Give Peace a Chance
Contributed by T. Scott Lilly
To assess your students, to build community, and get to know your students.
- Start in a circle
- Teach the refrain of the John Lennon song “Give Peace a Chance” Call and Response style. “All we are saying, is give peace a chance”
- Next we all hum the melody of the refrain without the words.
- Now we will go back and forth between singing it and humming it (over and over).
- During the humming part, each of us, one at a time, will have a turn to ‘Say something about Peace or how we’re feeling or what’s on our minds. You could do ANYTHING AT ALL. As long as it’s safe for all and you’re done by time we all sing again.
- Here are some ideas:
- Tell us how you’re feeling or what’s on your mind,
- Do a dance routine,
- Scat sing,
- Perform a magic trick,
- Do a stretch, etc.
- Here are some ideas:
- Go one at a time, going around the circle clockwise. Model this. Have all the adults model this, Show a variety of things you can do. OR Make them all do one specific thing (up to you) .
- When you’ve come full circle, sing one last time with gusto, strike a pose and yell. “A’ho!” which means “Yes, I agree!” in Lakota (Native American).
- Extension and advanced options that can be taught with this activity, but don’t HAVE to be:
- The refrain of the song takes 4 measures of 4 beats – 16 beats There’s a “pick up” to it. You come in after 2 beats ON the 3rd beat,
- Use dynamics. Soft, loud, staccato, legato, (don’t speed up or slow down)
- Step in time, Step side to side. Clap on the 2nd and 4th beat.
- Add gestures. Create choreography.
Transition into Activity
Bring students to standing or sitting in a circle. Ex: “Circle up!” (or table one start our circle…..) or Bill can you stand and begin our circle? – Or create a circle as you normally would.
Transition out of Activity
Take a moment to acknowledge the student’s & teacher’s bravery and the community that we are building together.
This is ideally a Standing a in Circle type activity. However, it can be adapted for any space situation, and students do not need to be standing. The teacher might have to choose the next student to go if they are not in a circle.
- TA & all other adults model before you ask the students to go.
- Show a variety of things you can do before they start – write the list on the board for them to reference if they get stuck.
- Have everyone do one specific thing that the group chooses before you start.
- Have a theme to the humming breaks – Favorite Dessert and Why. Best part of you day. Worst part of your day. etc.
Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals
- Participate. We are all modelling a brave citizen of the world who wants to live in peace.
- Encourage, support, laugh
Can be done with accurate control of muting and un-muting. When it’s the student’s turn to do something during the humming part, they un-mute themselves. Otherwise we remain muted except Teacher who keeps the melody going. Students are expected to be singing and humming even thought we can not hear them.