29 Pieces Education


The curriculum for 29 Pieces Education: Artists Making a Kinder World includes 14 art-based lessons:

1. COMMITMENT: Participants create a visual art project describing their commitment to peace, and then attach it to a magnet, to put inside their lockers for a daily reminder of their commitment.

2. SANCTUARY:  After a discussion about comfort and creating a place of peace, participants make a book filled with images and words describing their “place of peace”, the place where they feel safe and comfortable.

3. HEROES AND HEROINES:  What makes a hero?  We discuss the characteristics of heroes and heroines.  Then participants create a colored pencil drawing of their hero or heroine. This lesson leads into the Great Peacemakers lesson.

4. GREAT PEACEMAKERS LIKE YOU AND ME:  Participants are introduced to 12 heroic peacemakers, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Wangari Maathai, Cesar Chavez and Aung San Suu Kyi.  Then participants are challenged to “make something out of nothing,” i.e., found object portraits of one of the peacemakers.

5. CONSEQUENCES:  Participants work with a professional actor to learn and perform the HALT rap – a simple rap that gives them peaceful tools for resolving conflict.

6. YOGA:  Participants work with a yoga master to learn basic movements and techniques to find and expand peace in their bodies.

7. IMAGINE:  Participants prepare to take the message of peace to the community around them.  By imagining and creating a collage of their “vision of peace,” they hone the message of peace that they would like to take forward in their lives and into their family, school and community.

8. HARMONY:  Participants work with a professional musician on a short performance that combines harmony, rhythm and repetition.  They also hear examples of different kinds of music that communicate peace (lullabies, chanting, choral music, and new age).

9. EMPATHY:  First, participants are encouraged to brainstorm situations in which they are able to truly understand what another person or creature might be going through. Second, they create either a mask or hat in the identity of another “being” – a dog, a mountain goat, a tree, an eagle.  Third, an actor works with the children in role playing exercises to feel like what it would be like to BE another.  Then they trade hats or masks to BE yet another.

10. THRIVE:  After a dialogue about what it means and takes to thrive, an architect leads participants in drawing their ideal garden of peace.  They are taught how to create plan view drawings.

11. INFLUENCE:  By looking at the symbols and graphics that surround us – such as a McDonald’s golden arch, the Target target, a bottle of Coca Cola with a rainbow coming out of the top, participants are encouraged to understand how we are persuaded to think, buy, and act in certain ways by images around us.  Then they are challenged to create a poster that will persuade viewers to think about kindness, peace, or the International Day of Peace.

12. IF:  We discuss the power of imagination . . . “IF” we were this . . . or that. Next, participants create three dimensional shadowbox art, using simple construction materials, such as cardboard, colored duct tape, plastic sheeting, tarpaper, with the assignment to complete the phrase, “If I were a Great Peacemaker, I would . . . ”

13. LOVE Lesson: We talk with participants about the various ways the word LOVE is used. For example, “I love chocolate ice cream.” “I love to play soccer.” We introduce them to quotes about LOVE by Great Peacemakers such as Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and MLK, and we talk about the way that Great Peacemakers think of LOVE – how you can love someone even if there are things you don’t like about them. Then they create art using the quotes by Great Peacemakers as inspiration. We show them examples of illuminated manuscripts so that they can see the artistic ways that type can be used.

14. CONDUIT:  The primary message of this lesson is how powerful messages of peace from writers and artists from centuries ago live on through contemporary artists, writers and art appreciators. Students are introduced to Dante, Sir Thomas Moore, St. Francis of Assisi and Miguel Cervantes, who all wrote about the ideals of peace and equality. For the art project, participants create an informational graphic (or chart) that illustrates how powerful ideas of non-violence are eternal and carried through time by visual art, books, movies, and even video games. For the final step in the informational graphic, the students are asked to show how they can be a CONDUIT for the peaceful message of a writer from centuries ago.