Adults aren’t the only ones contemplating the issues facing the nation and finding navigating them more difficult in the face of political polarization, the rise of social media as a source of information, and the backlash to recent discourse about criminal justice and racism. The Thelma P. Lally School of Education is sharing the following resources for educators on how to help students, particularly those in grades three through 12, navigate current events.
“We know that teachers are responsible for more than delivering curriculum and meeting student learning needs. As much as we try to focus students on the work before them, the walls of a classroom do not keep out what’s going on in the world,” said Dr. Terri Ward, interim dean of the Thelma P. Lally School of Education. “Part of the educational process is learning how to digest complex topics and navigate various viewpoints, and the issues facing the nation and the world today leave no shortage of opportunities for students to practice these skills. Teachers, however, must be equipped to be students’ guides when those discussions inevitably enter the classroom.”
Resources for the educator:
- “Talking to Children About Violence,” National Association of School Psychologists
- Facing History and Ourselves’ guide to first-day lessons, with a focus on making space for student reflection
- Guides to talking to kids about the news from Common Sense Media
- From Teaching Tolerance, “When Bad Things Happen,” on responding to violent local events
- The Civic Online Reasoning curriculum from the Stanford History Education Group
- News Literacy Project’s “checkology” resources, including lessons on misinformation and conspiracy theories
- PBS News Hour’s “Fact or Fiction? How Can Students Sort Through the Misinformation?”
- From the Mikva Challenge program, “An Attack on the Capitol/Insurrection in Washington,” a plan that includes discussion prompts
- Facing History and Ourselves, “Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues that Matter?”
- Newsela article about the events
- Reflection lesson that outlines what happened and asks for students’ thoughts and questions, from Sam Mandeville, a middle school geography teacher in New Hampshire
- A teaching deck from Ryan Canton, a middle school Global Studies teacher in Minneapolis.
- This Moment in Time: Navigating Unprecedented Historical Events, from Share My Lesson, a lesson repository managed by the American Federation of Teachers.
- “Responding to the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol,” from Facing History and Ourselves, includes remote learning adaptations
- CSPAN Classroom shares contemporary reactions to Jan. 6 events from politicians
- National Constitution Center, Constitutional text and resources
- iCivics infographic, Peaceful Transition of Power
- Share My Lesson, Foundations of Democracy and Government
- American Historical Association, Comparisons to the election of 1876
- American Historical Association, Comparisons to the election of 1800
- Zinn Education Project, Comparisons to 1898 Wilmington Massacre
- International/outward-facing perspectives, from Pennsylvania teacher Joe Welch and The Hill newspaper
- Three ways to teach the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol from PBS NewsHour Extra (2021)
- Niskayuna School District Social Studies Resources, SS Resources for Educators
- Alan Singer – NYSCSS member and Teaching Social Studies Journal Editor: A great article and lesson…Social Studies Teachers: What should we teach today about the events in Washington D.C.
- Learningforjustice.org (formerly known as Teaching for Tolerance): classroom resources, professional development workshop, and magazine publications
- Rethinkingschools.org: magazines and publications around education activism