10 Ideas for Teaching about International Peace Day: September 21

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Sep 06, 2019 / 1 comments

September 21 is the International Day of Peace. Peace Day was established by the United Nations in 1981, to encourage the world to work together toward the goal of worldwide peace. Everyone can celebrate peace.

10 Ideas for Teaching about International Peace Day: September 21

Painting by children, International Peace Day 2009, Geneva. 

"(The International Day of Peace) offers a cessation of violence and conflict throughout the world, and the related importance of achieving the broadest possible awareness and observance of the International Day of Peace among the global community."

Photo courtesy of UN International Day of Peace

 Photo courtesy of UN International Day of Peace

"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."


Now, millions of people around the world celebrate Peace Day. On http://internationaldayofpeace.org/, you can search for events (or contribute your own), and learn about building - and celebrating peace.


How can YOU include Peace Day in your Classroom?

10 Ideas for Teaching about Peace Day:

1. Use the Twitter hashtag #peaceday to promote your Peace Day activities (like planting a tree!).

2. Have your students research Peace Day activities around the world, and  discuss how different cultures celebrate peace.

3. Head over to Peace One Day - you can download lesson plans, watch videos, and learn more about Celebrating Peace Day.

4. Join Teachers without Borders to gain ideas and build your own community.

5. Ask your students to envision a world of peace - what would it look like? How can we work toward achieving this?

6. Plan a project that promotes peace! Ideas at Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots site: rootsandshoots.org/campaigns/dove/involved

7. Watch PeaceDay.tv - for live Peace Day events and a huge video library of related topics.

8. Check out the Global Peace Film Festival - peacefilmfest.org/ - if you're not in Florida, then research and plan your OWN peace film festival. Ask your students to come up with films to watch - or have them create their own.

9. Create an arts-filled day of Peace - including a Poetry Slam, music, paintings about peace, plays, comedy skits, and more. Your students will never forget this!

10. Observe a day of peace - school-wide, and personal. Talk about how this makes a difference in everyone's lives.

and a bonus!

11. Connect your classroom to Global Scholars -  a free classroom connect program to teach and encourage global citizenship. I'm impressed!


Excellent Resources

Peace Day is also celebrated by many initiatives - here are a few. Learn about them at http://internationaldayofpeace.org/

Peace One Day
Peace One Day is one of the organizations that promote Peace - not only on Peace Day, but year-round.

POD Education aims to advance active learning in the areas of peace, non-violence and intercultural cooperation, using Peace Day 21 September as a focus. Our goal is to provide free resource materials to every school on earth, inspiring a generation to become the driving force behind the vision of a united and sustainable world. In March 2010 Peace One Day launched the second phase of its USA roll out, which was kindly underwritten by Ben & Jerry’s and launched in association with Scholastic.

Thanks to the support of Skype, in June 2010 POD launched the new Peace One Day Global Education Resource in the six official languages of the United Nations. The free, online Global Education Resource (and all new resource editions worldwide) includes a new lesson exploring intercultural cooperation via Skype.

There are almost 10,000 educators registered and using Peace One Day education materials in over 175 countries.

11 Days of Global Unity

An annual worldwide promotion of peace and sustainability facilitated by We, The World. There are more than 700 concerts, festivals, webcasts, and other events in over 60 countries culminating on September 21, International Day of Peace. Supporters include Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Honorary Co-Chairs Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, Irene Khan (Secretary General of Amnesty International), Marianne Williamson, John McConnell (the original Founder of Earth Day), Hazel Henderson, Ervin Laszlo, Jonathan Granoff, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Robert Thurman, Sally Fisher, Riane Eisler and Lynne Twist. To achieve a livable future for our world we will need a massive shift of both personal and societal priorities and resources. We, The World is building the critical mass of aware, informed and involved people to make this shift through many programs, such as: The World Peace Earth Day Celebration; The Global Water Awareness and Action Campaign; Pass It Forward: Students Mentoring Students, 10 Million Clicks for Peace, a fundraiser for refugees; Be the Change, a course in heart centered leadership; Greenworks, a series of green economy and workforce development forums; and Campaign 2020. We, The World maintains a Global Unity Calendar of Peacebuilding events year round and worldwide.

Cercle de Paix (Circle of Peace)

Cercle de Paix is a non-profit organization, who's main mission, is to promote the International Day of Peace, Septembre 21st. As contact in Canada for this day, Circle of Peace engages civil society in the peaceful observance of the day, and helps to raise awareness to the stakes of non-violence.

Culture of Peace Initiative

The Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) was originated in 1983 as a program of Pathways To Peace; in 1989, the CPI was granted UN Peace Messenger status. The CPI serves as a vehicle for bringing together previously unseen and unheard Peacebuilders working along diverse paths toward peace. There are now thousands of organizations acting in concert to build a culture of peace worldwide. The annual highlight of this initiative is the global observance of the International Day of Peace on September 21.

Earthdance International

Earthdance was conceived in 1996 as a vision to unite the whole world through the universal platform of dance and music. Celebrated each year on a weekend near the International Day of Peace, Earthdance has now become the largest global synchronized dance event in the world with over 300 events in 60 countries - some are stadium size and some are in smaller venues. Rising out of the global electronic music scene, Earthdance has now grown to include a diverse cross-section of musical genres including world music, jazz, conscious hip-hop, folk and reggae. For one night all around the globe, people join together to dance as one global community, with a common vision for peace and humanitarian aims. Proceeds from these events are donated to local programs in the areas of childrens' welfare, international relief, indigenous peoples, environmental sustainability, or organizations that help promote peace.

ENO Programme

Environment Online (ENO) is a global virtual school and network for sustainable development, based in Finland. Since 2004, ENO Programme has arranged tree plantings to celebrate Peace Day!

Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace

The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace is a worldwide community of individuals, organizations and campaigns, supporting their national governments to significantly invest in the development of skills and infrastructure dedicated to the peaceful resolution of conflict. In many cases these groups are lobbying for or working with their governments to create Depts. of Peace.

Global Peace Film Festival

The Global Peace Film Festival was established to utilize the power of the motion picture to further the goal of peace on earth. Now in its 7th year, the Global Peace Film Festival showcases international films with subjects ranging from the human condition to sustainability and the environment. With a mission to expand the definition of peace beyond anti-war ideology, activism or specific causes, the Global Peace Film Festival events - and films - suggest a more personal message as reflected in the daily lives of individuals and communities the world over.

Global Scholars

Global Scholars is a free, innovative online global awareness education initiative that connects 10 to 13 year old students in global cities around the world. Internet-based educational activities develop students’ global citizenship while enhancing critical 21st century skills including subject content mastery, English language communication, and technology proficiency. This blended learning program provides access to an interactive, multimedia online classroom and original curriculum materials, enabling students to learn and communicate about important issues with their international peers. Teachers gain year-round professional development and a connection to a worldwide network of educators.

The World Map Project: A Peace Corps Initiative

The World Map Project offers a map making guides in English and a rough-draft in Spanish. A French edition of the manual will be posted soon



Take the time to plan, to learn with your students, and promote and practice peace.  


What will you be doing, this peace day? Please share!

10 Ideas for Teaching about International Peace Day: September 21

Photos: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA, adapted by Wandering Educators.



This article was originally published in 2016, and updated in 2019.


Comments (1)

  • Carol Voigts

    12 years 10 months ago

    Well, when I was in the classroom, my students and I always enjoyed singing a song about peace, and there are plenty good ones.  Find one you're comfortable singing and teach it to the students.  Add it to the classroom reportoire  Carol Voigts --RETIRED!!!

Leave a comment