As educators who engage regularly with aspects of global citizenship education, my guess is that you've been grappling with how to best equip your students to understand what is happening in the Ukraine.
It is vital to provide time and space for our students, at all ages, to process what they're hearing on the news or from other people, and to reflect on what it means to be a peacemaker in our local and global communities. Given the ways in which humans gravitate towards violence and aggression, this aspect of what we do as educators is so very important, especially when overt military action is taking place.
So what can we do?
I have curated some resources and links for you, some specifically about the war in the Ukraine and some about incorporating peace and peacemaking lessons into our curricula. I hope these links are helpful. You will find many tangible resources in the links including lesson ideas, templates and lesson plans.
Some immediate things you can do include:
1) Listen to your students. Give them opportunities to share what they have heard, how they are feeling and the questions they have about this conflict or other conflicts (current or historical).
* Article: How to Talk with Students About the Russia-Ukraine Way - 5 Tips (Education Week)
* Resources: Thoughtbox Education
* Video: Two Ukrainian Parents Discuss the Struggle to Keep their Families Safe (PBS Video)
2) Help students understand why it's important to be a peacemaker and how to be a peacemaker, and then allow them to apply what they learn to conflicts they may face day-to-day. If we can embrace peace on an individual and community level, this is an important foundation for understanding core concepts.
* Teachstarter Blog Article: Peace Activities for Elementary Students
* Book with PDF downloads: Peace Lessons From Around the World (the Hague Appeal for Peace)
* Peacebuilding Toolkit: middle and high school units and lessons about peacemaking (United States Institute of Peace)
3) Connect students with peers around the world to reflect, dialogue and learn. Documentar is an excellent digital storytelling platform where students can post and interact with peers. Through Documentar, you and your students can connect with an Art for Peace initiative launched by the Pechersk International School Kyiv. Your students can make art for peace and post it on the PSIK padlet to show solidarity with PSIK peers, and on Documentar as well.
Links for Documentar are:
4) Be informed and help your students know how to evaluate real news from fake news.
5) Organize a response
* Pechersk International School Kyiv website with information about some options to act in response to immediate needs
* How to help people in the Ukraine and Refugees Fleeing the Conflict: PBS
Below: An example of an Art For Peace post on Documentar by students from the Istanbul International Community School.