Creating a Peaceful Puzzle One Piece at a Time: Peaceful Hearts Growing Compassionate Citizens

Wendy Mueller, 3rd Grade, Parkside Elementary School

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


In third grade, much of our social studies curriculum focuses on building citizenship and relationships with those of other cultures. Without a peaceful way to communicate and carry ourselves, living peacefully can seem like an impossible task. This curriculum unit focuses on developing a peaceful heart that can translate into cultivating compassionate citizens who recognize that beauty and harmony are created when we can celebrate the differences in others and work together to create a harmony that is intentionally full of peace. The younger that children learn to find this positive peace within themselves and towards others, the more they will be able to cultivate the intentional mindfulness that is required to be positively peaceful. I have long loved Gandhi’s quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” This thought would be the framework for helping students to learn that as they develop their own peace, they are then able to be one piece of the positive peace puzzle that will change the world. This concept is visualized as students create a physical “Puzzle of Peace” throughout the unit.