THE PEACE TREE
The concept of The Peace Tree evolved from the
creation of The Peace Tree film by Mitra Sen which has
received twelve international awards including the Liv
Ullmann Peace Prize and has been invited to over 50 international film festivals. On June 1, 2006, Peace Tree Day was proclaimed by Mayor David Miller in the City of Toronto. Children from schools across Southern Ontario created symbols from all our diverse cultures and faiths and brought them to City Hall to hang on the city’s first Peace Tree.
Peace Tree is a very important symbol for our society as it highlights
the symbols of all our cultures and faiths on one tree and shares the
hope of people around the world living together in peace.
How to Create a Peace Tree in Your
A Peace Tree can be
created for the entire school which would be a wonderful activity that
can involve all the students and a beautiful symbol for our youth to
celebrate throughout the year. Peace Trees can also be created in
individual classrooms and grow throughout the year. The following steps
outline how to create your Peace Tree.
Collect leafless branches from around the yard and plant in a large
pot or planter. Place planter in front foyer, library or classroom.
The tree can range from 4’ to 7’ in height; however, it should have
many small branches to hang the decorations. A real tree can also
be bought so that children can watch as it grows from year to year.
Some students paint a Peace Tree on the wall and create the
decorations out of construction paper. Otherwise you can contact
your local Parks and Recreation and ask them to donate a tree they
have cut down. You can also think of other ways to create your
the first activity is to create the Peace Tree, every student in the
school can make a symbol from their culture or a peace symbol from
their faith that they would like to share. This can be part of
their All About Me projects. Students should research their symbols
and share their meaning with the class. Students can create their
symbol out of colourful construction paper (cut and paste), paper
mache, sticks etc. Be imaginative.
Symbols from different faiths and cultures can include, the Moon and
the Star from Islam, the Star of David from Judaism, a Diya from
Diwali, the Ohm from Hinduism, the Cross from Christianity, a
Kwanzaa Kinara, the Yin Yang from Taoism, a Chinese Lantern etc.
Visit www.peacetreeday.com and click decorations to see samples.
Teachers should ensure that there is a diversity of symbols
represented on the tree to reflect the true meaning of The Peace
Tree - ‘celebrating diversity in unity’.
Each class can go down to the Peace Tree in the foyer/library and
place their symbols on the tree. One class can be responsible for
creating one large origami paper crane to place at the top of the
tree as the paper crane was the inspiration for creating the Peace
Tree. Every class should assign Peace Tree Ambassadors to take care
of and maintain the tree as peace is something that is created and
the Peace Tree needs to be taken care of and nurtured. Some schools
may want to create a Peace Planet or Peace Place in the library with
their Peace Tree with books and music reflecting peace and
Throughout the year, as students research different countries,
festivals and cultures, they can add more life and colour to The
Peace Tree and create new symbols, so it continues to grow and
highlights the beauty of ‘diversity in unity’ which reflects peace.
During Remembrance Day, students can also place their messages of
peace on the Peace Tree written in hearts or leaves or a symbol they
feel reflects peace. Peace can be written in different languages to
hang on the tree.
There are numerous activities that can be carried out in class that
connect back to the Peace Tree throughout the year to remind
students of our hope for a world of peace. Each time a new festival
takes place, new Peace Tree Ambassadors in each class can be
assigned to take the symbols from the festival made by the students
to hang on the tree. By the end of the year, the Peace Tree will be
adorned with ornaments, symbols and messages from all our diverse
cultures and faiths and be truly reflective of the children in the
school and what they have learned through the year.
celebrate the learning over the year, on June 1st every
year, students can celebrate Peace Tree Day at school. On this day
children can dress up in clothes from their cultures or a culture
other than their own. Children can celebrate by brainstorming and
sharing peace initiatives and perform dances and concerts that blend
concepts from different cultures, conduct ‘How to Workshops’(eg.‘How
to Make Sushi’, ‘The Art of Mehndi’, ‘How to Do the Salsa’ etc.) and
prepare a Multicultural Food Market where they can raise funds to
give to children in war torn countries. On Peace Tree Day children
also bring in clothes and old toys to give to underprivileged
Once your Peace Tree has
been created in your school please send a photo to
so we can post it on our site at
Peace Tree Continues to Grow…
To date, the Peace Tree has begun to grow in India, Canada, USA, Pakistan, Germany, South Africa, Australia, England, Taiwan, Korea, Scotland, Dubai and is about to begin in Germany. Join the Peace Tree Spirit!
Tree Day at Home…
Tree Day is an annual festival which will be celebrated at home, so we
can learn about more about the colours of diversity with our families.
The concept of Peace Tree Day is to educate, share, donate and celebrate
peace and diversity TOGETHER! At home, children can create Peace Trees
and add a new symbol yearly that they discover and hang it on their
Tree. Every year children and their families can choose a culture other
than their own to learn about and celebrate. In addition to reading
stories, listening to music and creating art from this culture, families
and friends can get together to have a potluck and/or enjoy a meal from
the chosen culture that year.
our hope that Peace Tree Day will be celebrated in cities around the
world as it is a festival when we can all celebrate peace and diversity
embrace the beauty of every culture and faith to create peace in our