Photograph taken from the website link below.  It’s also located in “Let’s Create Peace, An Educational Resource for 4-12th Grade Teachers, By Ross Holzman, Laurie Marshall, and Amanda Morrison.”

“Create Peace Project (CPP) was founded in May of 2008 by Ross Holzman in San Francisco, CA.  CPP was formed in response to the overwhelming amount of violence in the world, the violence and negativity streaming through the mass media, coupled with the severe lack of creative arts in people’s lives, the deterioration of arts-programing in U.S. public schools, and the suffering people are experiencing as a result.  Create Peace Project is responding to growing need to strengthen human connection, cultivate self-awareness, spread hope and create peace in people’s lives.” (Taken from link above.)


How this relates to our AE.2.o inquiry you may ask? Well, the whole reason why I”m in the group that I am is because we’re all like-minded in the sense that our greatest goal as educators is to open the eyes of our students so that they can see a greater purpose beyond the visual art/music terms that we’re teaching them. Hense the name “Inquiring HeARTs”.

A problem I find is how do I measure whether or not what I’m teaching and HOW I’m teaching is having this impact? This is what I’m wondering as I’m blogging, or when I’m contemplating on how do I blog about the successes I’m having towards our inquiry. I suppose the student’s art speaks and answers this question. I’m at a mental block with where I’m going here, so I’ll just tell you about some of the lessons that I’m doing and tell you about the “Peace Project”.


I try to take a lesson and give it an “Inquiring HeARTS” stamp of approval. In other words, am I just just teaching them how to do something, or am I teaching them how to do something along with helping them to explore the qualities that make them different/special and to look for those qualities in others as well.  A lesson on self-portraits. Appreciating the differences in ourselves and others.  Fifth grade students are passing mirrors around their tables and noticing what makes them physically different from one another. I make students aware of proportions of a human face, yet I instruct them to draw themselves how THEY see themselves. People ended up blue, some were massive, some were super skinny, some had crazy eyes. haha After they were finished drawing the physical part. I had students come up with adjectives that describe themselves and the other students at their table. These adjectives had to be written in an artful way and then attached to your self-portrait. Self-portraits were displayed in the hallway with a sign that read “Appreciating Differences.” ***I HAVE PICTURES!!! Just not here at the IU…WILL POST THESE! 🙂


Laurie Marshall spoke at an Act 80 day last year for the UASD. She totally fits into the mission of the “Inquiring Hearts”. She co-wrote the educational resource “Let’s Create Peace.” The book is an instructional guide for teachers seeking to promote and create peace within themselves, their classrooms, and ultimately their world. The book begins by giving exercizes called “daily peace practices”. These exercizes focus on self-reflection, remembering to just take a deep breath and carry on, focus on the positives. I’ve been trying to do more of this in my own life. “Practice what you preach” right? Although I don’t have every student sitting on a yoga mat doing breathing exercizes, I have been trying to approach disruptive students differently,by asking them to first off, take a deep breath and just THINK about what it is that they’re doing right now and what good is becoming of it? I’m still developing and learning how to be the teacher I want to be… I like this outlook.

The physical aspect of the peace project is that as a school wide project, I, along with a group of selected students with inquiring hearts will paint a mural displaying what school-wide, world-wide peace looks like. (I was told I need to wait until after PSSA’s to get started on this.) Yet that’s good, I need time to still think about how I’m going about it. The painting will be done, then every individual student will have a small square to illustrate what peace looks like to them as well. All of the squares will be encorperated into the mural. The mural will symbolize our goal to create a peaceful place for learning. “Take your candle and go light your world.”

Sorry for my lack of bLoGs. The wheels have been turning…just needed a swift kick by Mara, headphones, and a clear mind to get going… 🙂