When John Hunter started teaching more than 30 years ago, he wanted to get his students to think about major world issues.

So he invented the World Peace Game. Students are divided into countries, then Hunter gives them a series of global crises — natural disasters, political conflicts — that they solve by collaborating with each other.

Hunter’s classes are remarkably successful at resolving the crises peacefully, a fact made all the more remarkable because his students are in 4th grade.

Hunter recently sat down for StoryCorps with a two former World Peace Game players: 11-year-old Julianne Swope and 20-year-old Irene Newman.

Originally aired December 25, 2011 on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.