Education is one of the most favorable fields through which to influence our society in a positive direction; educators, therefore, cannot remain neutral in a world where our young people are impacted by a growing tide of violence. It is important to educate the newest generation that violence in its different forms is not “natural” and that nonviolence is a choice, an attitude in front of life that shapes even the simplest actions we make in our daily life.

In the context of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, we encourage teachers and educators to incorporate activities and themes related to peace and nonviolence into their lesson plans between October 2 and January 2, using this historic international initiative as a framework for discussion. In particular, we ask teachers to think about organizing some simple activities on October 2nd, which has been declared “International Day of Nonviolence” by the United Nations (it is also the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth).

Examples of possible activities include:

  1. Post a World Map in your classroom and chart the daily journey of the international team of marchers. (see for daily updates)
  2. Have students design and create murals or dioramas depicting their view of a world without violence.
  3. Create a “Timeline of Nonviolence” that highlights leading historical figures of nonviolence, such as Tolstoy, Gandhi and King, as well as historical nonviolent struggles such as the Suffragette, Civil Rights and Anti-apartheid movements (see “Genealogy of Nonviolence” below).
  4. Teach a lesson on current events evoking present-day nonviolent leaders such as Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma or Rigoberta Menchú of Guatemala.
  5. Gather famous quotes on nonviolence and turn them into a large quilt or mural for the classroom or school hallway. Invite students to write their own quotes to be included alongside those of the famous people.
  6. Show a film or video and invite discussion afterward (see some suggested films below).
  7. Have the students form a “human nonviolence symbol” in a field or courtyard where it can be seen by other students.
  8. Take a minute of silence and ask each student to think about one unexpected act they can do to make their world more peaceful or less violent (“random acts of kindness”).
  9. Lead a discussion on discrimination and bullying as forms of violence. Brainstorm ways that people can nonviolently respond to these situations from an individual and a social perspective.
  10. Ask students to volunteer in their community for one day and talk about their experiences; did they view their acts as “nonviolence”?

Here are some sample Lesson Plans and Classromm Activities by age group:


Grades 1-5

Grades 6-9

High School

Materials and Resources:


What is Active Nonviolence? World witout wars campaign

If you would like to suggest an activity, film, book, or resource, please send to

Bookmark and Share