Peace Education Workshop – Second Grade

…Since you can no longer move your head from side to side, you can’t look around. But with your eyes you spy a little brown squirrel searching for food near your roots. As he scampers up your trunk, his claws tickle your back, as if someone is lightly scratching your back. He finds a nut on one of your branches and plucks it away. Oh, and you felt that! It didn’t hurt, but felt like something was being lifted away. He tickles you again as he runs down your trunk and scampers away. Then you hear crows calling from the distance (Quietly, then louder) “Caw…caw…caw.”” They are heading this way! You feel a pinch, than another, and another… Three large, black crows perch on your branches and start to argue. The wind picks up and you sway back and forth in the breeze. This startles the crows and they noisily fly away. (Louder, then softer.)

The warm sun is making you very sleepy, so your eyes close and you doze off. Sleepy, sleepy… What?! You’re awake! You’re a human being, but you’ve been dreaming that you were a tree!
Story 6 min. total 136 min.

Debrief this experience: What did you like? What did you not like? What was surprising?
2 min, total 138 min
Invite the students to remove their “costumes” if they wish. Then guide them in this brainstorming session:

(A) What good are trees?
Have students pair-share before brainstorming. Ask them to come up with 4 things that are good about trees. Then begin listing their ideas on a chart.
Expect many tree products to be listed (see p. 135 in Earth Child).
Also discuss that tree roots hold soil in place, and keep moisture in the soil. And that tree leaves give us oxygen that we breathe.
Don’t forget shade! And shelter for animals.
5 min. total 143 min.
 
(B) Tree Walk
“We’ll be taking a tree trip around the Peace Resource Center Grounds. We’ll visit part of the orchard (make sure to point out lemon, orange, apple trees), the courtyard (sycamore), , and some trees (ash, Japanese black pine, monterey pine, twisted juniper, different palms and carrotwood) between here and the Church of the Brethren. When we get back, I’ll ask you about your favorite trees.”
On your walk, ask students what they notice about particular trees.
15 min, total 158 min