The U.S. Institute of Peace’s (USIP) Peace Teachers Program is rooted in the conviction that educators can be pivotal in bringing important international issues of conflict and peace, and practical conflict management skills, into their classrooms, schools, and communities. At a time when violent conflict regularly dominates headlines, teachers are the key to helping young people obtain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to understand how peace is possible—and to envision their own role in creating a more peaceful world.

USIP Peace Teacher Maria Zelaya
USIP Peace María Eugenia Zelaya

The following ideas are drawn from lessons or activities created by past USIP Peace Teachers using USIP’s resources for students and educators

If you teach HISTORY

  • Use USIP’s conflict analysis tools to help students develop a deeper understanding of past conflicts and engage in creative problem solving to explore potential and actual resolutions
  • Have students develop their own conflict resolution skills, then script and perform a negotiation or mediation between key parties to a historic war
  • Challenge students to design a physical memorial that would help build peace in a community following a war or violent conflict
  • Have students assess their own conflict styles, then assess the evolving conflict styles of parties to historic wars (e.g., avoiding, accommodating, compromising, competing, and problem solving)  
  • Teach students about important nonviolent movements in history, and those movements’ leaders, as well as the everyday individuals making up those movements and the nonviolent tactics they employed
  • Provide a peace “bookend” to any history course by asking students to define conflict and peace at the beginning of the course, and then to revisit and solidify their understandings at the end of the course, based on specific historical evidence

If you teach GEOGRAPHY

  • Teach conflict analysis using contemporary world conflicts, then introduce students to real-world peacebuilding skills that are being used to manage and resolve those conflicts  
  • Introduce students to the concepts of internally displaced persons and refugees and explore human migration caused by conflict through reading first-person accounts
  • Have students research local and global peacebuilding organizations and design their own peacebuilding organization around an issue that matters to them
  • Invite a virtual guest speaker from USIP to your classroom to talk about a country where USIP works

If you teach ECONOMICS


  • Have students conduct research on a current international issue using resources on USIP’s website, then write a letter to their Member of Congress or to a newspaper in support of a peacebuilding solution to that issue
  • Challenge students to find examples of peacebuilding initiatives and individual peacebuilders from countries experiencing violent conflict, and then connect your class with a peacebuilder from that country, drawing on USIP’s worldwide network
  • Ask students to examine a contemporary global conflict on which USIP works, completing the step-by-step process of conflict analysis and presenting recommendations for its resolution
  • Integrate USIP’s free micro-courses into your curriculum to help students gain basic knowledge of foundational topics in international conflict management and peacebuilding


  • Have students research peacebuilders from countries that speak your language, then have them create a children’s book about peacebuilders, written in that language
  • Connect your class with students in a country that speaks your language, and use USIP’s Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators in French, Spanish, or Arabic to prepare your students for that conversation with effective active listening skills
  • Lead a discussion on the meaning of conflict, then have students explore and analyze historic or current conflicts in countries that speak your language 


  • Include literature with conflict and peace themes or non-fiction stories about individuals who have overcome violent conflict in another country, then invite a guest speaker from that country to your classroom
  • Use USIP’s conflict analysis tools to help students analyze the narrative arc in books they are reading
  • Have students identify characters’ conflict styles as they explore character action and motivation
  • Incorporate peace themes into writing assignments, such as asking students to use nature to compose poems about peace