These prompts are only suggestions. They can be used to inspire either a poem or an illustration.Feel free to use them if you want to, or to invent your own prompt, or to “free write” a poem or illustration on the topic of peace.
Prompts for Grades K-4:
- Write a poem about all of the different ways you can feel peace. Consider what peace looks or sounds like, if it has a taste or smell, or what it might feel like if you could touch it.
- Who is someone that makes you feel peaceful? Write a poem about that person and why you think they are peaceful.
- How can we encourage peace in our everyday lives? Write a poem about the ways you can encourage peace at home, at school, and with friends.
- Close your eyes and think about peace. Write a poem about where you are and what you see.
Prompts for Grades 5-8:
- Write a poem in two parts: in the first part, imagine a place where conflict prevails. In the second part, reimagine this same place—but without the conflict. Try to use specific images to paint the picture.
- Write a poem about peace without using the word “peace” at all. Consider using all five senses (touch, sound, sight, taste, smell) to describe peace.
- Write a poem from the point of view of someone traveling the world trying to spread peace. Where might they travel? What might they see? What goals might they have?
- Why is peace important? Why is it something we should value? Write a poem in which you answer these questions.
Prompts for Grades 9-12:
- Write a poem where war doesn’t exist. You can think politically, socially, and/or economically in terms of the world or psychologically, physically, and/or emotionally in terms of the people. Consider using literary elements like metaphors, similes, or personification.
- Many people believe that teaching children about peace is the best way to spread it. Write a poem in the form of a letter to a younger child about peace, why it’s important, and/or how they can promote peace.
- Write a poem about a role model—real or fictional, alive or dead, someone famous or someone you know personally—who you feel exemplifies peace.
- According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, peace is defined as a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity. Does this add to or take away from what you think about peace? Write a poem about how this affects your beliefs about peace and why it is important.
- Bold colors and defined edges/outlines are preferred, since they show up best in the calendar.
- Get creative with your images of peace.We often see lots of submissions containing hearts and doves; we tend to be struck by less expected personal images of peace.