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"A good teacher knows that the best way to help students learn is to allow them to find the truth by themselves." Noam Chomsky (Chomsky on MisEducation, 2000, p. 21) 

Art and Poetry of War and Peace

Anti-War Art of J. Kadir Cannon
In J. Kadir Cannon’s Human Cost of War series and Who's Telling our Story?: The Human Cost of War movie, viewers will find compelling anti-war images for writing projects and discussions. Teachers should screen images prior to using with younger classes.  Also see banners and photos from the Cannons’ World Citizenship Tour.

Dream Flag Project
This site allows students and teachers to read and write poems about peace and other dreams and hopes.  Classes are invited to participate in making their own Dream Flags.  Inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes and the prayer flags of Nepal, the program originated in the Philadelphia area, but invites worldwide participation in its annual events.

Käthe Kollwitz -The War Portfolio
Museum of Modern Art [MOMA] in Manhattan has a narrated portfolio of Kollwitz’s grim, black and white art from World War I.  The artist portrays the human cost of war for civilians.  For more war art, see the Teach for Peace: Art and Poetry Lessons pages and pdfs.

Kids Guernica
This children's peace project invites children from all parts of the world to create paintings the same size as Pablo Picasso's Guernica (3.5 m × 7.8m) to express their hopes for peace and their protests of war. Many of these paintings are viewable on the site, and instructions for joining the project are clear and welcoming

Peace Sign 
The Newark Peace Education Summit (2011) posted a good picture and short “bio” of the ubiquitous peace symbol.  Help your students draw it correctly and learn its history.

Teach for Peace: Art and Poetry Lessons
Selections of poetry and art (and supplementary questions for discussion) allow middle and high school students to make their own discoveries about war.  A pdf downloadable booklet is available along with online resources, discussion questions, and links.

PoetryFoundation.org-War and Conflict 
This link leads to 613 poems in the War and Conflict category.  Each poem is supplemented with an author bio and historical context. Examples:

POETS.org-War Poetry 
This link leads to an explanation of war poetry and links to poets such as Pablo Neruda, Homer, Stephen Crane, and numerous others whose poems appear as links beside selected poems.  To contrast poetry of war with poetry celebrating life, have students select from other categories, such as the Life category

War Toys to Peace Art
It’s a simple yet powerful idea: invite students to turn toys of violence into artworks for peace.  View a video showing the project in action and other helpful links.

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