I usually start my school year with the theme of peace.
I think it is really important for students to think about what the word means and I always teach the right way to make the peace symbol (not the mercedez logo).
Some of my past projects are posted here.
This year with fifth and sixth grade I focused on friendship and understanding for each other's differences and backgrounds. I gave out slips of paper that said a language, countries the language is spoken in, and the word for friend in that language.
For instance : "Hebrew - Israel - Chaver"
Each student got one that they did not know, most of which we looked up on the world map too.
We learned that some of our students knew how to say the word friend in many languages too and where student's families are from (Senegal, Ethiopia, India, in addition to all over Central America!)
They filled out an info sheet that said:
__________________ is how you say friend in the language __________________.
__________________ is spoken in the following countries: _____________________.
Each student received a paper, folded it in half, and had to use the word for friend on the outside as the main part of the design.
Their info sheet was glued on the inside.
Students knew this was part of a collaborative project and we discussed how artists can work collaboratively on one big piece all together, or can work on smaller pieces that will be put together as a greater whole (like this project)- and how every artist's effort will be noticeable and is important.
We spelled friend in the hallway and the piece is interactive!
They are so proud of it. :)
**Some students who were done early did synonyms like 'pal', 'partner', etc. so that is why you may notice words like that in the pictures.