I read I am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness to my Kindergartners, last week. The book has beautiful illustrations, and speaks of mindfulness, peace, and sharing peace, in ways my Kindergartners might understand.
I wanted to talk with them about sharing peace, being kind, and making a difference by doing so. I thought about how I might give them the opportunity to do it?
The main character of the book wears a fantastic peace hat. I’d love to put together some patterns to knit one, but for sure that wasn’t going to happen with my Kindergartners. But, she also wears a funky peace sign necklace. That was something my Kindergartners could make!
So, off I went in search of beads, peace medallions, and cording. I found some bright beads, easy to use cording, and a wooden disc I could make into a peace medallion. I enlisted my brother’s help to drill holes in the 25 discs so I would have time to print “peace” on each one and put a ring on it to make stringing go well.
I had on my peace necklace when I read — because I couldn’t read, photograph, AND make a necklace at the same time. My Kindergartners loved my necklace, and wondered if they would make one too.
“You will! But, we aren’t making them for ourselves. We’re going to make them, and then share them with a friend. Kind of like she did in the book, we’ll be ‘sharing our peace.’ So, do your best work. Make a necklace you love, that you think your friends will love too. When we’re done, we’ll gather around the pond (our carpet) and have a ‘sharing our peace’ circle.”
They were motivated. They worked thoughtfully and carefully. Many added designs to the peace disc.
It took longer than I planned for them to finish. I didn’t want them to rush to finish, or rush to share. So I suggested we all wear our peace necklaces during lunch (being sure not to let them fall into yogurt or other messy food) and recess. This would give us time, I said “to infuse them with even more peace!”
After recess they eagerly joined me, around the pond, to randomly choose names, and share our peace with each other. They were awesome — thoughtful, kind, grateful!
I got peace shared with me as well. I wore the necklace throughout the day, and when I came home, hung it in my bedroom.
It hangs down by the light switch. When I am mindful, I notice it each time I turn my lights on and off. This morning was one of those times.
It was a beautiful moment. I touched the medallion, took a breath, and remembered my sweet students sharing peace with one another and with me … and I carried it afresh as I went about my day.
I am excited to share that experience with them, and thank them for the gift of peace, and making a difference in my life!