Create “pinwheels for peace” to celebrate International World Peace Day (September 21).
peace, pinwheels for peace, International World Peace Day
Today's students are bombarded with television images, video games, and magazine articles and newspapers that give importance to conflict and war. Violence has become commonplace and accepted as part of our society and, for some students, it is a way of life. The Pinwheels for Peace project aims to help students make a public visual statement about their feelings about war, peace, bullying, tolerance, cooperation, harmony, unity, and, in some way, maybe, awaken the public and let them know what the next generation is thinking.
Peace doesn't necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war. It can be related to violence and intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.
A pinwheel is a childhood symbol that reminds us of a time when things were simple, joyful, peaceful. A pinwheel is easily made using just about any type of material, from copy paper, to thin plastic, to lightweight metal. The stick of the pinwheel can be as simple as a pencil or as intricate as a carved stick or metal rod. Pinwheels can be made as small as one inch in diameter or as large as desired -- limited only by the creator's materials and motivation. Pinwheels can be minimal or very complex -- imagination, creativity, and a mild breeze are the only variables needed.
Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who teach at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what's going on in the world and in their lives. The project was quickly embraced by their students and the entire school community.
[Source: About the Pinwheels for Peace Project]
The Lesson Idea
The Pinwheels for Peace Project invites students everywhere to join in the "quest for whirled peace." Getting involved is simple: Have students create and display their "pinwheels for peace" on International World Peace Day on September 21. The project provides a simple pinwheel template and instructions. The template can be enlarged if you want your students to create larger, more dramatic pinwheels.
Provide students with a template and let them create a pinwheel that reflects on one side their thoughts about war and peace, tolerance, bullying, living in harmony with others You might use this activity to incorporate one of your writing goals/standards for the year; for example, the writing might be a poem, prose, haiku, or an essay. On the other side of the pinwheel template students will draw, paint, or create a collage that visually expresses their feelings.
Assemble the pinwheels and "plant" them outside on International World Peace Day, September 21. The pinwheel display will serve as a public statement or public art installation. The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country, the world.
If you participate in this Pinwheels for Peace project, take pictures and email a picture for inclusion in the "Pinwheels for Peace" project gallery. Your location will be added to the "Where It's Happening" map.
International Day of Peace
Invite students to write a brief (length depends on grade level) entry about their impressions of the pinwheels created by themselves and their peers.
Lesson Plan SourceEducationWorld.com
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.9-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills
See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.) For additional holiday projects be sure to visit Education World's Holidays Archive.
Originally posted 09/08/2005
Last updated 08/25/2009