Issues of war and peace in the context of children's lives are the focus of this unit. I begin by looking at the role of the historian and authors who pass from generation to generation the 'truths' of what is often taught. In order to make this unit meaningful to younger students, the role of children in times of war is explored. Children as refugees, child soldiers, and famine are described and studied. Three stories by Dr. Seuss frame the unit as we explore nonviolent solutions to conflict resolution and are presented as a way to contextualize further discussions on war and peace.
The setting of this unit is an integrated social studies unit that takes into consideration the history of the peoples that make up the classroom. This unit is geared towards elementary school children in the second to fourth grade. The ability to integrate this unit with language arts provides many opportunities for extensions into other curricular areas.
A list of student and teacher electronic and other resources is provided for the implementation of the unit.
(Developed for Social Studies, grade 2; recommended for Integrated Language Arts and Social Studies, grades 2-4)