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. 

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

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

Ron Kovic

By: Betty Bailey and Jeanne Meyers

Ron Kovic: best selling author, activist and artist is honored at the MY HERO Celebration of Peace.

Kathy Eldon Interviewed by Wendy Jewell

By: Wendy Jewell

Kathy Eldon, inspired by her son, works for peace and tolerance.

Mattie Stepanek: For Our World

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

The following stories have audio links that allow students to listen to the story as they read. 

Ruty Hotzen

By: Reverend Charles F. Harper

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

Sadako Sasaki

By: Amanda E.

Sadako Sasaki inspired an international peace movement.

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 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.

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 of different backgrounds in your community who have helped each other or worked towards a common goal? Share the story with MY HERO. 

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

Credit: MY HERO

View More Films Dedicated to Peace from MY HERO.

MY HERO Films About Peace
Credit: MY HERO


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.


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.

Diversity, joy and peace are all expressed in this one image of children making the universal peace sign

Waging Peace - Courtesy of The Carter Center
Credit: Thomas England, Photo-Journalist from Atlanta, GA

For over 20 years, children have submitted posters with the message May Peace Prevail on Earth to the annual Peace Pals International Competition.

MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH - Created through Peace Pals International, World Peace Prayer Society
Credit: Lydia from China

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

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 -


Laura Nietzer

The International Day of Peace lesson plan was created by MY HERO Teacher and Learning Circle Director Laura Nietzer.

Ron Kovic Peace Prize - MY HERO International Film Festival

Ron Kovic Peace Prize
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

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

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

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

Last edited 11/7/2019 9:21:05 AM by Jeanne Meyers