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Saint Joseph Grade School
216 North Hill Street
South Bend, Indiana 46617
(574) 234-0451

Peace Works Program

The following is a summary of what your children have been learning, since the beginning of the school year, in the Peace Education Program. Utilizing the Peace Education Program in K-5, I have been teaching a variety of lessons based on the I-Care Rules. These lessons are presented at least twice a month and are reinforced by the classroom teacher. Before each of the lesson we review the rules and discuss any possible concerns students may have about the rules or problems they are experiencing. The lessons or activities that have been taught thus far are listed below by grade level.


1. We listen to each other.
2. Hands are for helping not hurting.
3. We use I-Care language.
4. We care about each other's feelings.
5. We are responsible for what we say and do.



I began the program by teaching children how to make and be a friend through drawing pictures, reading a story entitled: "Franklin Meets A New Friend", and role-playing how to meet new friends. I then did a lesson on the importance of and how to listen; we then played a telephone game with a string and a cup to help demonstrate the lesson. The students and I read a book about the importance of our hands and using them in kind and productive ways. There were also lessons on the importance of manners. The activities included a story entitled: "Show and Yell" by Jim Henson, an activity called "Please Pass the Potato", and role-playing on how to share toys, be patient, and use manner words. In recent weeks we have been teaching the children about feelings, being able to recognize them, and why they are important in our lives. In these lessons we have been learning how to handle the feelings in appropriate ways versus throwing things, yelling, pushing, or having temper tantrums.



The year began by having the children learn how to meet friends through the story "Franklin Meets A New Friend", drawing a picture of meeting a new friend, and role-playing how to meet a friend. We have worked on the importance of listening, which utilized a telephone activity with a cup and a string. We also used some activity worksheets to help teach what it means to cooperate and work together. We've worked on manners and "I Care Language". The students did an activity called "Please Pass the Potato" to help support the lesson. The students made a paper sack puppet to help role-play how to ask for something in a wrong way then again using the "I Care Language". We have also worked on being able to recognize feelings and how to handle the feelings in an appropriate manner. We read the book "today I Feel Silly" and then worked on positive outlets for our feelings instead of negative, such as: temper tantrums, throwing things, yelling, or saying something unkind.



At the beginning of the year the students worked on meeting and being a friend through a story and role-playing. We also did a "Get To Know Me Rap" and an activity called "I'm Glad To Be Me". To end this lesson we listed to a song called "We're A Family Under One Sky". We've worked on the importance of listening (i.e. directions, safety, being deaf, etc.). The activities included worksheets and a guess the sound exercise. We then moved on to lessons dealing with the importance of our hands, teamwork, and cooperation. We also did a cooperative lesson with the cups from the Cup Stacking Assembly in which the students could only use one hand to communicate who was going first and how they were going to build their stack. The most recent lessons have focused on feelings and communication and how we express our wants and needs through our verbal language and our non-verbal language (i.e. body language).



"I Care Rules"

1. We listen to each other.
2. Hands are for helping.
3. We use "I Care" language.
4. We care about each other's feelings.
5. We are responsible for what we say and do.

FOULS: threats blaming not listening bossing teasing put downs name calling

The year began by working on activities that helped us to get to know each other and the importance of friendship. We did an activity called: "If I Wrote A Book About Me", role-played how to meet and be a friend, and acted out a Native American Dance called: " I Walk In Beauty" to help us learn to appreciate the differences in each other. We have done activities on not only listening with our ears but also with our hearts in an effort to understand why people may act and behave as they do. Before Christmas the students watched a video called "It's Not Okay to Bully". We then discussed the video and the different roles involved when someone bullies (i.e. the bully, victim, bystander). We are now working on the "I" statement and how to stand up for yourself in a positive assertive manner through worksheets and role-playing.




1. We find out the problem.
2. We attack the problem not the person.
3. We listen to each other.
4. We care about each other's feelings.
5. We are responsible for what we say and do.

FOULS: blaming bossing getting even hitting making excuses threats put downs name calling not listening

The general theme in the fourth grade lessons focus on trying to teach what it is like to walk in someone else's shoes. The first activity was called "Hooray For Families" in which the students had to interview an adult to see what their life was like growing up versus how it is now. We then read a story about what it is like to move and attend a new school. This stimulated a lot of discussion and sharing of their own experiences. We have worked a lot on communication, feelings, expressing those feelings appropriately, reading body language, and being able to listen to someone else's concerns and feelings. We are currently working on the following: anger and self-control; we are discussing strategies to handle those emotions and situations. We will soon begin role-playing different scenarios to practice what we have learned. In future lessons we will role-play what it is like to be someone else. This will help them to think about others, and hopefully, increase respect toward one another.




1. Identify the problem.
2. Focus on the problem.
3. Attack the problem not the person.
4. Listen with an open mind.
5. Treat the other person's feelings with respect.
6. Take responsibility for your actions.

In the fifth grade program we take a good look at conflicts, what influences our conflicts (i.e. TV, family, peers, values, music, newspapers, school, religion etc.), and how we handle conflicts. We also explore how we handle our feelings, perceptions, and out ability to listen to another's point of view. I recently showed a video on bullying. We also did an activity on positive and negative leadership and being a follower called "Are You A Puppet". We have also role-played scenarios on how to handle conflicts in a positive manner. For the remainder of the year we hope to develop a program that focuses on alcohol and drug abuse. As these lessons are developed we will share them with parents.

I hope this gives you a good overview and understanding of how the Peace Education Program builds each year. The students have a folder in which to put all of the activities from their level. Your help in reinforcing the "I Care" Rules is very important. The remainder of the year will continue to focus on activities surrounding these rules. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at Saint Joseph on Thursday or Friday (234-0451).

May the Peace of God be with you all.

Debbie Hudak, M.S.

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