soldier, Captain Sky Blue tells the tale of a favorite toy that once lost, finds its way back to its owner through a series of misadventures. In addition to Richard Egielski's bright illustrations, young readers will love the "pilot talk" liberally mixed throughout the narrative. Aviation terms such such as wilco (I will do it), jink (a quick move to escape danger), spooled up (excited), and brain housing group (a comic term for the skull) introduce students to the idea that jobs and activities have a specialized jargon all their own.

Extensions:
  • Ask students to interview parents or other relatives to collect a list of terms which are job specific. Share these in class and discuss why people have developed these lexicons within their vocations. Students may want to share other precise terms they know from sports, music, and other free-time pursuits.
  • Assign students a term for research. To what activity or vocation does it refer? What are its origins? Hat trick, for example, refers to three points or consecutive wins by the same player, whether in ice hockey, cricket, or horse racing. Its origin is the hat traditionally bestowed for this accomplishment in cricket (via Wordnik, a pretty cool online dictionary).
  • Two themes of Captain Sky Blue are Loss and Determination. Share and discuss other books which explore either of these themes. Challenge students to write their own tales, using one of the mentor texts as a model.
Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow retells the classic story in which Robin Hood, disguised as a one-eyed beggar, bests the Sheriff of Nottingham's favorites to win an archery contest, a contest designed for the sole purpose of catching Robin and his Merry Men. To us this is a familiar tale, but to many students it's brand new!

Author Robert D. San Souci describes his source material in an afterward, and I'm pleased to see that he references Howard Pyle. Howard Pyle's retellings are those that I read as a boy, and to this day my ragged copy is a part of the classroom library. But E.B. Lewis' saturated illustrations make this tale new even for me, and I can't wait to share this book with my students.

Extensions:
  • Ask students if they can name other books in which one character devises a plan or mischief to catch another. Why are these stories such fun to read? What makes us root for one character or another? Why in this book did Robin Hood reveal his identity to the Sheriff of Nottingham instead of maintaining the ruse?
  • Share other Robin Hood tales with students. Equally famous is Robin's chance meeting with Little John at the middle of a log crossing a stream. Neither man will give way. After reading this tale, ask students: What else could they have done to solve this problem? Can anyone suggest a possible compromise? If they hadn't disagreed in this manner, would their resulting friendship have been as strong?
Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, the author and illustrator of The Phantom Tollbooth, team up again in The Odious Ogre. This story of an ogre who is "extraordinarily large, exceedingly ugly, unusually angry, constantly hungry, and absolutely merciless" contains some of the most amazing language I've seen in a picture book in a long time!

You see, the ogre in question has "an impressive vocabulary, due mainly to having inadvertently swallowed a large dictionary while consuming the head librarian in one of the nearby towns."

In his own words:

"No one can resist me... I am invulnerable, impregnable, insuperable, indefatigable, insurmountable."

While the lesson of this book (kindness wins over odiousness) might be a selling point for some, it's the language that wins me over.

Extensions:
  • Use this book to introduce students to adjectives and adverbs. I'll admit, at first I was staggered by the words Juster employs, yet they work! How do I know? My first read through was with my seven year-old, who selected the book from the stacks of dozens beside my desk. As she listened to me read the book aloud, she didn't know what several of the terms meant, yet she "felt" what they meant, and she only asked me about a couple of them in a second reading. Truly a testimony for the power of learning vocabulary in context!
  • Assign each student one of the book's wonderful words to research, define, use in a context sentence, and illustrate.
  • If you haven't already done so, create a "Said is Dead" wall. Revisit The Odious Ogre to collect wonderful speaking tags such as whimpered, sobbed, offered, assure, grunted, admit, mumbled, and insisted. Then ask students to revisit a narrative of their own to revise the dialogue with more exacting language. Instead of she said sadly, a student might write: she lamented, she whined, she whispered with dismay. Each of these expresses sadness, but in different ways.
  • Discuss the book's message. The book's last line reads, "She also understood that the terrible things that can happen when you come face-to-face with an Ogre can sometimes happen to the Ogre and not to you." What does that mean? Can this book teach us a lesson about how to respond to people who treat us with odious manners or words?
I look forward to seeing more fabulous picture books from Orchard Books and Michael Di Capua Books. Glad to see that Scholastic is still in the game!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Can Write Like That: Focusing on Mentor Texts

If you're here at this site, you're most likely interested in teaching with picture books. You recognize that these models provide excellent examplars for word choice, idea development, story structure, and many other skills and traits.

In fact,


You know the importance of using mentor texts when teaching author's craft to your young writers. But how do you- a busy teacher with only so many hours in a day - find great mentor texts? With so many children's books available and so little time to peruse them all, matching books to writers' workshop mini-lessons remains a challenge.

That challenge is met in I Can Write Like That! A Guide to Mentor Texts and Craft Studies for Writers' Workshop, K-6, an International Reading Association title by Susan Ehmann and Kellyann Gayer.

The excerpt above appears on the book's back cover, along with this:


In these pages you'll discover engaging fiction and nonfiction children's books and ideas for using them to their maximum potential as teaching tools. And you will find new ways to give your students a priceless gift - exemplary models for their own writing. Realize the reward of having your students listen to a well-written story then identify the author's craft and say, "I can write like that!"

Four years in the making, I Can Write Like That! serves as an invaluable resource if you're seeking to accomplish the following:
  • Build a library of mentor texts;
  • Uncover all that you can teach from each book in your growing mentor library, whether it be from an old favorite or a new discovery;
  • Find the perfect mentor texts to teach specific craft elements; or
  • Locate age-appropriate craft studies that support your writing curriculum and further serve as models as you develop craft studies of your own. (pp. 5, 6)
I was frankly surprised to see that half the book consists of annotated lists of picture books; upon closer inspection, however, I realized that this feature makes sense. So many teachers in workshops have come to me and said, "I have so many of those books in my classroom library, but I never really knew before how to use them for instruction," or, "I want to create a core collection of really great books, but I don't even know where to start."


My wife, a kindergarten teacher, confirmed the value of the lists. As she looked through the annotations, she remarked, "This is pretty cool. If you already own one of the books, you can see what skills to focus on. Or if you want to teach a mini-unit on a single skill, such as repetition, you can use the chart and choose books from there."

The straight-forward organization of the book allows teachers to easily locate exactly what they're looking for:
  • Part I: Craft Elements provides detailed descriptions and teaching points for working with craft elements such as alliteration, breaking the rules, flashback, leads, personification, text features, and voice, a surprising twenty-seven craft elements in all.
  • Part II: Selected Craft Study Lessons features sample lessons, providing teachers with models for their own instruction.
  • Part III: Mentor Texts to Demonstrate Craft Elements contains an expansive matrix, aligning hundreds of new and classic picture books with the twenty-seven craft elements, followed by a through breakdown of these books by element (see figure to the right).
  • Two Appendices feature student recording sheets and additional reading lists for teachers.
You and your colleagues will refer to this resource again and again. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

KidLit Celebrates Women's History Month

I'm incredibly honored and excited to participate in KidLit Celebrates Women's History Month, a fantastic month-long blogging collaboration hosted by The Fourth Musketeer and Shelf-Employed, featuring thirty wonderful bloggers and authors from across the kidlitosphere (you can see them all listed in the right hand column at the blog).

From the site:

Why celebrate women's history and children's literature? Not so long ago, women's history was virtually ignored in the K-12 curriculum. In 2011, we are fortunate to have many resources for our children to learn about women's history, from fabulous biographical picture books about remarkable women to historical novels to compelling history books written to especially appeal to young people. We hope this blog will help you identify some of these resources, learn about new books on women's history, and enjoy reflections by some distinguished authors in the field. We will be featuring a post each day in March by a different author in children's literature or by a blogger who specializes in writing about children's or young adult literature. Each post will tie into Women's History Month.

Check in every day to reap the fantastic book recommendations and resources offered. While I'm probably the least talented and interesting person participating, I'd also invite you to stop by and check out my post today! Don't be too shy to say hello in the comments!

In the meantime, you can always revisit some posts here that celebrate extraordinary women and their accomplishments:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Making Peace with Picture Books

Character education is best taught through models. 

But one look at the headlines of any newspaper should reveal that we, as adults, are failing to provide those models for children. Perhaps picture books can better serve this purpose. But rather than focus upon just one of the Six Pillars of Character®, let's focus upon the intended result: Peace.

Through picture books we can Make Peace with Ourselves, Make Peace with Each Other, and Make Peace with the World.

Make Peace with Yourself

Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners
by Laurie Keller

When Mr. Rabbit discovers that the Otters will be his new neighbors, he exclaims, "I don't know anything about otters. What if we don't get along?" That alone is a fabulous conversation starter for students, who are likely to offer many ways that the two animals might disagree, and agree.

Mr. Owl shares an old saying: "Do unto Otters as you would have otters do unto you." This, in turn, leads Mr. Rabbit to wonder, "How would I like otters to treat me?" He decides he would like otters to be friendly, and polite, and honest, and so on, but more importantly, he describes what those words mean to him, and provides many examples.

So while Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners at first glance seems to be about manners, it's actually about becoming the kind of person you would like others to be. What's surprising and refreshing is that it doesn't come off as preachy, and Laurie Keller's illustrations are simply hilarious.
  • Extension: Using the traits provided in the book, help students create a "Looks Like, Sounds Like" T-chart for each. We all know that Honesty is important, but what does that look like? How can we see it being practiced? And what does it sound like?
Those Shoes 
by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

More than anything else, Jeremy wants "those shoes," those cool black ones with the two white stripes. They're in every ad, and everyone has them! Everyone, it seems, but Jeremy. His grandmother tells him that "There's no room for 'want' around here - just 'need.' And what you need are new boots for winter."

Through a series of events, Jeremy discovers that Grandma is right: a new best friend, a loving family, and a pair of warm boots are all that he needs, and all that he wants.
  • Extension: After reading Those Shoes, show students some ads from magazines, or even some popular commercials which have been posted online. Are these advertisements appealing to our needs, or our wants? If you're looking for an in-depth lesson plan on this topic, check out a previous post on Media Messages (featuring some great links) and another on Dollars and Sense (financial literacy for students).
Making Peace with Others

Three Hens and a Peacock
written by Lester L. Laminack, illustrated by Henry Cole

Life on the farm is quiet, with only an occasional visitor stopping to buy tomatoes or corn, or perhaps a quart of milk. All of that changes when a crate falls from a passing truck, and a peacock finds itself down on the farm.

Confused by his new surroundings, the peacock does what comes naturally: he spreads his feathers and begins shrieking. Folks passing by stop to admire this marvel, and of course they purchase all the tomatoes, corn, and milk. Soon business is booming and everyone is happy!

Everyone, that is, but the chickens.

"We do all the work around here." they complain. I'd like to see that peacock lay one single egg... That peacock gets all the attention and we do all the work!"

Dismayed by the hens' comments, the peacock mopes around for days, until the old dog finally suggests a solution. "Why not let the peacock stay here to be useful while you hens take the glamorous job down by the road?"

Henry Cole's hilarious illustrations of the fat chickens dressed in their finery, and the equally plump peacock attempting to squeeze into the hen house, help the reader to instantly realize that neither party is playing to its strengths. Neither the chickens nor the peacock find satisfaction in their new roles, and all are happy to return to the previous arrangement.

All's well that ends well, right? Maybe. But what's in that new crate that just fell from the passing truck?
  • Extension: Students will love predicting what might be in the box which falls off the truck at book's end. (The large egg pictured in the book's inside back cover might give us a hint). Students may also enjoy writing their own versions of a role-reversal tale with its funny implications. Settings might include a farm, zoo, or circus.
Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class
by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Anne Kennedy

Miss Fox has had it with all the arguing in her class. "That does it!" she exclaims. "We're having Peace Week." When her students ask her what that is, she puts the question back in their laps: "It's your Peace Week. You design it."

What a wonderful prompt! I think we'd all agree that students often know what it means to be polite and peaceful, but putting those abstract notions into concrete actions is where the problem lies. Her students succeed in doing it, and the good feelings and the positive interactions carry over into the words and actions of all with whom they come into contact.
  • Extension: A natural extension is to create a Peace Week! You'll certainly find ideas in Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class, but additionally you may want to share books about peace (some suggestions appear here!) and perhaps study great peace makers (winners of the Nobel Peace Prize might be a good place to start; see Wangari's Trees of Peace below). The week could even culminate with a "Mirthday Party," celebrating what was accomplished.
Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare
by Patricia Polacco

This oldie but goodie is especially popular with older students who can sympathize with sibling squabbles! In this autobiographical tale, Patricia laments that she'll be in the same school as her "rotten redheaded older brother."

After Richie and his friends make fun of her dancing, Patricia challenges him to attend her ballet school and perform in the recital. Richie counters the challenge with one of his own: his sister must practice with the ice hockey team and play in a game. Students love cheering on the siblings, and they're always surprised to learn that the story is based on a real-life event from the author's life.
  • Extension: How does putting ourselves in "another person's shoes" help us to better understand them? Have students create a story where two characters come to appreciate each other's differences through a reversal in roles. 
    Making Peace with the World

    Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa
    by Jeanette Winter

    "The earth was naked. For me the mission was to try to cover it with green." Wangari Maathai

    Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa tells the true story of how Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai revived her native Kenya by encouraging the planting of over thirty million trees. Although almost cliche, the phrase "Think globally, act locally," could never be so true.
    • Extension: You might also consider sharing Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya, written by written by Donna Jo Napoli and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. How is the same story interpreted by two different writers and illustrators? Which sentence from each book is most powerful? Do those sentences express the same thought? Which illustrations help you to best visualize Wangari Maathai? Which pictures help you to best visualize the land of Kenya? Why might it be important to use multiple resources when researching a topic?
    • Extension: Ask students what could be done beautify their own world. Consider taking on a simple project to make the classroom or school more beautiful.
    A Lion's Mane
    by Navjot Kaur, illustrated by Jaspreet Sandhu

    "I have a lion's mane and I am different, just like you. Do you know who I am? The lion and its mane are special in many cultures around the world. Join my flowing red dastaar on a journey to find out why I have a long mane."

    A daastar is another term for turban; often worn by young Sikh males and in another style by young Sikh females. Beneath this daastar, Sikh males wear a long "mane" of hair. Taking the metaphor of a lion's mane, author Navjot Kaur transports readers to many diverse cultures the world over, whose esteem for the virtues of the lion (strength, respect, courage, loyalty, patience, wisdom) unites them, regardless of their other differences.

    Illustrator Jaspreet Sandhu enforces the metaphor of the mane by unfurling the bright red sash across every page, providing a bold contrast to the the lion's virtues which are printed clearly upon it. Additionally, a glossary and pronunciation guide assist the teacher in further discussion of the book's topics. A wonderful title for children struggling with tolerance and acceptance of cultures which seem very different from their own.
    • Extension: A simple way to discuss cultural symbolism is through the study of national flags. What do the colors, shapes, and symbols of each flag represent? Students are excited to learn that their flag shares common traits with those of their classmates.
    Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace
    by James Proimos

    Paulie Pastrami can't whistle, he has trouble matching his socks, and he is usually picked last in sports. But he plans to achieve world peace before he turns eight. After all he's accomplished a lot in his lifetime: he ate an entire pizza in one sitting, he beat a tiger in a race (actually, it was a kitty named Tiger), and he was even kissed by a girl (Aunt Margie). "But achieving world peace was his greatest accomplishment to date."

    Paulie begins with being kind to plants and animals, and his efforts soon turn to humankind. His actions have an impact on his classmates and then his entire school. Eager to do more, Paulie convinces his father that a world tour is in order! Armed with a trailer full of cupcakes (which can often settle a dispute when nothing else can), Paulie and Dad tour the world, or at least their small part of it (Furniture World, Tire World, Sports World, Toy World, World of Magic and finally Mattress World).

    Upon returning home, Paulie Pastrami's father announces, "Now entering your home: Paulie Pastrami, the boy who just achieved world peace!" Exhausted but satisfied with his efforts, Paulie goes to sleep, peacefully. James Proimos' bold and bright pictures and minimal text per page will make this a popular independent book for younger readers.
    • Extension: Paulie's success relies upon cause and effect. After discussing this with students, ask them what small act they could carry out which might have a positive effect upon a single person, who might, in turn, do a kind act for another. Encourage students to ask themselves, "What Would Paulie Do?" and write about and illustrate one kind act they could commit that might lead to world peace.
    What Does Peace Feel Like
    by Vladimir Radunsky

    What Does Peace Feel Like gathers the wisdom of numerous children who tell us what peace smells like, looks like, sounds like, tastes like, and feels like. Each spread is devoted to one of the senses, with the thoughts of five to seven children per page.
    • Extension: This simple book relies upon bright images and similes and metaphors to share its message. Students can easily use figurative language to create their own interpretations of what peace looks like, smells like, etc. and illustrate those same thoughts with watercolor paintings. A nice activity for kicking off or culminating your very own Peace Week.
    Have your own favorite book on peacemaking, or an activity you've successfully used in your class or school? Please share it in a comment below!

    For more on ideas on making peace, check out Josephson Institute's Six Pillars of Character®.