The JGC/United Publishing Philosophy: Just because we found the world a certain way doesn't mean we have to leave it that way. Our goal is to help readers see beyond what is to what can be by opening minds and hearts with the power of imaginative literature. — John Gile, Editor & Publisher

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The First Forest — Teaching Peace
In The Classroom, In The School Hallways,
On The School Playground, At Home, In The Neighborhood, In The City
• Click cover for larger image. Aaron B., Third Grade

Author John Gile was signing books between presentations at a Staff Development for Educators' conference when a teacher told him how her entire school is using the peace theme and crossover dimension* of the The First Forest to foster peace, not peace as an abstract concept or utopian sentiment, but peace in the everyday lives of the children — in their own classrooms, in the school hallways, and on the school playground.

Peacemaker Homework Assignment

After the teachers shared and discussed The First Forest with their students in class, the students were given a peacemaker homework assignment. They were asked to talk about the story with their families and to think of ways they could be "evergreens" — peacemakers at home, in their neighborhood, and in their city. Then they made posters with their families expressing how they can be peacemakers every day.

The artwork created by the children and their families was posted on classroom and hallway walls throughout the school to foster creative thinking about peacemaking and to remind everyone in the school to be faithful "evergreens," building and keeping a peaceful and pleasant environment everywhere they go.


If you would like to share your classroom ideas with other teachers, you may send them by mail to Classroom Projects, Box 2321, Loves Park, IL 61131-2321 or by e-mail to

*("Crossover book" is a publishing term for books which "cross over" age levels. Because The First Forest is a fable read at many levels, it is used both as a read aloud book for young children and as a discussion starter for social issues at the middle and high school grade levels.)

Teaching Aids
Multicultural Awareness
Cross Curricular Unit
Good News For Teachers And Principals
Listen to the wisdom of the children . . .
A Prime Example Of Pourquoi Literature — Writing Prompt

Click here for the author's background information

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Copyright 2010 by JGC/United Publishing, 815.968.6601. All rights reserved. Revised: January 21, 2010