International Day of Peace Lesson Plan and Resources

Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan for Elementary, Middle, High School, and College Students. Includes resources organized by grade level, discussion guide, and learning outcomes.

Peace Day provides a globally shared date for the world to commit to peace and, most importantly, to contribute to building a culture of peace. 

Recommended MY HERO Peace Films with Discussion Questions for Students, Organized By Grade Level

Elementary School Peace Films Link
Credit: MY HERO
Middle School Peace Films Link
Credit: MY HERO
High School Peace Films Link
Credit: MY HERO

Have you created a short film about peace? Submit it to the Film Festival, deadline is October 1, 2022.

Kovic Peace Prize
Credit: MY HERO

The MY HERO Film Festival is honored to annually bestow the Ron Kovic Peace Prize to the director of the short film that most effectively addresses the issue of world peace. Up to $1000 of cash prizes supports the critical efforts of artists and peace activists whose work shows the power of non-violent solutions to our world's troubles. Use this link for additional information about the Kovic Peace Prize. 

Additional Stories, Films and Artwork Celebrating Peace for Middle and High School Students | Discussion Questions Included

Students read some or all of the following stories about peace heroes and consider the discussion questions.

Four stories are available in text and audio, allowing students to read and listen. Great for ESL  students.

Ron Kovic: A Hero to the Voice of Peace

By: Sophia DelaRosa

Ron Kovic is a Vietnam War veteran and anti-war activist who fights for peace. He is the subject of the book and film Born on the Fourth of July.

Mattie Stepanek: For Our World

Mattie's poems of peace and hope have touched millions of lives.

Le Ly Hayslip

By: Claudia Hudson

Le Ly Hayslip is a humanitarian, memoirist, and peacemaker.

An Israeli-Palestinian Sisterhood

By: Ruth Ebenstein

American-Israeli Orthodox Jew Ruth Ebenstein and Palestinian Muslim Ibtisam became best friends after meeting at a support group for women with breast cancer.


The following stories have audio and text, allowing students to listen to the story as they read along. 


Sadako Sasaki

By: Amanda E.

Sadako Sasaki inspired an international peace movement.

Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Normal Ryder)

By: Shiloh from Alaska
Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Norman Ryder) was an activist, spiritual teacher and the first woman to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one season (over 25,000 miles) for peace.

Ruty Hotzen

By: Reverend Charles F. Harper

Ruty Hotzen inspires students from around the world through Talking Kites, iEARN.

Jeni Stepanek

By: Claudia Herrera Hudson
Jeni Stepanek is an ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy who continues to spread her son Mattie's message of peace.

This selection of short films appropriate for Middle and High School students includes people who are dedicated to bringing peace into this troubled world. Some have overcome great adversity, and they have learned the power of forgiveness, tolerance, and compassion on the path to deeper peace.

Students watch one or more of these inspiring films, then consider the discussion questions and activities.

Mohamed Sidibay: Teaching Peace

Produced by:The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay is a survivor of a horrific civil war in Sierra Leone, where he was forced to fight as a child soldier. Now he advocates for better access to education worldwide.

Kim Phuc - excerpt from The Sunrise Storyteller

Kasha Slavner

Young filmmaker Kasha Slavner interviews Unesco Goodwill Ambassador Phan Thi Kim Phuc, who survived a napalm bomb when she was a 9-year-old during the Vietnam War.

Upstanders: The Mosque Across the Street

Producer: Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran

What happens when a mosque moves across the street from a church in the Bible Belt?

Azim Khamisa: The Tool of Forgiveness

Producer: Institute for Advancing Unity/Working Group

A grieving father overcomes tragedy by creating something beautiful in his son Tariq's name.

Women Transforming Media - Appropriate for High School to College Level Students

Women Transforming Media: Abigail Disney

Produced by:Jeanne Meyers, Xenia Shin
We talk to documentary filmmaker and philanthropist Abigail Disney about why she became a documentary filmmaker, her award-winning film "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," and her organization Peace is Loud.

Discussion Questions

1. The heroes featured in the stories and films all work for peace. What motivated each of them? Why is their story important in today's world?

2.  Many of the featured peace heroes have overcome adversity and learned the power of forgiveness, tolerance and peace. Do you know someone who has overcome adversity and works towards a more peaceful world? Share their story with MY HERO.  

3.  Where are areas of conflict in the world today? Who is working for peace in these areas? Research and share the story of a contemporary peace hero with MY HERO. 

4. Violence continues to be a global problem. What can you do to promote peace in your community or country? Create an action plan, get others involved and share your story with MY HERO.

5. The film Upstanders: The Mosque Across the Street brought together two groups that might not have otherwise known each other. How does interacting with people from different cultures or religions bring us together and make a more peaceful world? Are there groups from different backgrounds in your community who have helped each other or worked towards a common goal? Share the story with MY HERO. 

View More Films Dedicated to Peace from MY HERO

MY HERO Films About Peace
Credit: MY HERO


Appropriate for all Grade Levels

Students analyze the artwork below and, individually or as a group, create their own photograph, mural, picture or poster that depicts peace to submit to the MY HERO Gallery.

Protect Kids Not Guns by Micah Bazant/ Amplifier

By: Micah Bazant

Protest Art created for March for Our Lives sponsored by The Amplifier Foundation

Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech

By: Joplin Lefrandt

Combining words with his portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., Joplin Lefrandt has created a powerful tribute to this African-American civil rights hero.

Global Harmony

By: The Art Miles Mural Project

Created under the direction of the Art Miles Mural Project, which promotes peace and understanding through the painting of murals


By: Grade 6 Class at Aghbalou Elementary School

Painted by 6th grade students from Morocco with the Art Miles Mural Project

Youth from around the globe are invited to submit their artwork to the annual Peace Pals International Art Exhibition and Awards. View samples of students' artwork from around the world celebrating the theme 'May Peace Prevail on Earth'.

Peace Pals
Credit: MY HERO

Film Highlighting Artwork from Peace Pals Through the Years

Peace Pals International

Celebrating 2017 art honoree, director Jules Lamore and the 20th Anniversary of Peace Pals International, which inspires global youth to make art for peace

View More Art Dedicated to Peace from the MY HERO Gallery

Children create posters with the theme of art.
Credit: MY HERO
Artists Creating Universal Images to Promote Peace
Credit: MY HERO
Students read the following Newswire Stories about peace and then research peace using international news sources. What did you learn about people working towards peace in other countries? Are you inspired by an article you read?

Violence plummeted after he brought the arts to a Tijuana neighborhood.

By: Whitney Neulich - correspondent

Could Conservation Provide Ground for Peace in Conflict Zones?


After Epiphany in US, Woman Forges Peace Among Indian and Pakistani Youths

By: Alisa Tang

How One Man Found His Calling as a Peacemaker, Especially in Prisons

By: Douglas Noll - Encore.org

Recommended Picture Books About Peace for Young Students

Peace is an Offering

By: Annette LeBox

The Peace Book Board book

By: Todd Parr

Planting Peace: The Story of Wangari Maathai

By: Gwendolyn Hooks


Laura Nietzer

The International Day of Peace lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Ron Kovic Peace Prize - MY HERO International Film Festival

Ron Kovic Peace Prize
Credit: MY HERO

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Teachers' Calendar
Credit: MY HERO

Related Links

Resources for celebrating the UN International Day of Peace in the Classroom!
Day of Peace
Credit: MY HERO
Peace Pals International
Credit: Peace Pals
UN International Day of Peace
Credit: United Nations
Carter Center Link
Credit: Carter Center

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.

Organizer created on 8/3/2019 5:02:07 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 8/17/2023 12:45:19 PM by Laura Nietzer