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Discuss The Butter Battle Book

Main Idea: Enemies and Friends. Have students find historical examples of countries which were enemies and are now friends.
Materials: Copies of The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
Discuss: How do countries go about making friends? Why is it important for countries to cooperate and be friends?

Literature Link: “The Butter Battle Book” by Dr. Seuss. The Yooks and the Zooks are engaged in a long running dispute over which side to butter their bread on.

Discuss: What was the conflict about?
• What were the perceptions of each side toward the other?
• How did they deal with their fear?
• Who are the Boys in the Back Room? (Military-industrial complex.)
• How did the Boys in the Back Room deal with failure? (They came up with bigger and better weapons, more titles, more fancy uniforms.)
• How did each group escalate the conflict?
• What were some of the techniques used to maintain the peoples’ support of the war? (Marches, songs, cheers.)
• What do you think will happen next?

Have students select representatives to attend a Peace Conference. Sit in a circle. Share concerns and fears. Suggest some ways that they can learn to trust each other and end the arms race. Have remainder of class listen and add other suggestions.

Suggested format:
• What would you like to happen? (The arms race to end; be able to live in peace.)
• What are your fears or your biggest concerns? (Being attacked; the end of our way of life.)
• What are your needs? (To feel safe.)

Source: Adapted from Kids Peace Action Network curriculum guide written by Fran Schmidt

CRE Calendar Usage: 1st Edition